How To Use Your Pressure Canner

These are general directions for using your pressure canner.  The amount of pressure and length of canning time will vary with each vegetable, fruit, or meat.

In a small pan bring the jar lids to a boil before you put them on the jars and tighten firmly.

Put 2 quarts of water in the pressure canner. I add 1 tsp. cream of tarter to the water to keep the aluminum inside of the canner shiny and clean looking.

Carefully set the jars into the canner.

Put on the lid and turn the temperature on high. After steam starts coming through the vent on top of the canner, set the weight on top of the vent hole.

After several minutes the canner vent will close and the temperature gauge will start to rise. It takes about 1 minute to raise the gauge 1 pound of pressure.   Adjust your temperature to keep it at the correct pounds of pressure. I always set my timer. Do not walk away from your canner unless you take your timer with you so that you have that constant reminder.  Your canner is very safe to use and I have never had any accidents or close calls. But if you leave it and forget about it and the gauge goes into the black warning zone you might end up with a hole in your ceiling.

When my gauge reaches the desired amount of pounds I can usually turn the burner back to medium high and it will hold  consistent pressure.  A pound or two over is no deal I do not like to be under.

When the timer rings, turn your burner off and let the canner sit on the burner until the gauge reaches 0.  It is very important that you DO NOT OPEN the canner before the gauge reaches 0. The canner is under pressure and you could have serious scald burns and broken jars if you do.  When it is 0,  you  can safely open the canner and remove the jars.

I set the jars on a towel on the counter to cool.

Within a few minutes you will hear the “popping” of the lids as they seal. This is music to the ears! The center of the lids will actually pop downward. If one has a bubble and isn’t firmly down within 15 minutes, it has not sealed.  You may open the jar and immediately can it again using an new lid or you can put it in the refrigerator to use within the next several days.   This evening I had one that acted like it wasn’t going to seal-all the others had so I turned it upside down for a few seconds and it sealed. I got lucky!  Sometimes it will seal and sometimes it won’t. You have to do this within the first 10-15 minutes while the jars are still very hot.

I let the jars cool overnight and then I remove the rings. The lids will stay sealed and put the jars in my pantry to store.

A very helpful hint…these are words to the wise!!!!

  • Always, always clean up your pots and pans immediately. They clean up easy while they are hot but if you let them sit and cool, you will have a difficult mess on your hands.

If you have a jar that does not seal for some reason, you can either recan it or eat it.  When you press your finger on the center of the lid and it buckles-has a bubble in it- you will know it did not seal.  There can be several reasons for this: the jar was underfilled, overfilled, the lid not tighten properly, food on the lip of the jar or the lip of the jar has a rough edge. And sometimes you just don’t know!

There, I showed you how to do it!  Now it is your turn and you can do it  too.

For information on planting and growing snaps visit the “gardening” section on my web page


Pressure Gauge Style

Presto Pressure Cooker-Canner

National Presto Industries Inc
This is like the one I use.

  • Preserve vegetables, fruits, meats and fish wit confidence in Presto pressure canners.
  • Easy to read dial gauge ensures accurate pressure control.
  • Air vent/cover lock allows pressure to build only when the cover is closed properly.
  • Also double as water bath canners for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and salsas.


Jingle Style

Mirro 16Qt Aluminum Pressure Cooker Canner

T-Fal WearEver

  • Quick even heating.
  • Rust proof and dishwasher safe.
  • Polished heavy gauge aluminum construction.

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