Are you thinking about doing a little home food preservation?
It's a fun chore to take on and can really benefit your household over time.
There is a few major details however than must be made clear from the beginning. Despite what you might see written on product boxes or on salesy pages on the internet most smaller pressure cookers are not capable of canning items.
Extremely popular electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cookers by Presto are great for pressure cooking your meals but they fall well short of the needs of pressure canning.
The simple fact is that the smallest canners are much bigger than the average household pressure cooker used for meal prep.
Read on and learn just a bit more.
Pressure Cooking vs Pressure Canning: Why You Need Different Pots
As the healthy food and green movements grow side-by-side across society, the idea of minimizing store-bought, preserved foods is becoming increasingly popular.
Many canned goods use all manners of synthetic preservatives to extend their shelf-life, and at the end of the day it’s difficult to be certain of what’s coming out of the can and into your body.
This is where at-home canning comes in. It’s becoming more wide-spread every year, and manufacturers are scrambling to make their solution the easiest-to-use, best value, and most effective appliance on the market.
Lets take a look at the relationship between pressure cookers and the canning process, and answer the question of whether you need a pressure cooker in order to can your food at home!
Can I Can Food in the Same Pot I Pressure Cook my Food In?
Let’s get the answer out of the way quickly: yes, it is possible to can food at home without using a pressure cooker or pressure canning machine.
But would you want to?
Not really, there's no really effective or easy way to preserve foods with any amount of reliability. It's just not safe.
Canning with a pressure cooker/canner is typically a much more involved process. It is possible to use a boiling water bath to achieve something approaching the same effect but only on high acid foods, but it’s certainly a lot less practical, less energy-efficient, and much more time-consuming to utilize this method for canning at home!
Why You Need a Dedicated Pressure Canner to Preserve Foods at Home
The simple answer is that pressure canners are made for this job, whereas lots of the other methods rely on a slightly more ‘hacky’ approach.
A lots of alternative home-canning methods such as using a microwave, an oven, or even a dishwasher(!) have been shown to be unreliable at best, and dangerous at worst.
Using a pressure cooker or canner, on the other hand, is to choose the correct tool for the job. No other method will be as easy, as consistent, or as safe in preventing potentially harmful bacteria from entering during the process.