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MsCowpea March 17, 2006 01:26 PM

Pressure Canners
the pressure canner purchase really deserves a thread of its own.

I need to buy one. " Clay 199

I agree, down here the 3 main choices seem to be Presto, Mirro, and All-American. I have researched all 3 and 'think' I have come to a conclusion.

You have to decide on the gauge or weight kind and then you have to take into consideration if you have a glass-top stove.

Do you have any other brands available in Canada?

grungy March 17, 2006 07:05 PM

Purchasing a pressure canner:
Owing three, I would rank them as follows:

All-American with a gauge. Big enough for 2 layers of 7-8 pint size jars, or 7 quarts.

All- American with gauge. Holds 7 pint or quart jars.

Presto with bell gauge which holds 4 pints.

The bell gauge is the easiest to use, but you must be right on top of it and it doesn't allow you to adjust for atmospheric pressure changes.


ACEHearts March 17, 2006 11:56 PM

I'm going to need to dig out my pressure canner and see what make it is. My parents found it for me, and I haven't yet had an opportunity to use it (it will have a new gasket etc in place before I use it ;) )

I think it is an all american though, and I'm very excited about the upcoming canning season and getting to use this beasty finally!

Cindy :)

MsCowpea March 18, 2006 03:26 AM

I really don't want a gauge type as you have to have it tested every year but will probably have to go that route. There is no where to do that testing as this very urban area where canning seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur.

All-american says not to use it on a glass-top stove (which I have).

Mirro, which has the weight thing which I prefer because you don't have to have it tested. also says not to use on glass-top stove.

That leaves only Presto , the only make that says it is OK on my kind of stove but it has the gauge.

I do have a big camp stove (gas) --so if I wanted to do it all outside I could get any of the above I guess.

GRUNGY, what do you mean by a bell gauge and that you have to be right on top of it? DO you have to stay by the stove and check it all the time?

grungy March 18, 2006 07:41 AM

Purchasing a pressure canner:
A bell gauge is a weighted gauge which rocks back an forth when the canner gets up to the pressure the gauge is set for. As it rocks back and forth it looses a wee bit of steam. They have a tendency to be slightly more "cranky" about keeping the pressure even, at least in my experience. During the year I usually can about 1200 jars of all sorts of food, so when canning season starts, I really don't have time to stand beside the stove and keep a hawk eye on the gauge every second. With my dial gauge, I get it up to pressure, set my timer and go on to the preparation of the next batch. As for having the gauge checked every year - after faithfully doing that for 5 years and finding that it ran true each time I now have it done every 2 to 3 years. It still hasn't needed adjustment after 16 years. If you knock it on something or fail to clean it from time to time, then it might be wise to check it annually. Hope this helps.

clay199 March 18, 2006 12:33 PM

Val et al,
How much time does a pressure canner take to process? I have used water baths, and the 45 minutes time kills me. Is it worth paying the extra money to purchase one that does 14 quarts as opposed to 7 quarts?

I know it is safer, which is why this year we will purchase one.

thanks, Clay

grungy March 18, 2006 09:29 PM

Purchasing a pressure canner:
Hi Clay,

I find that it generally takes about 2/3 the time of the water bath and my water bath only holds 7 quarts, so if you can get one that hold 14 quarts and do a lot of canning it should work out to some where between 1/3 and 1/2 the time. (mathematically 1/3 but with the extra preparations of an additional 7 quarts - 1/2.) Hope this helps make your decision and if you are planning on canning the following: fish, meat, chicken or beans, pressure canning is definitely the way to go.

purpleacres February 13, 2007 04:20 PM

all american allllll the way

about 10 yrs ago a friend of mine gave me her old canner an old all american canner. It was so big with its clamps. Just sitting there on the counter like an evil beast. Soo I said good ness girl your scared of a hunk of metal. The canner set on my counter for about two week with me just staring at it. Then I finally gave it a try. I could can huge amounts of food in it with its double layer. Well about 5 years ago I bought a smaller all american canner single layer type. This last year I canned over 700 jars of food in my all american canner. I even can my tomatoes in my canner no water bath for me. I use the recipe via the newer all american canner booklet that came with my single layer canner. It works for me :D and I love my all american canner :)


hunter April 30, 2007 08:19 PM

Do any of y'all use your canner on a glass top range? I have read somewhere that you're not supposed to set them down directly on a glass-top, but I don't know why.

Granny May 1, 2007 04:03 AM

hunter, you should not use any canner on a glass top as far as I know. The glass is not rated for that kind of weight.

One of the early posters on this thread mentioned that she has one of the large gas rings intended for use with an aparatus for deep-frying turkeys outdoors that she uses. Has it set up in the garage, which would also solve the problem of overheating the kitchen. Last time I saw one of those was at a camper's supply store, but I suspect you might even find one at WalMart in much of the country.

ZBQ May 2, 2007 12:21 AM

I use my 8 quart pressure cooker on my ceramic cook top all the time.

You just have to buy a pressure cooker that is Stainless Steel and not aluminum and it has to have a thick bottom (like one of the multi-layered ones).

The reason for the warning about not using them on ceramic cook tops is that the aluminum ones and the ones with thin bottoms distort the shape of the bottom when they are under pressure and bulge out. When they bulge out they are not in contact with the cook top surface and will not work properly because the heat is not tranferred correctly. This goes for all other cookware as well, especially skillets. I had to give away 3 skillets that were not perfectly flat on the bottom because they would not heat evenly and just got hot in one little spot where it touched the cook top.

I have also found out that regular aluminum cookware will leave metallic scuff marks on the ceramic cook top that are really hard to remove. Hard Anodized Aluminum is ok though.

As far as weight goes, I have had my 20 quart stock pot full of Brunswick Stew many times and it has never presented a problem. I have never heard of any weight restrictions (within reason) for ceramic cook tops either. They are actually ceramic, not glass.

Hope this helps.

hunter May 2, 2007 01:19 AM

ZBQ- Thanks for the info! What brand do you use/recommend?

Suze May 2, 2007 01:46 AM

In general, I agree with ZBQ's take on the matter regarding ceramic cooktops and how to properly pressure can on one.

Just be aware that the majority of the manufacturers specifically state that any warranties don't cover usage of pressure canners.

ZBQ May 2, 2007 08:32 AM

Well, I bought mine from QVC. I can't get the link to work right but this is the item number from it. Do a search for it at QVC and you will find it.

Item # K0828

Just a thought, this is a pressure cooker and not a canner in particular. I can fit pints in it but not quarts.

I don't own a pressure canner per se but the principles involved (i.e. flat, thick bottom, not aluminum body) apply to all cookware used on a ceramic cook top.

Something else I thought of was I have a Calphalon hard anodized square griddle pan that I received as a X-mas gift from the MIL last year that is nice and flat, but, once you start heating it, it warps like a daggone cookie sheet because the bottom is too thin! Then when it cools off it goes back to flat! It just remided me yet again why I should shop for my own kitchenware! I am VERY, VERY particular in that dept., just ask my wife!!:lol: When we combined households I had to VERY GENTLY tell her that all of the things that she had for the kitchen were going to Goodwill!!:roll::shock:

ZBQ May 2, 2007 09:26 AM

[FONT=Georgia]Ok, here is a question for the scientists like dcarch.

I was just looking at pressure canners over at Amazon and there are only a couple of stainless models with the rest being aluminum. Some stamped, some cast.

The question. Will a good heavy CAST aluminum pressure canner bulge out on the bottom like a lower priced STAMPED model?

For those who don't understand the difference bettween "cast" and "stamped". They are different manufacturing processes.

Stamped is where a flat sheet of metal is fed into a press (many tons of pressure) and the sheet is "stamped/pressed" into the shape of the final product. This may take several stages to get to final product shape.

Cast is where molten aluminum is poured into a mold in the general shape of the final product. This process results in much stronger end product because it can be made to what ever thickness necessary.

Stamping thickness is restricted in a couple of ways. First, the capacity (tonnage) of the press to shape the metal and second by the mallability of the metal, that is, how well and to what extent it can be shaped under pressure without fracturing or losing its temper. Generally, stamped products have to be made of a "softer" alloy and thinner thickness to allow the metal to be shaped and bent without fracturing. Where as cast products can be made of a "harder" (or more brittle for lack of a better term) alloy since they are not going to be bent or shaped. Cast products are generally machined on a lathe or mill and result in a higher quality, stronger product.

This is exactly why forged culinary knives are of a better quality than stamped blades.

OOPS....sorry for the metallurgy disertation!!:oops:

What do you think dcarch? Aren't you an engineer? Or am I thinking of the wrong person?

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