A Pressure canner is a wonderful piece of cookware that is a must for anyone who likes to can foods. Canners not only make life easy for processing excess produce but they are essential if you want to avoid food poisoning. That's not to say that you will definitely suffer from food poisoning with other methods but you greatly reduce your risks.
The reason why a this method reduces the problem of food poisoning is that they create high temperatures - a lot higher than water bath canners...and high temperatures are needed to prevent the growth of bacteria in foods.
The types of foods that should be processed in a pressure canner include meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products and most vegetables, in fact any Low-acidic foods are the main types of foods are suitable. The reason for this is that they are not acidic enough to prevent bacterial growth. The ideal temperature to prevent bacterial growth in these types of foods is at least 240F.
Most fruits and some types of tomatoes are acidic so you should be able to get away with processing these in a water bath canner.
What are the many advantages:
* They reduce the need to sterilize jars before canning.
* They use less water than water bath canning. Water canning needs to have the jars completely covered whereas pressure canners only need a small amount of water in the base.
* The processing time is shortened with a pressure canner.
* They can be used for non-acidic foods and acidic foods. Water bath canners on the other hand can only process acidic foods.
One of the most popular brands is the All American Pressure Canner. Available in a variety of sizes, this canner is strong and sturdy and made in the USA.
It's not uncommon to hear stories of people who are still using their All American Pressure Cooker after 30 or 40 years of use!