Using a pressure canner as a water bath canner?

kriswrite(zone 8)June 30, 2012

I did a search, but didn't find the answer anywhere - maybe because it's a silly question :) But could I use my pressure canner as a water bath canner simply by not locking the lid and leaving the vent open?

For whatever reason, my water bath canner always leaves extremely-difficult-to-remove stains on my stovetop, but my pressure canner does not. So naturally I wonder if I even need to use my water bath canner.

Thanks for your help!


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had the exact same thought about using the pressure canner as a water maybe its not that silly of a question. I havent done it yet, but i havent read or heard anything that says not to. Maybe ill wait for answer here and avoid a kitchen fiasco.

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 5:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If it is deep enough for the jars to still be covered by 2" of water then yes you can. Many of us who have the Presto 23 qt. model use ours as a BWB as that is one of the big advantages to that model. Leave the rack in the bottom, just set the lid on loosely and leave the vent hole open.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
readinglady(z8 OR)

It has been discussed here before, probably in one of those impossible-to-locate threads.

That is by far the most money-sensible and space-saving option, rather than having both a PC and boiling water canner.

Also it can be much more handy for processing quarts as PCs are often deeper while quarts are always iffy in a boiling water bath.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2012 at 6:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Absolutely! I only own a pressure canner so I do all of my canning in that. I actually lock my lid though so water doesn't splash out during processing. I just leave the vent open so no pressure builds up.Happy canning!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2012 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jodie, thats exactly what this article says to do. I think it makes perfect sense to own one piece of equipment and have it do double duty.

Now, what about cooking in your pressure canner?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As others have said you can use the pressure canner if it allows 2 inches of boiling water above the jars. Be very careful, however. Two years ago I was using this method and had locked down the lid leaving the vent open as JodieMo suggested earlier. A small amount of pressure had built up and when I removed the lid, the superheated water exploded up out of the canner and burned me quite badly. I still have the scars to prove it.

This was a very old canner (it has since been retired) and did not contain the pressure lock that modern Presto models have. However, I will never again lock a pressure cooker lid down for boiling water processing. Either remove the seal or search for a lid that fits the pot.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 3:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
txtom50(8a texas)

For the current Presto models, the instruction manual has a section on BWB canning. It says to leave the vent pipe open AND remove the rubber overpressure plug. It also says the 16 quart models are NOT tall enough to BWB quarts.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

From everything I have read about this and from my own personal experience with doing it, you are much better off if you do not lock down the lid. Just set it on top the canner to prevent splattering and allow the excess steam to escape easily.

A locked down lid is going to allow some pressure to build up inside even with the vent open and possibly even with the overpressure plug removed (ever try getting one of those back in?).

You gain nothing by locking the lid and can cause potential problems.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 11:44AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Country Sunflower

I use my pressure canner as a BWB all the time... simply because it is convenient.. and I leave the lid loose and the vent open... works just fine.. been doing that for 50+ years...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I also use my pressure canner for waterbath canning because it's tall enough for quarts. if I put 7 filled quarts in my water bath canner, the water is nearly to the top of the container.

I just set the lid on top, I don't lock it down and I leave the vent open, as has been mentioned.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I use my 22 qt Mirro for BWB but I don't bother with its gasketed lid, I have a universal lid I've had for decades that fits it, + the glass lid to a 12" chicken fryer style skillet that just fits it too. Have you checked your cookware, you may have something.

Here is a link that might be useful: Universal lid like this one

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 2:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My old BWB canner finally wore out so I added "extra' holes and used it for a flower pot in the garden - the lid was in perfect condition so I saved it and now I use it for a lid on my 22 qt Mirro for BWB - works great!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 10:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have used my large Presto canner for cooking a huge batch of Brunswick Stew many times. I do not use the lid and I don't put the stew under pressure, just let the stew simmer for an hour or more to get really thick. I think I've made my applebutter recipe in the canner also. It was the biggest pot I had for many years.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 11:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm annoyed with myself today, because, when I moved into the current house and was getting rid of everything possible, I tossed my BWB pot, I figured I would just use the PC. I wasn't really canning anything then anyway.

For the last 10 years it's been no problem, because my canning has all been jam, chutney, and pickles, in pints or smaller (and I mostly just used my stockpots).

But this year I have a bumper crop of pears! It only occurred to me in the middle of the night, night before last, that quarts might not have enough water above them in my ancient PC. Sure enough. I am borrowing a BWB from a friend today...

    Bookmark   September 10, 2014 at 1:24PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Canning Bacon ?
I just watched a video on another forum of someone...
serrano peppers everywhere
I have so many serrano peppers this year it's amazing....
Pressure canning jam?
Hi all -- Ok, I have to admit that I just hate BWB...
Katie's Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup
I made her soup the other day and I am here to tell...
habanero gold question?
All the directions for habanero gold jelly call for...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™