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How To Choose a Pressure Canner

How To Choose A Pressure Canner

So you have decided to start canning and food preservation but are not sure what kind of canner to use? Fortunately selecting a canner for your home canning and food preservation projects is not a complicated task. Although there are numerous canner manufacturers, there are only two types of canners: water bath canners and pressure canners. Which type of canner you choose depends on the type of foods you intend to can. 

Water Bath Canner (Boiling Water Canners) 

Water bath canners are an appropriate choice only if your home canning projects will be limited to high acid foods, such as fruits. Unlike pressure canners, water bath canners are incapable of reaching the high temperatures necessary to kill bacteria in low acid foods. So while water bath canners are perfect for canning fruits, they are useless for canning anything else. But of course you can always use the water bath canner as a stock pot. If you are new to canning and you want to only can fruits, there is one additional thing you should consider before deciding on a water bath canner: tomorrow. That is, how will your canning needs change in the future? If you think your canning interests might turn to canning meats and other low acid foods, you should consider whether buying a pressure canner makes more sense. Remember, a pressure canner can can both low acid foods and high acid foods. So pressure canners are more versatile. But be aware that pressure canners are heavier than water bath canners and therefore require more energy and time to heat up. 

Pressure Canners 

As is revealed above, pressure canners are appropriate for low acid foods and are the one and only choice available for such foods. If you intend to can meats, sea food, vegetables and low acid fruits - you must have a pressure canner. End of story. Using a water bath canner to can low acid foods is a recipe for a health disaster. Pressure canners are capable of reaching temperatures in excess of 240F, unlike water bath canner which reach only up to 212F. Although pressure canners are more expensive, they are you only choice for low acid foods. The good news, however, is that your food will last longer when processed in a pressure canner.

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