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Pressure canners enable food to be heated to above boiling temperature.
This is required for non acidic foods to ensure that potentially harmful bacteria is destroyed.
Some non acidic foods may be made sufficiently acidic by the addition of vinegar or lemon juice but this is not always desirable.
The price difference between canners represents the difference in quality and design. The All American canners are the highest quality canner currently on the market. They use a metal on metal seal, removing the need for a rubber gasket.
Choose a canner according to the number of jars you want to process at one time: for most customers this is usually a size between 20 and 30 quarts / litres.
Pressure canners currently only come in stove top versions and not as an electric unit. Due to the weight of a heavy canner they are not suitable for glass stove tops. The canner will not work on an induction stovetop.
Many preservers have a standalone gas burner for use with their pressure canner, as this also allows easier access than may be afforded by a stovetop with an exhaust hood.