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which pressure canner should I buy?

Posted by jenniesue durham nc 7 (My Page) on
Mon, Nov 13, 06 at 9:12

If I buy a presto canner with a dial gauge and a jiggler can I just use the jiggler and ignore the dial gauge? My county extension office doesn't test the gauges. Amazon has a close up of the gauge and the jiggler and the jiggler looks identical to the one on my pressure cooker.
Thanks,
jennie

Here is a link that might be useful: 23 qt presto canner


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Usually the dial gauges are for reference only and the weight type is more accurate, so you have the best of both worlds. The pressure cookers usually have a little bit heavier weights compared to the canners. This is due to the fact that a pressure canner doesn't need as high a pressure as a pressure cooker.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Hi Jenniesue --

Wait! Looking at this unit, I believe it is just like the one I used to use. I DO NOT think this is an actual weighted pressure jiggler -- this is just the weight that you put on to activate the pressure and then use the dial gauge. Mine had the same type of thing, and that one metal "jiggler," is unweighted, unlike a true weighted gauge canner which will specify the weight of the jigglers. Does that make sense?

I don't think presto makes weighted gauge canners now -- think Mirro is the one who does this.

Emily


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I have a Presto. That weight on the Presto is calibrated for 15 pounds pressure. Since most canning is done at 10 pounds pressure, you would have to refer to the gauge.

The All-American canner comes with a 3-way weight (5, 10, 15 pounds) as well as a gauge, but the gauge is there as a reference. It's the jiggling of the 10-pound weight you listen for.

The Mirro and the All-American may be more appropriate for your needs.

Carol


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I believe the canner is intended to use the gauge. The weight is for plugging the vent to allow pressure to build up in the canner or it may be used if the canner is used as a cooker. Mine (23qt) is the same and the weight is to be used as a jiggler when pressure cooking ONLY.Pressure in the canner with the weight, as a jiggler, gets up to 15+ pounds.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Not sure what brand offers no gasket on the lid, but I have heard that the all metal seal ones will never need a gasket replacement. Just thinking long term.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

That's the All-American. It costs more initially (about double the Presto at the best price you can find) but is heavier and less maintenance.

Carol


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I'm so interested in this topic.
I'm wanting to purchase a canner and am tossing up between the all american or the presto.
Is there a difference?? apart from the price??


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Ditto here. I want to can beans, white and "pork and beans" type and am a complete newbie to canning. I like the idea of having both the weight and gauge, which apparently only the All American has. I don't want to go thru the hassle of trying to get a gauge recalibrated every year, either.

I've plowed thru a lot of posts on this excellent forum - still undecided!


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Kathy,
The Presto 23 quart for $89.95 at Wal Mart is a winner. You can buy a 3 weight (5, 10, an 15) from Presto or Ace Hardware (store or online) that will give you a 10 pound weight for your Presto (if that is what you want for added convenience and some level of assurance that you guage is accurate). The All American at twice the money plus will do the same thing without the additional weight. Quess it depends on how much you will be canning and how much money you have to spend on a canner. Jim in So. Calif.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I bought a Fagor duo pressure cooker, 10 qt. stainless steel, and have been very pleased with it. You have the
option of 10lb. or 15 lb. of pressure. Check it out on Amazon. I cook food with it, especially dried beans and also can with it.
I was replacing a Revere Ware stainless steel pressure cooker that I'd had for decades as I was unable to find parts. The new one is larger and that has been a big plus.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Peggy - it isn't considered safe to can foods with such a small pressure cooker. That is why the manufacturers label them "cookers" instead of "canners". The volume isn't large enough to allow for proper internal temps to be achieved and the cool down is too fast for safe canning.

You'll find many discussions here about this and I have linked them below. The minimum required for canning is a 16 qt.

Dave

PS: Kathy - if you don't want the hassle of getting the gauge checked then one really isn't needed. My Presto has both but you just ignore the gauge as it can be very misleading and unsafe if not tested. The Presto, even plus the cost of the 3 piece weight set ($12.95) still costs less than 1/2 the All-American. The only other expense with the Presto is a new gasket ($5 about) every few years. All American has no gasket. It seals metal to metal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Difference between Pressure Cooker or Canner


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

One slight correction to the previous post. The smallest canner available that meets requirements for size is the Mirro 12-quart.

Alternatively, any canner which will accomodate at least 4 quart jars will qualify.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirro 12-Quart Pressure Canner


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Oops! Thanks for the correction Carol. I thought one thing and typed another. Senior moment! ;)

Dave


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Thanks for the info! The Presto with the weight just might do the trick.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Dave, I've definitely had my share of "senior moments," some of them on this forum.

The only reason I mentioned it is there are some home processors who'd like to have a pressure canner but aren't up for the really big ones, either in terms of cost or because they don't can on that scale. The nice thing about the Mirro is it's small enough to be useful for regular pressure-cooking and relatively easy to store.

Carol


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I'm planning on asking for a Pressure Canner for Christmas. I'd like to be able to use the insert for water bath canning as well. As I don't like the starter HWB I have since it's big, and I can't do quarts in it.

We generally can in large batches, but only like 3-5 times a season. We buy our produce from the farmer's market, so I get a 40lb box of canning tomatoes at once. And, if I make Annie's Salsa, I usually make a double recipe.

Any recommendations?


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

  • Posted by peggy_g Melbourne,Fl Z9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 9, 07 at 13:56

digdirt, The duo 10 qt. pressure cooker by Fagor, ITEM # 918060796 has a detailed section in the USER'S MANUEL on home canning complete with recipes. The recipes are all for 4 pint jars. They say this model is the only one in this line that can be used for home canning. This pot will hold 4 Qt. jars but all the recipes call for a max of 4 pint jars. The recipes are for Pasta sauce, Barbeque sauce, Chili Con Carne, Cucumber Soup, and Mived Vegetables. The suggest you refer to the USDA Website www.fsis.usda.gov if you have any questions about proper methods or times for your own recipes. I have a 24.qt. stainless steel pot that I use as a boiling water bath for processing qt. jars of high acid foods.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Peggy - it may very well claim you can safely can with it but as I said and Carol also pointed out, it is not recommended by the canning authorities who test these sort of things for safety to pressure can with one that small.

USDA, Ball, National Center for Home Food Preservation, U of GA, etc. not to mention all other pressure canner manufacturers as well as all here (see linked discussion above as well as many others) strongly advise against it.

Your choice of course as we all have to determine the risk level we are comfortable with but it isn't safe for us to recommend a canner that small to those new to the process of pressure canning without including that disclaimer.

Dave


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I should have said the Mirro is the smallest American pressure canner that meets the requirements.

I can't speak with any authority on the Fagor, as it's Spanish manufacture. It's definitely a fine pressure cooker. Again, if it can accomodate and can 4 quart jars at 10 pounds pressure, it should be fine. It's not a matter of recipes for pints. It's what it can do, regardless of the recipes the manual provides.

The real issue is that some point you get a canner where the volume is so limited the minutes to come up to pressure (including venting time) and to cool down are too brief to provide the total safe canning time required. In other words, the tested safe canning time for a particular product is not only the minutes of processing at pressure but the total, which includes the time preceding and following that.

Since pressure canning is designed to safely process high-risk low-acid products, I would be hesitant to push the boundaries.

Carol


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Good points Carol and it is attractive and looks like a nice cooker. But I would also be concerned when it comes to canning because from the photos I found, it appears that it doesn't have either a gauge nor a weight. Just some sort of knob one sets to the desired lbs.?

How is it tested? How can one be sure what pressure level is achieved? And it isn't clear from what I have read about it if it has a vent for the required 10 min. pre-venting?

Dave


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Cheapest way out for a "legal sized canner" is the 16 quart Presto at Walmart for $59.00 and change. It comes with the 3 piece 5,10,15 pound weight. It has no guage. If your store does not carry them, order on Walmart on line and have them deliver to your local store at no additional charge. I would guess the Mirro is about the same price. I believe they both come with one rack to keep the jars from resting on the bottom of the pot (a requirement). You won't be stacking double pints in these two but they will take quarts. The All American 21.5 quart canner will set you back from $200 to $225 or more plus shipping if you have more money to spend. I guess MONEY is a big issue depending on your affordability and usage of the canner. Sorry X Canadians but the above prices are US. Don't know what similar models go for "north of the border." Regards - Jim McNulty


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Just noticed that at Bi-Mart in the states of Washington and Oregon that this week they are running on sale the Presto 23 quart (model 01781)for $69 plus change. In Oregon, don't think there is a sales tax. Unfortunately, they have dropped their on line catalog, so those are in store prices. So if you are lucky enough to live in those 2 states, or have a friend there, this price can't be beat that I can find. Remember, that $69.00 is for this week only. Regards - Jim in So. Calif.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I've been looking at the All American and the Presto Canners.

Both online are saying that you use the gauge for monitoring the pressure, is what was mentioned above saying that these gauges aren't reliable?

For the size, is it better to get a like 15/16 Quart, then if you do large batches just do it twice? Or, is it better to go ahead and get the 21/23 Quart, then if you do small batches just don't fill it up all the way?

The Presto says on the website that the bottom can be used as a HWB, is the same true for the All American?

Does it even matter...if you have a pressure canner, is there any reason to HWB?

Thanks!! Paige


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Both online are saying that you use the gauge for monitoring the pressure, is what was mentioned above saying that these gauges aren't reliable?

Gauges are not considered fully reliable unless tested annually and it is getting more difficult to find a testing center. But all gauge cannners I've ever seen have a weight too - thus the recommendation is to use the weights.

Or, is it better to go ahead and get the 21/23 Quart, then if you do small batches just don't fill it up all the way?

The larger one works better as a BWB so then you don't need a BWB canner. But you don't "fill it all the way". Not sure what you mean by that but you can do any number of jars in it at a time using the required 3-4" of water.

Dave


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

[I] The larger one works better as a BWB so then you don't need a BWB canner. But you don't "fill it all the way". Not sure what you mean by that but you can do any number of jars in it at a time using the required 3-4" of water. [/I]

That is what I meant by 'filling it up'. I wasn't sure if it was recommended to only do like 6 pints in a canner that could hold 12 pints.

**So, if the canner doesn't come with both like the Presto, then you'll buy them seperately as discussed either above or in another thread.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy? - another ?

Can you keep a pressure canner in the attic? That's where I keep my BWB when I'm not using it, but I wasn't sure if the elevated temps up here would cause it problems.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

If you buy the dial gauge canner you can get a 3 piece weight set and use the one for your altitude. Most folks use the 10 lb. weight. Then, you do not have to get the gauge tested yearly. You leave it on, but use as a reference, not rely on it. I paid $10 for the set of weights.
Even a brand new gauge out of the box can be off as much as 4 lb. We test new ones and often find they are bad from factory. So, if you plan to use the dial, then it must be tested even on a brand new canner.
They are all good canners, just depends upon whether or not you want a gasket to replace from time to time. Mine seems to last almost forever. I personally can't lift the All American, they hurt my back and I have trouble tightening down all the bolts, too. So, I stick with Presto and use the weight set instead of the dial. I do test my gauges, though, yearly, but it is easy since I can do my own.
The price on the Presto at BiMart is the best. I have even sent them across country to a friend. Shipping was about $30.
I suggest getting the 23 quart size so you can stack pints or half pints, getting done a lot faster. It also works as a great water bath canner. Just sit the lid on, don't tighten down for a BWB canner.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I have the Presto 23 qt. and have never considered anything other than having it calibrated yearly, until now. Didn't even know there were weight sets available... Where have I been!

At my elevation of close to 5,800', recipes generally call for 8 lbs. pressure for higher acid foods and 13 lbs. for low/nil. So, Id just bump that up to a 10 lb. weight and 15 lb. weight, respectively, is this correct? It'd sure beat the cost of calibration.

Crystal


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

**So, if the canner doesn't come with both like the Presto, then you'll buy them seperately as discussed either above or in another thread.

Not necessarily. Many canners come with only the weights like the Mirro brand - no gauge - and they don't need a gauge. Then there are those that have both and you just ignore the gauge. The Fagor brand discussed above doesn't appear to have either weight or gauge - thus my concerns about using it. And I have never seen a brand that had only a gauge and no weight but I sure wouldn't buy one if they do exist. ;)

In other words, a gauge is purely optional. Weights are mandatory.

Dave


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Canners

Crystal, this is a new recommendation for buying the weight set. I recently contacted both Presto and Elizabeth Andress at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Both said it was fine to use the weights. So, yes, you would use the 10 lb. for acid foods and 15 for low acid foods.
What comes on a dial gauge canner is not technically a weight, it is a counterweight, not meant for regulating the pressure, just to allow and hold the pressure built. If you want to rely on a weight on a dial gauge canner, you need to buy the 3 piece set.
I keep my canners in the attic and don't have any problem with them.
I am not sure with the Fagor that you can safely vent them for the 10 min. required before building up the pressure. I would need to see if I can find out before I have an opinion on the safety of using them for canning. Other than has already been said, it must be able to hold 4 quart sized jars to be used, too.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Thanks for all the help. I just sent my mom the link to the Presto Canner at Walmart online, b/c you can have it shipped free to the store.

Then, before next canning season, I'll get the gauge checked, the weight set, and another canning rack.

Another question, does a pressure cooker work like a crockpot where they don't cook right if you don't have them filled enough? My crockpot will dry the meat out if I don't have enough in there.

If I wanted to do a roast in this 23 quart cooker, would I like have to do 2 roasts, or for pressure cooking will it still cook correctly if I only put 1 roast in. I know you should never over fill them, but I was just wondering if you could under fill them.


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Which pressure canners are tall enough to easily (without much worry of boiling over) water bath can quart jars?

I'm trying to decide what pressure canner to buy and I don't want to also have to buy a separate large pot for water bath canning.

Does anyone happen to know which models of the all american or presto are tall enough to handle the water bath canning and which water bath canning racks might fit in those canners?

I'm kinda partial to the heavy construction and metal to metal seal of the all american. Whatever we get will be used in an outdoor kitchen space as the indoor kitchen is completely unsuitable. (Already reading up about the whole propane burner requirements, wind screening, leveling, and such


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

The Presto 23 qt. ($85.00 @ amazon with free shipping) is deep enough. FAIK it is the largest they make. The 16 qt. will BWB pints and 1/2 pints but not quarts. Add $12 for the weight set.

The All American 21 qt will work but the 25 qt. ($209.99 with free shipping @ amazon) and above are better for BWB use.

eBay currently has a used but good condition 25 qt All American listed for auction @ $102 plus shipping and is offering a 10% off coupon too. Just something to consider.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: eBay All American listing


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

Thanks Dave


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I am looking for a good canner also and have never canned before. Looking at the presto 23 qt at Walmart. Can you use a presser canner for all foods that you can, like tomato juice, etc??? May seem like a silly question but I just really don't know where to start. I was also wondering how often you might have to replace the gasket. I'm figuring the presto would be better for the price and just buy a few extra gaskets. Any canning advice would be great!
Thanks, Amy


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RE: which pressure canner should I buy?

I am a newbie canner (or will be soon) and am leaning toward the All American pressure canner for safety and variety of foods I could can. I also know I am lazy about replacement parts so the metal on metal seal appeals to me a great deal. However, after reading some of the posts I would like some feedback on if the 15 qt. will be safe or if I should just go ahead and get the 21 qt???


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