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Canning, Freezing and Drying: Best Canner for a beginner?

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araness
Auburn, AL
(Zone 8a)

April 4, 2011
6:53 PM

Post #8472447

For several years I've thought about taking up canning, but lack of space etc always made me hesitate. Now that we've moved into a larger home and I have once again have my garden in place I'd like to start. My main focus will be on tomatoes, pickles, jellies. I'll try cream corn and beans if I find them available at my local farmers market.

Below is a link to a pressure canner I'd love feedback.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000QJJ9NY/ref=s9_simh_gw_p79_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=10PC46J17VDYGABRFH0K&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

April 7, 2011
12:10 PM

Post #8478591

My beginner canner, 36 years ago, is still my best canner. I love all the safety features, such as the locking knobs all around it. Mine (All-American) is far more expensive than what you show above, but worth every penny to me, and going strong after 36 years. I expect it will outlive my niece who will inherit it.

All-American canners do not have a 'sealing ring' but instead have machined edges that only need an occasional wipe with a cooking oil to seal. My mother was constantly having problems with the gasket on her pressure canner... and now I don't remember what brand she had.
Michaelp
Glendale, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 19, 2011
3:30 AM

Post #8639607

mine is an ALL American also, -- just got 120 qts of string beans canned, - I have had several other kinds of canners [all given to me] they were not as trouble free as the one , above, -- I have passed all the rest of them on to others, - I thought about getting a second all american, -- but when I read the cost of them today, -- I was shocked, -- mine [21 qt] was less then $100 when I got it, -- - Michael Porter
Carolinorygun
St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

June 19, 2011
2:45 PM

Post #8640729

I have a 21-quart All-American and two Presto canners, a 23-quart and a 12-quart (harvest gold enamel, which tells you how old that one is).

My favorite is the All-American; however, the cost difference is significant and in my personal opinion the Presto is the best value, especially for a beginning canner. It is very reliable and the gasket needs replacement far less often than you would think.

I would recommend going up to a 23-quart rather than the 16-quart. The cost difference is less than $10.00 and you'll be able to stack pints, a significant advantage when canning larger batches and a significant savings in time and utilities. Do check which pint jars you buy, if you're stocking up. Kerr pints are shorter than Ball pints and easier to stack.

http://www.amazon.com/Presto-23-Quart-Aluminum-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0000BYCFU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308519806&sr=8-1

Carol

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

June 19, 2011
3:04 PM

Post #8640765

Carolin, I pretty much agree with all that, but I'd still put my dollars on an All-American canner, especially if I was a beginner.
Carolinorygun
St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

June 19, 2011
10:48 PM

Post #8641595

I don't disagree, Darius, but not everyone can afford that kind of investment, especially if they're buying other supplies also.

I definitely prefer my All-American, but those who are canning only intermittently may find it's just too much to invest for infrequent usage. I used a Presto for thirty years before I got the All-American. It's definitely the Rolls Royce of PC's.

The Presto is a perfectly acceptable canner, though I recommend adapting it by ordering the three-piece weight, part # 50332, which emulates the All-American setup. A weight is much more accurate than a gauge as it's machined for precision. The gauge is the cheapest part of the vessel. That way you don't have to worry if you no longer have a local Extension agency or hardware store to check the weight for accuracy.

Carol
Carolinorygun
St. Helens, OR
(Zone 8b)

June 19, 2011
10:48 PM

Post #8641596

Sorry. Correction. Check the gauge for accuracy.

Carol
Michaelp
Glendale, UT
(Zone 5a)

June 22, 2011
3:55 AM

Post #8646280

I just bought another All American 921 on E-bay for less then $100 [including shipping] very cool -will get more excited when it arrives in good condition, -- yours in the garden, -- Michael
bonehead
Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b)

August 6, 2011
11:30 AM

Post #8740319

I've used my MirroMatic for over 25 years and it still works like a champ. It has a weighted gauge and I'm guessing was moderately priced - I bought it way back in my poor years. I don't recall ever replacing the gasket, I just wash and dry it between uses and store it loosely looped inside the canner. Not sure how big it is, but tall enough to double stack pint jars - and I always use Ball jars (never knew their was a slight size difference from Kerr, how strange).

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