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August 5, 2015 Canning, Canning 101, News, Preserving Recipes, Pressure Canning

Pressure Canners vs. Pressure Cookers for Canning

Rick Krajl talking Pressure CanningRichard Kralj, Food Safety & Quality-Senior Extension Educator at Penn State Extension presented a pressure canning demo at our Preservation Station at the PA Farm Show. There were many questions regarding pressure canning at the PA Farm Show, and we continue to get questions about this topic.

As more small kitchen appliances are being mis-marketed for pressure canning, we felt the topic needed some additional attention. We asked Rick Kralj for some official feedback on the issue. Rick provided us with the official statement from the National Center for Home Food Preservation that discourages the use of electric multi-cookers for canning.

The article outlines the following as major reasons that the NCHFP does NOT recommend using electric multi-cookers for pressure canning, and as you’ll read it’s all about the temperature!

  1. Thermal process canning work relates the temperatures in the jars to the temperature inside the canner throughout the processing. No USDA thermal process work has been done with jars inside an electric pressure cooker, tracking the actual temperatures inside the jars throughout the process.
  2. Producing an interior pressure is not sufficient data for canning recommendations. For example, if air is mixed in the steam, the temperature is lower than the same pressure of pure steam.   
  3. One of the big concerns is that the USDA low-acid pressure process times rely on a combination of heat from the time the canner is coming to pressure, during the actual process time, and then during the early stages of cooling the canner and jars. If anything is done to shorten the cooling period, then the food could cool down more quickly, and be under-processed. 

We encourage you to read the full article here.

Just as it is important to use the proper appliance for pressure canning, it is also important to only use jars and lids that are designed, tested and approved for pressure canning. Find out which jars you should use here.

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