The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners

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Snoop

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On the thread about jars for pasta sauce, the conversation moved on from jars to pressure canners. So I've quoted LotuSeed from that thread and carried on from there.

Not to split hairs, but a pressure cooker is not the same thing as a pressure canner. A pressure canner can be used as a pressure cooker but a pressure cooker isn't suitable for use as a canner.

The following link makes interesting reading, especially for people in Europe who can't buy American pressure canners without forking out huge sums of money:

http://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-canning-faq-put-em-up/#diff

I looked for large pressure cookers on Amazon in the UK and saw the Kuhn Rikon large ones. Still expensive, plus not recommended for canning because you can't vent them for ten minutes before putting the weight on. So, size alone is not the only factor.

The 10-litre Fagor canning set mentioned on the hippressurecooking site had me interested. The set isn't available in Spain, even though Fagor is a Spanish company, but I can buy a Fagor 10-litre pressure cooker here, just not with a canning kit.

If any bottlers/canners want to chip in, especially about whether the large Fagor pressure cooker will do, I'd be glad to hear any views/advice/recommendations/warnings! My only reservation so far is that with only two weights to choose from, it's not as sensitive as a pressure canner with a gauge, but it would at least be safe. Plus I think it would be difficult to get gauges checked every year outside North America.

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LotuSeed

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2015, 16:44 »

It's not just the size the matters. A canner has to be able to reach a certain temperature and regulate it. I vent mine for 7 minutes before adding the weight as per the instruction manual. Also, the weights available for use are important as well as different foods call for different processing times based on not only the food's acidity and density but also the elevation.   Different altitudes call for different weights and processing times. I'm below 1000ft elevation so I usually use the 10lb weight. (Based on the chart provided by NCHFP) People at higher altitudes often times have to use 15lb weights and or longer processing times. Mine has a dial gauge and a weighted gauge but it's the gauge I pay attention to as the dial is meant more as a visual indicator and it can be off. Next season, or at the end of this season, I'll have my canner tested by my extension office, as is recommended to do every few years,

The other issue to consider when pressure canning is the jars you have access to. Many different types of jars can stand being plunked into a pot of boiling water for boiling water bath processing, but those same jars may not fair so well in a pressure canner, you'd end up with ruined food and lots of broken glass. Not fun.

Here's a link that explains the difference pretty simply
http://foodsafety.wisc.edu/consumer/fact_sheets/pressurecannerandcooker.pdf
« Last Edit: August 22, 2015, 16:50 by LotuSeed »
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LotuSeed

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2015, 17:03 »
P.S. If you decide to purchase the kit, I recommend buying an extra gasket, or two as they will need to be replaced periodically.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2015, 17:13 »
I don't think we can source pressure canners in the UK. Except perhaps at a HUGE delivery cost from the US !
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Snoop

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2015, 19:00 »
One of these might suit your purpose, Aunt Sally:

http://www.mcm-europe.fr/en/120-sterilizers-and-pasteurizers-weck

I'd jump at the 29-litre one, except I live off-grid and am not in a position to power one just yet.

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Aunt Sally

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 19:23 »
It's not me that want's to bottle produce, Snoop.  I thought it was you  :lol:

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Snoop

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2015, 19:38 »
Quite right, Aunt Sally. I was jumping to conclusions.

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Beekissed

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2015, 00:11 »
I don't think we can source pressure canners in the UK. Except perhaps at a HUGE delivery cost from the US !

That's really sad!  I didn't know that!  Don't know how I could function in this world without a pressure canner on hand, as I can up all our culled chickens and deer meat with it and that's the only meat we ever eat.  Though I have canned both in a boiling water bath like they did in the olden times here in the mountains, so I guess I could do without it if need be. 

I did a little search of the Amazon.com in the UK and y'all are getting ripped off...big time.  A simple Mirro canner I can get for $38 and free shipping is 201 pounds and 4 pounds delivery.  $315 for a canner!!!!!   :ohmy: 



 

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snowdrops

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2015, 00:51 »
I don't think we can source pressure canners in the UK. Except perhaps at a HUGE delivery cost from the US !

That's really sad!  I didn't know that!  Don't know how I could function in this world without a pressure canner on hand, as I can up all our culled chickens and deer meat with it and that's the only meat we ever eat.  Though I have canned both in a boiling water bath like they did in the olden times here in the mountains, so I guess I could do without it if need be. 

I did a little search of the Amazon.com in the UK and y'all are getting ripped off...big time.  A simple Mirro canner I can get for $38 and free shipping is 201 pounds and 4 pounds delivery.  $315 for a canner!!!!!   :ohmy: 



 

Yep, we get ripped off very frequently, you should see what we pay for petrol !
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Annen

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2015, 09:36 »
Hmmmm! How much would a flight be? Almost as cheap to go and get one and have a holiday at the same time. :nowink:
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Snoop

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2015, 11:13 »
Hmmmm! How much would a flight be? Almost as cheap to go and get one and have a holiday at the same time. :nowink:

But you'd still be left with the problem of getting the gauge checked to make sure it was still accurate.  :(

Which is why I was hoping that a large pressure cooker that could be vented might do the job.

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Annen

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2015, 13:30 »
My pressure cooker which must be almost 30 years old has instructions for bottling, which preserving the fruits whole in jars, in brine or syrup. Is that the same thing as canning? Because it also has instructions for preparing food for canning with cans and a canning machine.  I've never seen one of those anywhere either, maybe it was popular in the wartime.

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Snoop

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2015, 13:54 »
My pressure cooker which must be almost 30 years old has instructions for bottling, which preserving the fruits whole in jars, in brine or syrup. Is that the same thing as canning?

Brits use the term bottling for what Americans call canning.

I'm intrigued by your pressure cooker. Is it very large? Can you tell me anything about its pressure levels? The book might say. Plus, does it give you any idea in the recipes what size jars to use for particular processing times.

By the way, I'm impressed you still have the instructions. Mr Snoop would give you a gold medal. I'm a terror for misplacing things. :blush:

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Annen

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2015, 17:26 »



As you see, somewhat distressed  :nowink: but still readable.


I found a link to a more modern version [size=78%]http://www.prestige.co.uk/pressure-cookers.html?material=63[/size]


which might help. Mine has the same type of weight on the top as the 6 litre one but of course mine only did pints.

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Beekissed

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Re: The difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2015, 18:09 »
Most standard pressure canners don't have a gauge, so no need to get it pressure checked or calibrated in any way in order to pressure can.   My pressure canner doesn't have a gauge at all...it has a "15 lb" weight that rides on top of the pressure vent to exert the correct amount of pressure on the steam in the canner.   We actually prefer those without the gauge because the steam can build up silently and, unless you are checking that gauge all the time, you may not be there to turn down the heat at the proper time....and that's when folks hear stories of pressure canners blowing up.

We like the noisy ones...jigglers, whistlers, spinners, etc. 



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