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Thread: Canning

  1. #1


    Growing season will be upon us before we know it. Afterwards comes canning and preserving. I am fortunate to live in a town that has a cannery, but I would like to invest in my own equipment. In my research, I have heard a few things and I would like some of your opinions.
    1. Electric canners are great
    2. What about electric canners in the paw?
    3. Donít buy used aluminum canners as some people overheat them over fires or grills and they may explode.
    Does anyone have a favorite brand?
    What extra parts should one stock?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    The land that winter forgot
    1. While the manufacturers publish glowing reviews, the jury is out on electric pressure canners due to lack of testing by USDA to ensure short- and long-term food safety. I wanted a new pressure canner and asked Santa for one, but ended up with a digital pressure cooker instead, so I just dug out the trusty (old) 16-qt. Presto and carried on. I can still use the digital to cook a pork loin and other 'stuff'.
    2. In the paw, you might want to save your generated electrical power for heat/air conditioning, refrigeration, etc. Canning is not a fast process (average time once at pressure is 90 minutes) and not the most efficient use of scarce electricity. Since I have an electric stove, I also have a couple dual-fuel camping stoves to use in a pinch if I just have to can. A standard pressure canner and a properly rated propane burner (< 12K BTU) that can be hooked up to a 20-lb. propane tank might be your best best. Flame is easier to use for controlling pressure once the desired pressure has been reached. Also consider butane burners like this one.
    3. Buy new; a Presto 16-qt. can be purchased for < $75 and can also be used as a water-bath canner, pressure cooker, or big ol' pot for making stew for a crew. Make sure that the canner is flat-bottomed, especially if you might use an electric stove with a ceramic cooktop. Avoid induction burners, as the weight of the canner may damage the induction unit. Do some research and check with manufacturers; most are happy to tell you if there are any contraindications regarding canning on their stoves. Both Frigidaire (previous stove mfr.) and GE (current stove mfr.) customer service personnel were very helpful and gave me the information I was looking for very quickly.

    *I like my Presto because it meets all the requirements for canning on a ceramic cooktop, and it's what my mother used while I was growing up. It holds 7 quart jars, and can be double-stacked for smaller jars if you purchase an additional canning rack to set on top of the bottom layer of jars. Spare parts are easy to find and not expensive. I keep the inside clean, make sure the vent pipe is clear and the air vent isn't deteriorating, and remove, inspect for cracks/deterioration, clean, and reinstall the sealing ring/gasket after every canning session has been completed and the canner is ready to be stored until the next time I can.

    *Recommended spare/replacement parts ($50-$60 for all):
    -pressure regulator
    -gasket/seal and air vent (sold as set)
    -steam pressure gauge
    -canning rack

    You can buy extra handles, etc. but probably won't need them unless you are beating the living heck out of your canner (but it's only about $11 for a new set of handles)!

  3. #3
    2013 Site Supporter jimmycthemd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Blog Entries
    Presto's the brand I've been using for years...what my mom used. For the price and spare parts availability, can't be beat. Can get spare parts at my local Ace Hardware.
    "Common sense might be common but it is by no means wide spread." Mark Twain

  4. #4
    Thanks for the responses. My mom still uses the Presto she has used before I was around. I guess this is another case of the old trusted brands are still the best.

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