What's the difference between pressure canners and pressure cookers?
There are a few important differences to be aware of. Pressure canners can be used as pressure cookers, but pressure cookers must meet certain requirements before they can be safe for canning.
A pressure canner can be used as both a pressure cooker and a canner. It uses steam under pressure to cook foods. It is typically large in size and must be able to hold at least 4 quart jars inside. If the size is too small, the foods will be under processed because of the quick rise and fall in temperature.
The pressure setting used when canning foods is determined based on the size of jars you use, the altitude of your location, and the acidity of the food being canned. Pressure canners have three settings, unlike pressure cookers which have only two. When canning, you can increase the pressure high enough to kill bacteria in order to properly preserve specific foods.
When canning foods low in acidity, such as meats and fish, it is important that a pressure gauge be present with the valve on the canner. The pressure gauge must be monitored, and heat adjusted, during the canning process to maintain the recommended level of pressure for a specific length of time. This ensures safe cooking of certain foods.
If your canner has only the valve, much like a cooker, it should only be used for canning specific high acid foods. If you want to safely process low acid foods, make sure that the canner you purchase has a pressure gauge.
Canners are heavier to handle and because of their larger size are not practical for every day cooking.
Pressure cookers can be used as canners if they meet certain requirements. To be safe for canning, your cooker must be large in size (must hold 4 quart jars inside) and must also have a gauge to monitor and maintain appropriate heat during cooking process.
In general, if you do not plan to use your cooker for canning food, you can use a small cooker which makes it convenient for speedy, every day cooking. Just like a canner, a cooker also uses steam under pressure to shorten the amount of cooking time. Meat is very tender when pressure cooked and cooking rice, wheat and pasta extremely fast and easy.
Pressure cookers are sealed with rubber gaskets to create an airtight environment and prevent steam from escaping. The amount of pressure inside during the cooking process is regulated by a valve in the locking lid. My favorite canner is the All American Pressure Canner because of its gasket-free sealing system. It is designed to seal the lid tightly without the use of a rubber gasket. You never have to worry about replacing a gasket.
There are two main types of cookers...electrical and stove top. An electrical cooker simply plugs into the wall. After selecting the amount of time and pressure you want to process your food, you can simply leave the pressure cooker unattended while it does its job. Once its finished cooking, you can either quickly release the pressure or you can let it come down naturally. A stove top pressure cooker must be brought up and kept at the right pressure. It's not a good idea to leave it unattended while it processes the food.
Using a pressure canner or cooker is a great way to create fast, delicious meals or canned food items without compromising flavor. The All American Pressure Canner is what I have personally used and wrote a review on that you can read by clicking the link below.
To your cooking success!
Read more reviews on the All American Pressure Canner