How to Can with a Pressure Canner
Welcome to Advanced Canning, with a pressure canner instead of a water bath. In our video, Tricia cans green beans with a pressure canner. Let's run through some basics of when and how to use a pressure canner.
WHEN TO USE A WATER-BATH CANNER When you started canning you probably used a water-bath canning process. That's perfect for jam, jelly, apple sauce, tomato sauce, and whole tomatoes. What do all those fruits and vegetables have in common? High acid. High acid foods are less likely to spoil, and a hot-water bath is enough to preserve them safely.
WHEN TO USE A PRESSURE CANNER You'll need a pressure canner to preserve low acid food in jars. Want to put up green beans, corn, pole beans, squash, or meat? Time to learn to use a pressure canner with its extra power.
PRESSURE COOKERS ARE NOT PRESSURE CANNERS If you already have a pressure cooker you may be wondering if it can do double-duty as a pressure canner. Afraid not. As the University of Wisconsin explains, pressure cookers do not reach high enough pressure and are not built for the fine regulation of pressure. They're also too small to be practical. So the short and sweet answer is No. Good news -- if you have one of the All American Pressure Canners with the metal-to-metal seal, you can use it as a pressure cooker.
FIRST STEPS FOR USING A PRESSURE CANNER
- Wash your canner, jars, and lids in hot, soapy water.
- Run a fingertip around the tops of your jars and lids to be sure they're smooth and can form a perfect seal.
- Look at all the rubber rings for your lids, and check that they are flexible, with no cracking.
- Be sure the vent pipe on your canner is clear.
- Lubricate a metal-to-metal seal, such as the one on the All American Pressure Canners, each time you use your canner. The manufacturer suggests petroleum jelly as the optimal lubricant.
- Fill your canner with at least 1 1/2" water. Don't ever let it boil dry.
- Place the canner rack, rim down, in the canner.
- Always use a canner rack -- if the jars sit on the bottom of the canner they may break.
PRESSURE CANNING RECIPES * Follow the recipe or canner booklet directions carefully. You'll be working with high heat and must exercise caution. * Try our recipe for canning wax and green beans together, in 1 liter/quart jars. * Enjoy the new canning horizons available to you with a pressure canner!