Use a Pressure Canner as a Water Bath Canner

Recently, I learned something I've long suspected is true: You can use a pressure canner as a boiling water bath canner. This is great news because it saves space (there's only one canner to store - not two). I've also found that for some reason my water bath canner always leaves terrible stains on my stove top, whereas my pressure canner does not. So I was eager to try this technique.

Now, if you're new to canning and you find a pressure canner intimidating, no worries. Buy a dedicated water bath canner; they are cheap (usually under $20) and once you're very comfortable with it, you can experiment with a pressure canner.

But if you're an experienced canner, you may just want to ditch your dedicated water bath canner.

There's just one little caveat: The pressure canner must be large enough that at least two inches of water can sit above the jars you are canning.

How to Use a Pressure Canner as a Water Bath Canner

1. Leave the rack in the bottom of the pressure canner.

2. Place filled jars in the canner; fill the canner with water, making sure there is at least two inches of water above the jars.

3. Place the lid on the canner, but do not lock the lid.

4. Leave the vent off the canner during the entire canning process.

5. Bring the water in the canner to a boil and process just as if you were using a dedicated water bath canner.

If the pressure canner can accommodate and double load (one set of jars stacked on top of another), do not use it this way when using it as a water bath canner. Place only a single layer of jars in the canner, or the jars may not seal properly.

It works great!

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1 comment

  1. I just purchased a pressure canner and was pleased, as you said, to discover it can be used as a water bath canner. Our space is very limited, and we're getting ready to downsize even further. I don't have much experience with a pressure canner but I'm looking forward to breaking it in over the weekend. I've enjoyed looking at your blog ~ it helped me identify some sunberries I found growing in my yard last week.