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Canning in a pressure cooker?

Pressure Cooker or Pressure Canner?

Question:  I was told my small pressure cooker is not good enough for canning. Do you know that to be true? Faith ~ TN

Hi Faith, 

Yes that is true. The USDA does not recommend canning in a pressure cooker. It has to do with the size of the canner, the amount of water it will hold, and the time to heat up and cool down. 

When the USDA tested and came up with the time needed for pressure cooker canning, they figured in the time that it takes the foods to heat up to pressure and then to cool down. 

The smaller pressure cooker will cool down much faster than the larger pressure canner, therefore shortening the total time. 

Even though you processed for the recomended processing time at the reccomended pressure, the TOTAL time is less because of the shorter heating up and cooling down time. 

That is why the smaller pots are called pressure cookers and the large one a pressure canner. Some times the smaller ones are called a pressure canner but that is misleading. 

According to the USDA a pressure cooker/canner will only work safely for canning if it is at least large enough to hold 4 quarts. 

Anything smaller should not be used for processing. 

I wish I had better news. :( 


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