Pressure canning allows you to preserve meats, fish, poultry, fruits, and veggies. It’s a great way to save money on your grocery bill if you take advantage of lower-priced produce when it’s in-season. But you’ll need to use the best pressure canner to ensure you can foods correctly and safely. This model by Presto doubles as a water bath canner, so you can also preserve sauerkraut, pickles, jellies, fruits, jams, and more. This versatile appliance features a large capacity, so it can handle a larger batch per process, saving you plenty of time in the kitchen.
Our Verdict: This twenty-three-quart canning machine by Presto is made out of professional-grade aluminum, for improved heat conductivity and ultimate temperature and pressure control. This model is equipped with a strong-lock steel lid, a built-in thermometer, a steam gauge, and a beginner-friendly design that makes it easy to ensure quality, safe processing. It also comes with several must-have safety features that many older models are lacking. This includes a pressure plug and a built-in vent in the lid. Both of these safety devices will prevent the pot from building up too much pressure. The fact that this model can also handle water bath processing will be a huge plus since you can preserve a wider range of foods including jams, jellies, fruits, and veggies.
Overview and Features
This is a beginner-friendly model that allows even newbies to can with its foolproof operation. Canning incorrectly, at the wrong temperature, can lead to exposure to botulism. This design comes with a variety of PSI settings so you can ensure you’re processing at the correct temperature for safer canning. It can also handle both smooth-top and regular stovetop ranges and has a durable, lightweight design that makes it easier to transport and store.
Pressure canning using a canner or by the water bath method both have their pros and cons. For the most part, canning via a water bath is a better choice for high acid foods because using a canning machine would negatively impact the flavor and texture of certain foods, such as tomatoes and pickles. Because of this, there are just some foods that should only be processed in a water bath. The fact that this model allows you to use both process styles is a huge selling point for any buyer interested in learning how to can.
This model is covered by a twelve-year limited product warranty.
This appliance is equipped with a large dial gauge that allows you to simply turn a knob to the appropriate pressure setting, for easier processing. The gauge easily registers the total range of processing pressures. This type of gauge sensitivity is important if you live at a higher altitude. This gauge style is very beginner-friendly and has the ability to register a variety of processing pressures. This is crucial since precise pressure measurement will allow you to process a wider range of foods.
Lid and Vent
The pot’s cover lock and air vent will allow built-up pressure and steam to easily escape, which will prevent the lid from flying off due to excess pressure. This was a huge issue with older models that didn’t come equipped with a means for the excess pressure to escape. Because of this, older models are potentially dangerous without close and careful monitoring.
This lid features an inner sealing ring that’s designed to provide a tighter seal. Over time, this sealing ring must be replaced since they tend to stretch out, which can impact the safety and quality of the process. However, this is common for every type of canner that uses this sealing option.
This model measures in at fifteen and a half inches tall, and fourteen inches in diameter. It’s made out of heavy-gauge, warp-resistant aluminum. This type of material provides even heating, with a lightweight design that makes moving it from surface to surface, a breeze. This is an extra-large canner, so it can easily handle processing more jars per batch. This equals less time in the kitchen, which is something any cook can appreciate. Use the included canning rack to stack jars of all sizes for safer processing.
This is a twenty-three-quart model. This is a much larger capacity compared to other models in this price range. This size is perfect for the serious canner who has several jars to process at the end of a harvest.
Water Bath Canning
There are some foods you just can’t process in a standard pressure canner. This includes acidic foods like pickles, jellies, tomatoes, and salsa. Typically, those are the foods that would be processed via the water bath method. This model can be used for both types of processes, making it very versatile and convenient.
In terms of care and maintenance, the pot must be cleaned with non-abrasive cleaners. For the exterior, you can use a metal polish approved for aluminum. Since this model can work as a pressure cooker as well, you’ll need to take extra care to avoid cross-contamination. To learn more, read my guide on how to clean a pressure cooker.
What it Can Do
Because of microorganisms, some foods can spoil at a much faster rate. Fortunately, these foods can be preserved by canning them. This process will eliminate bacteria, and safely preserve certain food types for up to one to two years. This particular model can handle low acid foods by reaching a much higher temperature than what the water bath processing method offers. It has a much higher processing capacity of twenty-three-quarts, which is large enough to handle several jars per batch. Since it’s made out of aluminum, it offers better than average heat conductivity for even and faster processing.
This model makes it easy to control and monitor pressure levels and temperature. It even comes with a built-in thermometer, so you can ensure the pot has reached the perfect temperature based on the type of food you’re processing. The built-in valve locks offer a superior seal compared to lower-priced models that feature valves that must be replaced often.
The built-in steam gauge gives you the ability to easily view and adjust the PSI setting for safer, more precise processing.
The safety handles will allow you to move the canner even immediately after use when the rest of the pot is hot to the touch.
The overpressure plug is an excellent safety feature that ensures the pot will not explode, in the event the vent is unable to expel the built-up pressure fast enough. The small black plug is made out of rubber and fits tightly into the lid of the pot. If the vent is not able to handle all the built-up pressure, the plug will automatically pop out in the event that the pot is not able to handle that level of pressure.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Safety handles
- Large capacity
- Dial gauge
- Free recipe book
- Precise pressure settings
- Can be used for water bath processing as well
- Replacement parts may be hard to come by
Presto Versus T-Fal Pressure Cooker and Canner
The competing model by T-Fal has a smaller capacity of twenty-two quarts and only offers a few pressure settings at five, ten, and fifteen PSI. It’s also made out of heavy-duty aluminum and comes equipped with a sure-locking lid system. However, it cannot be used on smooth stovetops, instead, it’s designed for use on coil and gas-burner stovetops only. The five-point security system features an overpressure steam release safety plug that will pop out in the event the pot builds up too much pressure.
The secure locking lid cannot be opened once the pot is pressurized, which is a great safety feature to have in homes with small children or for people who are new to canning and don’t realize the dangers of opening a pot when it’s in the middle of processing. While both models are equipped with some of the same features and are offered at a comparable price, this model by Presto is by far the better buy considering it’s higher processing capacity, versatility, and the wider range of pressure settings to choose from.
Conclusion and Rating
If you’re looking for a model that offers a higher canning capacity, one that’s loaded with precise temperature and pressure settings, safety features, and a lightweight, durable design, then your search is over. This model is perfect for beginners, thanks to the dial gauge, built-in safety features, and low-maintenance design.
The larger capacity allows you to easily handle processing bigger batches, which equals less time in the kitchen. The fact that this model can also be used for water bath processing is a huge plus for the avid canner. Easy to use, built to last, and designed with the beginner in mind, I gave this model a rating of five out of five stars.