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Old 09-21-2011, 07:09 PM   #1
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So my Mom wants to buy us a pressure canner as an anniversary gift. Any recommendations from the canners out there? I found a pretty standard Presto canner and a higher end industrial canner. Of course I'm always tempted by the more complicated looking equipment, but not sure it's really necessary Most of my food preservation will continue to be dehydrating but I'd like to can applesauce and tomatoes, maybe a few pickled things.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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I don't know but if you find out let us know because I've been wanting one too.
Good luck.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #3
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Darn, no advice out there?
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Sorry, Cyndi, but I don't know anything at all about pressure canners. I don't even know much about the regular method of canning, either.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:24 PM   #5
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Hi Cyndi,

A friend of mine has a pressure canner cooker and at one time she told me that she had to wait 20 minutes for the pressure to come down before she can take her jars out and I forget how many she can to at one time. Maybe my method is a no,no but here is what I do and haven't poisoned anyone yet, I was shown this by an older Italian woman that has been canning all her life. I wash my jars in hot water and put them into the stove at 215, 210 is boiling point. Lids are on simmer on the stove. After my apple sauce or whatever I am doing is ready, it has to be boiling, I fill jars up (making sure there are no particles, always whipping the top of the jar with a wet teatowel) put on lids and they go back into oven, 15 minutes for jams and 20 minutes for tomato sauce or veggies and fruits. After I take them out of the oven I always put them on a teatowel and hear the lids pop. I keep them upstairs for a couple of days just to make sure all the lids are sealed. After that I store them in my basement but always make sure that we use it up within two years. With this method I can do up to 9 pints and also quarts at one time.
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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As sophie said, there are lots of things that the water bath method can be used for. I wish I had a pressure canner (I gave mine away before I left Alaska). It would probably be pretty easy to do an online search, but there are a number of foods which are NOT recommended with the water bath method because they don't have enough natural acid (or sugar) to preserve them properly and bacteria can grow which you'd never ever see. Pumpkin, squash, applesauce, apple butters....off the top of my head aren't suggested by water bath method and those are the things I'd want to can.

Presto is by far the most reputable company as far as canners and pressure cookers are concerned. The seem to strive to keep replacement parts standardized and many hardware stores carry the parts as part of their normal stock. Presto makes the old aluminum variety and now have stainless avaliable in many sizes. The aluminum certainly wouldn't be touching the food so that's not a worry, but they get an old kind of look as they are used which I'm not fond of. I'd rather spend the extra and have the long lasting finish of stainless.

ETA-I think I would want to get the larger size, too. And, now that I'm thinking about it perhaps pumpkin and applesauce/butter aren't suggested in a pressure canner, either. That said, my grandmother probably did both with just a water bath and none of us ever died.

Exciting!
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Old 09-22-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
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Thanks Cottage, Sophie & Debbie! I thought more of you did this sort of canning so, of course, came here with my question. I want to can tomatoes, applesauce and, right now, pumpkin. It looks like pumpkin is the only thing I need pressure for and they no longer recommend canning pumpkin butter at all. Maybe I don't actually need to get one. Looks like a boiling water canner will be fine. hmmmm It's always good to stop and think these things through before adding yet another kitchen gadget

ETA - If you aren't familiar with the Nat'l Center for Home Food Preservation website, it's really helpful. I used it a few years ago for a training and really love it for basic info
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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I have two Presto pressure canners. I did over 650 jars this year with about half of them being pressure canned. I enjoy my Presto. They do the job at a lot less the price than the industrial ones. The newest one out is a short one though and you realy cannot use it as a water bath for quart jars because its just too short. That is fine if you have another canner for doing water bath (like fruits that dont need to be pressure canned) but if you want a canner to do both for you, look for the taller one. (Walmart sells the short one)
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:36 AM   #9
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A really good website on canning is Pickyourown.org!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:43 AM   #10
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I love that website, thanks Amanda!
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:49 AM   #11
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Check QVC, they have alot of reviews
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:49 AM   #12
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I just noticed you said someone wants to BUY you one for a gift. The highest recommended one out there is the All American canner... Just too pricey for me to buy but i'd certainly take one as a gift
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:52 AM   #13
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Remember in Peanuts, when the kids would be listening to a teacher and all you'd hear is, "ma wah wah wah wah?"

Yeah, that's me on this post. Sorry I'm not helpful!
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:38 PM   #14
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So what was the verdict, Cyndi? And WOW Amanda canned 650 jars?! Impressive.

I have only done water bath canning myself but am VERY interested in moving into new territory... [I bought a dehydrator based on discussions here 1-2 years ago I love it in in principle but still need to figure a lot of things out...]
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Old 09-28-2011, 04:44 PM   #15
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I realized I didn't really need one. At this point I'll just can some applesauce this year, then tomatoes next year. It seems silly to buy a pressure canner just so I can do pumpkin There are no other vegetables I'm likely to can rather than dry

I completely love my dehydrator. I'm always happy to share tips and ideas with anyone willing to listen. Which reminds me - pile of kale just waiting to be chopped, rinsed, spun and dried. Oops
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