What Weighted Cannner Is 'Better'?

homemadecountrylife(Zone 8A CA)February 17, 2012

I have been in the process of saving up my pennies for a weighted canner and I was wondering what everyone would suggest. I would like to get a weighted canner because I live in a small town in a dessert at about 3,000 ft above sea-level. I don't want to have to worry about getting my pressure gauge regulated every year. Or would I have to? The weights seem simpler to use, to me, but do most canning books even offer info on how much weight to place on a weighted canner, anymore? And as far as canners go, does everyone like a Presto or All American, or is there another one that anyone would like to suggest?

I was also thinking a 16-23 quart size would be best for a family of four. I just don't want to spend a fortune on one just for it not to be used as much as it should be. But I don't want to invest in one that is too small and I am slaving away at my stove for hours because I bought one too "small". I have been looking on Craig's List, but no one seems to be selling theirs at all.

I am wanting to expand into vegetables, canning veggies soups, w/ and w/ out meat, spaghetti sauce w/ and w/ out meat & veggies with this type of canner. I am not a jelly making kind of canner. I have primarily stuck to canning fruits, sauerkraut and quartered tomatoes (w/ lemon juice), and I'd like to expand from that.

I have been a water-bath canner for the last 10 year so any tips or suggestions in this vein of discussion would be great :)

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

No you don't have to buy a weighted only canner. You just need one with the weights and you ignore the gauge or use it as a double check.

The majority of canners come with both.

The weights seem simpler to use, to me, but do most canning books even offer info on how much weight to place on a weighted canner, anymore?

They are simpler and yes most all canning books provide the weight settings for both types. NCHFP provdes them for both types with each recipe, other books do it with a chart somewhere in the book. At your altitude most everything will be 15 lbs. anyway.

As to the AA vs. Presto, each person has their personal favorite and you'll find lots of discussions here about both brands. Both are good and the primary difference is the price. I have both brands and prefer using my Presto as the weights are much easier to monitor. If you buy the 23 qt. Presto you will need to buy the separate weight set for anadditional $12.

The one thing most seem to agree on is to NOT buy the Mirro since the company was sold the quality and parts availability has declined sharply.

Just make sure you buy a canner, not a pressure cooker.

Dave

PS: welcome to the forum! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to Use a Pressure Canner

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 3:26PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I'd recommend you do a search and check previous threads on pressure canners. There are lengthy discussions of pros and cons for all brands and models.

Personally, I would recommend the Presto 23-quart. It's the size most often discounted and is usually available for only $7.00 or so more than the 16-quart. It's also more efficient, as pints can be stacked, doing far more jars in a single batch, saving on time and utilities.

Even a smaller family can benefit from that occasionally.

Carol

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:43PM
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eahamel(9a)

I recently got a 16 qt Presto, ordered online through Walmart. The price was better than other places, and it has the weights with it.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 6:43AM
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homemadecountrylife(Zone 8A CA)

Thank you for all of your help and info! I apologize for not posting sooner. I was sick for the last few days. I like the idea of having the gauge and weights on it as "fallbacks". I have so many canners to choose from and so many opinions on which is better, that I am thinking of getting it on Amazon when ever I get a good deal. So whatever is on sale, I guess is the one I go with :) As simple as that :)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:04PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I have so many canners to choose from

Could you clarify? There really is only 2 brands to consider and maybe 3 or 4 models to choose between - Presto 16 or 23 qt. and All American 921 or 931. I just want to make sure you are looking at pressure canners and not pressure cookers.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:18PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Although the price might not be quite as low, you may want to consider Walmart or Ace Hardware for their ship-to-store option. It's free and then if the canner is defective or the shipment arrives damaged, you can return it to the store. I order a lot from Amazon, but shipping something back can be a pain.

Carol

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 1:04AM
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homemadecountrylife(Zone 8A CA)

Absolutely Pressure canners! I don't want a pressure cooker. I know that I will but an AA or a Presto, but I still haven't decided on the size of one I want to buy, so you are right, I didn't phrase that correctly at all. I am leaning towards the Presto 16 quart size since I don't have a large family. May I ask what size canner you own and do you worry or have issues with it falling off a burner or not "holding enough" jars?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 1:11AM
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telclb

I too am new to pressure canning. I recently obtained a
Presto 18 qt. pressure canner. From what I have read in
the various threads, the weights seem to be the way to go.
To that end, I ordered ACE part #64375. Can anyone confirm
that this part will fit on this partiicular canner?
Also, thanks to all for all the wonderful information I
have gleaned from this site over the years!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:02AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I too am new to pressure canning. I recently obtained a
Presto 18 qt. pressure canner. From what I have read in
the various threads, the weights seem to be the way to go.
To that end, I ordered ACE part #64375.

Presto doesn't make an 18 qt. model and hasn't for decades. Is this a very old canner? If so then the weight set might work if you replace the vent tube too.

As to the ACE part number, no way to know without seeing it. The Presto part number is 50332 and is pictured below.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: pic of 50332

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:33AM
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telclb

The canner appeared new out of the box. The box clearly
states 18 qt. pressure canner, model 01751.

As for the weight, yes, 50332 is correct.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:18PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hmmm the 01751 hasn't been made since the 80's (1982-83 if I recall correctly) when it was replaced by the 01755 - the 16 qt. so perhaps it was one a store had sitting back on a shelf or one someone bought but didn't ever use it? Depends on where you got it. Any signs of use at all?

But parts are still available for it and you can treat it just like the 16 quart model as their parts are interchangeable, so yes the 50332 will work fine on it.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 1:45PM
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telclb

I got it late last fall. The local ACE store usually has
a sale on jars/lids after the canning season. This is when
I stock up. While there, I noticed the canner which was
going really cheap. I couldn't resist.
As for the condition of the canner, I would never have
guessed it was anything other than brand new.
Glad to hear that parts are still available for it.

Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 3:40PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Sounds like it was dead stock that got lost in the back of the warehouse, or an old display model. Either way, it was a good deal for you. Enjoy.

Carol

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 4:51PM
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homemadecountrylife(Zone 8A CA)

I wish we had an ACE near by, or a Mills Fleet Farm (in Minnesota). Mills has an enormous selection of canners and jars in all sizes and brands. If I didn't have to fly home with 2 little girls I would have bought the AA or Presto for about $90!

So surfing the internet last night, I noticed Walmart was selling some Victorio Steam and Water Bath canner. What is that? The odd part, for me, was that it opened from the bottom half. I'll include the link. Has anyone used or heard of these before?

Here is a link that might be useful: Walmart Victorio Steam & Water Bath Canner

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 10:10PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I've heard of steam canners but hadn't seen that particular model. It's designed to use either as a regular water bath or to steam can.

Formerly, steam canning was an alternative processing method for high-acid foods, but by 1988 the only recommended methods for canning were boiling water bath (high-acid) and pressure canner (low-acid).

The basic problem with steam canning is that while there are a few studies, definitive research on heat penetration has not been done and there's no assurance that recommended boiling water bath times are also sufficient for the steam canner.

I wouldn't have a problem using it for jams and other sweet preserves, but then you could skip canning entirely with those and risk, at worst, mold, which is easily detectable, should it occur.

Carol

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 2:22AM
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telclb

I have the older Presto 18 qt. canner with the weight set. I believe I need to replace the vent tube on the canner to
accommodate the weight set, is this correct? If so, does anybody have the part number? Are there threads on how to do this?
Sorry for all the newbie questions

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:55PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Generally your canner manual will have a list of parts with their numbers in the back.

The Presto site also offers listings of parts and other relevant information. Just be sure you have your canner model number before you go online.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Presto Site

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 3:49AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Honestly I don't think you will have to change the vent tube unless it has a petcock on it. No way to know for sure without trying the weight first but FAIK it is only the old models that had petcocks that need the vent tube changed.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 7:11PM
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2ajsmama

Is the Presto 18-qt 01751 tall enough to BWB quarts? And can someone confirm that the 50332 weight set fits it (it looks like the 15-lb regulator is the same they use on the 23-qt) without replacing the vent pipe? Thanks

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 5:26PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Probably. They haven't made that particular model for years but it was replaced by the 16 quart and the weight set works on it fine. But no, doubt you can BWB quarts in it.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:19PM
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yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

I bought a Presto 23 qt Pressure canner (model # 0178107) two years ago and I want to try to use it as a pressure canner now (have used it as a BWB). I have read numerous threads here and they all say to get the weighted part number 50332. But when I follow Dave's link to the 50332 part, it does not list the model 23 Quart canner (178107) as one of the models that the part 50332 can be used on. I am a little confused. Can someone verify that this weight will work on the 178107 canner.

Here is a link that might be useful: Part # 50332

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 6:25PM
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2ajsmama

Thanks Dave, I figured it had to be taller than my 12 qt stockpot so should be able to BWB quarts. It's just so hard to get quarts (whether PC or BWB) out of the 23qt one. I figure I'll sell that and maybe the 12 qt Mirro I just bought, the 18qt should be perfect - even if I have to replace the vent pipe.

yolos - I just bought that same model back in Sept, the 50332 weight set does fit the 1781 23qt model. I got it from Ace but the price has gone up, it's out of stock on pressurecooker-outlet.com, so check Amazon. You should be able to find it for less than the $15 Ace wants, but if not, they have free ship-to-store, so take that into account.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 9:53PM
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yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

Thanks ajsmama. Yes some have linked it to amazon and to Presto but I was unsure whether it would work for the model 0178107 because it did not list that model in the description of part 50332. But I will take your word that it will work and order it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:19PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

yolos - the 23 qt is the model most all of us use it on.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 11:47PM
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2ajsmama

Woohooo! I won the auction for the 18-qt Presto on eBay! I told DH and he immediately said "So you're going to get rid of something else, right?" I'm hoping to get rid of the 23qt Presto and the 12 qt Mirro I just bought, and maybe the 12qt stockpot I've been using as a BWB (though I may keep that for pints and smaller, it's nice b/c it has a glass lid and it's SS).

But it will be nice to have something I can BWB quarts of pickles in without tipping them as I'm taking them out of the canner, or worrying about steam from vent so close to my wood range hood (I do try to position the vent right under the fan intake) when PCing.

I know a lot of you love the 23qt but it just wasn't right for me - I don't need to PC 20 pints at once.

I should probably sell my 15.5qt AA as well - I can never use that on a glass stove, it's old, doesn't have a safety valve or a weight. Yes, I own 3 PCs (not counting the electric pressure *cooker*) with a 4th on the way - guess DH has a right to ask me to reduce my inventory. Ummm, jars will have to be next. Then nursery pots...

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:45PM
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plumfork

We have used Mirro for years and loved them. Now I just bought a 6qt. Presto stainless steel pressure cooker to be used on our new induction cook top. (old aluminum will not work on induction) New cooker is recommended for canning whatever jars will fit inside. Problem is there is only one weight with it and it has no markings on it to tell us how much pressure it will produce. The recipe booklet that came with it calls for different pressures for different things. So we do not know how to use this new cooker. Thinking about returning it.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 2:01PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

If you want to can in your purchase, return it. A 6 qt capacity isn't big enough to use for canning no matter what the owners booklet tells you.

The heat up and cool down times are figured into the approved recipes and are greatly reduced in small cookers, voiding them. Your product will come out underprocessed.

The current guideline is 4 quart sized jars on a rack with the lid in place as a test - if it's too small to accommodate the 4 quart jars, you don't want to can in it. In most cases (brands) that is going to mean at least 12 Qt size.

I do the bulk of my canning in a 22 Qt 1970's era Mirro - it gives me the option of stacking in a second layer of jars if I chose to do that. I would not buy one of their new models. If you are shopping, you want to know the quality is no longer there.

NCHFP: "Pressure canners come deep enough for one layer of quart or smaller size jars, or deep enough for two layers of pint or smaller size jars. The USDA recommends that a canner be large enough to hold at least 4 quart jars to be considered a pressure canner for the USDA published processes."

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 4:24PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

ajsmama, congratulations on the auction, I hope this new canner meets your needs.

And fits your kitchen. I have the height, and a downdraft stove, but it's glass topped with cycling burners and I'm canning outdoors over gas these days.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 4:33PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

plumfork - unfortunately I agree with morz8 and I know that isn't what you want to hear. The cooker you bought is just that - a cooker only, not a canner.. There are no tested and approved weights or processing times available for canning in a cooker that small.

Return it.

Canning just doesn't work on induction stovetops. So like everyone else here with an induction stove, your only option is to get one of the many alternative heat sources that work with aluminum and that do NOT cycle off and on as induction does to use for your canning.

Dave

    Bookmark   January 10, 2015 at 4:53PM
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