All you need to Know about Pressure Canners
A pressure canner is a kitchen appliance that is used to can and preserve home foods. There are invisible microorganisms all around us, from the air to the foods we eat. These microorganisms cause food spoilage. Through pressure canning, the unwanted organisms are exposed to heat, interrupting the spoilage process. As the process continues, air is removed from the jars, leaving a vacuum that allows food to be safely preserved. Pressure canners can be described as multipurpose as they preserve foods regardless of their acid levels. This is not the case with traditional non-pressurized canning methods, which require a particular degree of acidity to be useful.
Home canning is quite beneficial as you can preserve food that you have grown yourself or fresh food that is currently in season. The process ensures that foods remain fresh and suitable for later consumption. Through preservation, you will not only avoid wasting food but also save money since you won’t have to buy ready-made food. Moreover, preserving food while still fresh saves valuable minerals. Therefore, a pressure canner is a major appliance in a home.
The market today has been graced by various impressive pressure canners models, some of the most popular brands are all American, Quart, Presto, and Fagor. Pressure canners are sometimes listed as “canning pressure cookers”. Regardless of the name, they must all be large enough and capable of holding several canning jars. In addition to this, they must have a stable pressure and temperature to meet the standards of food preservation. Various factors come into play when choosing a pressure canner, some are based on your skill level while others on your interests. Regardless of their basis, this guide will describe the key aspects of consideration.
It is no secret that pressure canners have come a long way since the 1900s when they first became popular. In the 1970s, they were characterized by heavy-walled kettles with vent pipes and dial gauges. Today pressure canners are lightweight and fitted with removable racks, lids, gaskets and automatic vents. Other key features that must be contained in these modern appliances are a vent pipe, an automatic vent, a dial gauge for displaying the pressure level, and a safety fuse that curbs the heat of the canner.
Pressure canners come in two main types, weighted gauge canners and dial gauge canners. Weighted gauge canners have a removable weighted regulator and a dial gauge. On the hand, dial gauge canners have a dial pressure gauge that tells users the pressure level.
Apart from the types, pressure canners also vary in terms of size. The most popular sizes are the 16-quart and 23-quat sizes. Therefore, buyers should evaluate how much their pressure canners will be able to hold in each batch.
It is recommended to choose a canning pressure cooker that can hold both quart and pint-sized jars. Do not limit yourself to only the pint-sized jars. In case you find yourself wavering between sizes, go with the larger option. The sizes are usually listed in quarts; therefore, ensure you read the number of jars a pressure canner can hold to gain an accurate idea of the size. For those looking to put up a lot of food at once, they should look for a canner that can stack jars one level deep.
Care and Maintenance
Thoroughly examine a pressure cooker for any defects before purchase. Carry out different test such as using water to ensure that the appliance is properly functional. Remember to replace the over-pressure plug and sealing ring every 2 to 3 years. The gasket wears out and should be regularly checked for fatigue and cracks. An occasional oiling will be necessary.
Additionally, home canners should never forget to date their canned foods, and to store their cans in a cool and dry space. Always rely on reliable sources for canning timetables and recipes.
Cost is a fundamental factor in all products. For those who are first-timers in canning and lack extra funds, the Pesto pressure canner will most probably be the best option. However, if you wish to buy only one canner to last you a lifetime, the All American Caner will be perfect. All American is a well-known retailer and has a great reputation as a premier pressure canner.