Pressure Canners vs. Pressure Cookers

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see FCC disclosure for full information. Thank you for supporting this site!

 Since buying my Instant Pot, I've spent a fair amount of time in online groups devoted to pressure cooking, and one question that seems to come up over and over again is: How do I can food in my pressure cooker?

The simple answer is: You can't. At least not safely.

Pressure cookers are not designed for canning. (Although a few pressure canners can be used for both canning and cooking.)

Here's why:

Pressure cookers are smaller and designed for fewer contents (including water) than pressure canners are. Pressure cookers come up to pressure and go down to zero pressure in considerably less time than a pressure canner. While that might sound like a good thing, it actually means canned goods would not be processed for a long enough time, which would lead to your food in jars being unsafe. In other words, a pressure cooker used as a pressure canner won't kill the microorganisms that could make you sick (or even kill you).

Yes, some manufacturers do say you may can in their pressure cookers, but both the National Center for Home Food Preservation and USDA do not recommend them for this use. The risk simply isn't worth the convenience.

No comments