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Thread: Pressure canner

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Pressure canner

    The wife and I want to start canning. Various vegetables from the garden as well as meat from animals I take and soups and the like. We have no one to learn canning from so we bought The book Ball guide to preserving as a primer.

    We want a pressure canner that's quality. We see them in the $100 range but also in the $300 range. Which should we get and why?

    Also, is there a used market in canners? And if so where does one look?

    We're interested in any suggestions but also suggestions on reading material related to the matter.

    Thanks,
    Bazoo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    A good will store or any second hand store like that has them some times. That’s where I got my pressure cooker at. It took me 6 mo of looking but I got mine for 8$

  3. #3
    Boolit Master freedom475's Avatar
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    You got me lost in the "rabbit-hole" of my computer looking for pictures to share with you! I'm tired now..hahhahah. I'll check back in later and see if I can share some pictures and receipt ideas.

    I have been around pressure canners since mom was using Great grandma's. So I can easily say "buy the "All American"(!!)"
    Buy the 921 for the base model(!)..if you want to go bigger, then Do-It!!..but don't go smaller than the 921 because they will not safely do all the things that you may want to do (like smoked trout mmmm) because the smaller size of these canners does not allow for adequate heating and cooling times.

    https://www.allamericancanner.com/Al...ure-Canner.htm

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    the all american is the Cadillac of canners, buy once-cry once. my wife has about 15 different pressure but she prefers using the all americans. they are not cheep but they also do not require gaskets and are nice heavy duty units. glass top stoves are not conducive to canning so if you have one of those you may want to get an alternate heat source for canning.

    if you go cheep and get a used one, take it to your extension agent and have it tested and certified, a malfunctioning pressure canner is an explosive device.
    Last edited by rancher1913; 05-31-2020 at 08:47 PM. Reason: add
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Bazoo,
    Mother, Step mom, & wife did the canning for decades. I'm not sure about the brands so much but here's what I can help with.
    I think most of the brands were Presto, maybe. Get a good one, tall is better, should handle 7 quart jars (I got boxes of them if you need some), get one with the screw in gauge too (not the weight type, not the ones with the rubber fitting for the gauge)
    Pay attention when processing. These things work by STEAM. If the pressure gets too high it can BLOOIEE. Terrible mess, even if no one gets steam burned. Take ZERO chances with too high pressures, that's why I recommend the gauge.
    Sterilizing is priority one everything needs to be at least blanched B4 processing. utensils should be boiled to death. Never use stuff you can't sterilize, it's asking for a bad case of intestinal problems minimum. Stainless is your friend.
    Get: magnet tool to pick up lids w/o touching while still in hot water.
    jar lifting tongs to lift stuff out of canner while hot, saves time for the next load.
    Lid opening pliers to break loose those bone tight lids after they cool. Less arthritis.
    Vitorio strainer to crank out juices for canning, they're real time savers. A little messy but productive.
    Source: Amish or Mennonite stores. Some online, with caution.
    Meat canning is another level, be very wary of spoilage after 3-6 mo. We did very little of it. That's what a freezer is for. Perhaps jerky is safer.
    The glass jars are sensitive to cracking if quick changes of temps, Inspect B4 use closely, Never set cold in hot canner, Never set hot from canner on cold surface. Very messy, plus glass slivers everywhere. A large cooling rack helps, big enough to handle 2 loads, 14 jars.
    Be very particular about checking lids after storage. Any that "POP' up while sitting are mandatory in the compost.
    Pickled cukes, peppers, onion, cabbage (kraut), are delicious & can keep for years. Tomato juice or any acid type veg keep well too.
    Beans: try the Kentucky Wonders, great flavor after a week in the jar, Blue lake are good too. Black eye peas, limas, can be canned but we usually froze for flavor, yanow.
    Fruits keep well too if in a dark place, some "brown" with storage though.
    Another thing to try is a pressure cooker after you get accustomed to the canner. A lot quicker cooking for stews & steaming foods; again pay attention while processing.

  6. #6
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    I have to agree with freedom475. The 921 is the model we got about 7 years ago and it will do whatever you need to do. Buy one and be done. Top grade material and design, and you will love the quality too.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    It's been a while since I bought a pressure canner, but All American is a good brand. I would get the biggest one you can handle as far as heating it.

    Now, yes, pressure canners can be dangerous, anything building up steam pressure can be. But they're no different to anything else that has potential to maim and destroy. You have to pay attention when using a pressure canner, to maintain the desired pressure, and to make sure it doesn't exceed the safe pressure. I never leave it unattended.

    They have safety valves if it climbs too high, but you really don't want that valve popping open when there's jars inside as it can get messy. You also don't want to crack the valve, after the allotted time in the canner, in order to speed things up, best to let it go down on it's own. Otherwise, you can make a nice mess, and potentially clog the pressure gauge. Pressure canning is a great way to preserve stuff, but steam has a mind of it's own, and if it can get out, it surely will.

    There has to be tons of knowledge online about pressure canning, along with recipes. I personally would shy away from used unless it's in really good condition.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    My brother and I can venison every year for the last 20 years. Follow the instructions in your Ball book and enjoy. A friend just ate a jar from 2011, I usually keep it within 2 years of processing. I have 2 Mirro canners from Goodwill. Maybe someday I will spring for an 'All American' canner?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    do your best to get one without a rubber seal in the lid... like others, the all american is what I have. sometimes gaskets can be hard of come by for older canners.. also, if you see one for sale, be sure to look for corrosion under the lid there is also some accessory's you will need like the little pressure rocker on the lid, a pressure gauge, and most have a wire basket type thingy for lifting out cans.... remember, large canners can still do small jobs, but small canners can not do big jobs... go big or go home... lol

    good luck
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    We have the AllAmerican 731. It is big, and we have never run it completely full yet. Canning venison is easy, I use the raw pack method, cut the venison into chunks, put it into clean jars, add 1/2 tsp salt, screw the lid on, not too tight, and put into the canner, with about 2-3" of hot water. I usually dip my finger into some olive oil and run it along the sealing surface, put the lid on, and tighten it down equally. turn the stove on, when the steam starts coming out, let it go for 10 mins, they say, but I don't wait that long, then put the weight on it, and watch the gauge. start timing when the weight starts bouncing anywhere from once to 4 times a minute. IIRC, 90 min for qts, 60 min for pints. The salt is not needed for preserving the meat, it's basically added for flavor.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy oldscool's Avatar
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    I am sure my great great, great, grandma, and mother never used a Cadillac to can with. None died from covid food poisoning, nor got blown up.

  12. #12
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    ive got an old national that works fine. It was given to me 15 years ago and has canned hundreds of jars of various things. It does have a gasket but there pretty easy to find on ebay. Id recommend whatever you buy to make sure it has a pressure gauge on it and not just a rattler. When doing meat you need to make SURE your hot enough. Only idiosyncrasies it has is you do want to rub some vegetable oil on the rubber seal or it can be a bear to open when your done. I seem them used on ebay all the time for under a 100 bucks.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    One of the biggest tips I can point out is salt. Doesn't take much but is a must at times. We tried to do tomatoes without it once. You see I said once.

    Make sure food is ready to eat grade. Like tomatoes, if its not good enough to eat don't place it in a jar. Smell them, taste them however you choose but make sure they are good.

    Pressure canners don't really use steam, they use pressure to raise boiling point, which if I recall changes with how high in elevation you are. If I remember there are ways to set them weights?? .

    Steam burns danger, danger, DANGER!!. Just be smart about it. This can happen when water heated to above boiling temperature gets out, steam!!.

    Ways to can are hot pack, cold pack and pressure. First two are for the hot water canners. Or as grandma said wash tub with a rack in it. Wood between the jars or something or they will beat each other up. She explained her mom would use a wash tub to do green beans.

    Jellies, jams and fruits are easier than say corn. Anything cured or pickled is also easier.

    Air or a breeze is not you friend with hot jars. Slow cooling is you buddy, cover with a dry towel or cloth.

    Other things that I think other spoke on. Check your jars, no flaws; a lot of work to have a jar break. Clean and boil lids before using. Jars can be cooked in a oven, also can be preheated for hot packing.

    Enjoy try to make it fun.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    One of the biggest tips I can point out is salt. Doesn't take much but is a must at times. We tried to do tomatoes without it once. You see I said once.

    Make sure food is ready to eat grade. Like tomatoes, if its not good enough to eat don't place it in a jar. Smell them, taste them however you choose but make sure they are good.

    Pressure canners don't really use steam, they use pressure to raise boiling point, which if I recall changes with how high in elevation you are. If I remember there are ways to set them weights?? .

    Steam burns danger, danger, DANGER!!. Just be smart about it. This can happen when water heated to above boiling temperature gets out, steam!!.

    Ways to can are hot pack, cold pack and pressure. Second one for the hot water canners. Or as grandma said wash tub with a rack in it. Wood between the jars or something or they will beat each other up. She explained her mom would use a wash tub to do green beans outside and let them cool in the tub.

    Jellies, jams and fruits are easier than say corn. Anything cured or pickled is also easier.

    Air or a breeze is not you friend with hot jars. Slow cooling is you buddy, cover with a dry towel or cloth.

    Other things that I think other spoke on. Check your jars, no flaws; a lot of work to have a jar break. Clean and boil lids before using. Jars can be cooked in a oven, also can be preheated for hot packing.

    Enjoy try to make it fun.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master trapper9260's Avatar
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    I have 3 pressure cookers , 1 is a 4 qt and the other 2 is 8 qt , the one that is 4 qt was the one of my parents , the other 2 I bought at a estate sale.one was complete and was like brand new and the other had some parts missing and I did a search on line and found the parts I needed. yes the 2 that is 8 qt have a rubber seal for it .they do not go out on you easy. there is ones that have a pep cock on it to have the steam to come out then you close and the other is a warbler you put on it that is class by weight . make sure the pressure gage is ok if it is old. I was brought up doing canning. also do not forget some things you can also do hot water bath .It is still canning but not pressure cook it to seal .
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

    dragon813gt's Avatar
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    Buy an All American and donít look back. They are worth the price of entry. Much like cast iron pans you will be handing it down for generations if properly cared for.

    My tip, buy a second regulator weight. If you have a second one you wonít set the first one down where you donít remember. Went through this to many times to count. As soon as I bought the second one I havenít lost the first one

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    I used to see them occasionally at nearby thrift stores but Salvation Army is closing the three nearest to me. Those in the city, an hour North are still open as far as I know. You might try watching or putting a want ad on Craigslist.
    Micah 6:8
    He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

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    I may be discharged and retired but I'm sure I did not renounce the oath that I solemnly swore!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


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    most have a wire basket type thingy for lifting out cans....
    That wire basket thingy is for more than lifting out. It also keeps the jars from contacting the bottom of the canner and each other, i.e. rattling. DAMHIKT is important.
    Micah 6:8
    He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

    "I don't have hobbies - I'm developing a robust post-apocalyptic skill set"
    I may be discharged and retired but I'm sure I did not renounce the oath that I solemnly swore!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldscool View Post
    I am sure my great great, great, grandma, and mother never used a Cadillac to can with. None died from covid food poisoning, nor got blown up.
    people had common sense back then and were thought how to do things safely. my great grandparents did not have Cadillac's either but we do now because they are a better canner. do you only use a matchlock to hunt with, or do you use a Cadillac to hunt with now.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  20. #20
    Boolit Bub
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    I'll second or third this statement. All American is the way to go, and you won't be disappointed in the long run.

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