Substituting a pressure canner for boiling water canner

thelawoffivesOctober 17, 2008

Hi there! I am going to be canning some apple butter in the next few days, and all the procedures I can find specify a boiling water canner. I really dislike using the boiling water method, and I have a pressure canner. My question is: Because 5lb of pressure creates 212 degrees in the canner, can I simply use the pressure canner at 5 lbs for the same amount of time, or is there something I am missing?

Any experience with this would be greatly appreciated.


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

You could but it isn't necessary for safety purposes and the 10 mins. required for quarts at even just 5 lbs. of pressure will affect the texture. Because of the extra heating time required to bring it up to pressure and then the time required to cool it down and sit to prevent siphoning before removing the lid, the 10 mins. of processing turns into 25 or 30 mins.

You can just use your PC as a BWB by covering the pint jars with water and not locking the PC lid into place or putting the weight on. Works just like a BWB.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:19PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Using a pressure canner for apple products.

Here is a link that might be useful: University of Maine.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:58PM
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I was afraid of that. I know that I can use my canner as a bubbler, but I hate the added inconvenience of getting the necessary amount of water up to boiling before I put the jars in. The drop, heat and wait style of the pressure canner is a method I like better.

Thanks for the tip, I could see that applesauce texture would be affected by the long exposure to heat, so I can believe that butters would also get a bit soft, but I might give it a test anyway if there are no safety concerns.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 7:04PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Bring the water to a boil while cooking the apple sauce. Once its at boiling, shut it off temporarily and cover the canner. Then fill the jars with boiling sauce, and add them to a rack, which is slowly dropped ibto the canner, then start it heating again. It still takes less time that way and you are close to a boiling water bath process. Its up to you however..

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 10:08PM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

I too dislike the huge amounts of water, etc for BWB. I use the pressure canner for everything. Cut your processing time for this to 5 lbs for 5 minutes. Yes, it will be more "cooked" but I only have acouple of products where this becomes any consideration at all. Ask your extension educator to convert your recipes. At 10 lbs pressure, the time is usually 1/3 to 1/2 of BWB time. Jellies and apple butter and that kind of stuff will be fine at 5 lbs for 5 minutes.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 10:15AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Dare I say something in defense about a steam canner? I have used one for many years now and it uses about the same amount of water a pressure canner uses. It has proven it worth here by giving me many canned items that are not overcooked. I especially like it for jellies and pickles. Neither are difficult to can, or process. Because I add extra acid to both, safety issues are not a big concern. I had done many temperature tests on these, and have found that the recovery temps are quite fast, when it comes to the canning water coming to a boil again. As everyone knows, heat rises, cold drops. With room temp, water filled jars inside, and the canner water previously boiling, it can take at least 10-15 minutes for the canner to reach boiling again, even though the jars are not even touching the water. Also, the measurements I did were done with thermocouples and a device that is able to chart out 6 locations within an area. These temperature measuring devices are very accurate and when I had jars filled with water only, and measured the internal temps, they came up faster in heat than a boiling water bath. I am not saying a pressure canner is in the same class, as it is not. Pressure canners are used for low acid foods and offer higher processing temps above 212 degrees of boiling water. This is the reason for the high pressure used in a PC. The steam canner has a slight pressure when boiling, as it jets out a strong steam from just two tiny holes down near the water level. This indicates to me that the jars inside, are in fact exposed to something that is at least 212 and is under slight pressure. I measured an internal temp of 212 degrees inside a water filled canning jar after 10 minutes. That jar was filled with boiling water prior to the test however. I would never consider using this canner for any low acid products. For pickles, I prefer full 5% strength vinegar too. The jellies get an added acid blend of malic, tarteric, and citric acid.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:28AM
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