Presto Pressure Canners have been around for ages, I have one from my mother and it has done a great job. Here I'll share my experiences with both old and new presto canners. And why I do think they are a great option.
I used to enthusiastically recommend the All American Canner over the Presto....I was completely sold on the quality and endurance. And I do still love it. But my enthusiasm is softened a bit these days.
I do still recommend the All american, but I also agree that the Presto is a perfectly good choice too.
Ha! Hows that for wishy washy?! I guess that is how I feel when I compare. One day I'll grab my Presto first, another day I want that All American no matter what. Both canners get a lot of use in my kitchen.
Here is my video review and comparison of both canners. Side by side with the positive and negatives of both. And how you should decide which one will fit your needs best.
I have an old model Presto given to me my my mother. She bought it in the 80's passed it along to me and I used it for years.
One year I decided to upgrade because I wanted to have a canner that I could stack jars and do more quantity. I found one on sale so I went with a new Presto.
I must say after a few uses, I was disappointed. Oh I like being able to stack my pint jars. That part is fantastic but other things tempered my opinion.
The newer Presto canner is not as good a quality as the older presto. It seems like the metal is thinner. In fact at some point I must have dropped something on the edge and guess what... it dented. Of course then the canner would not seal.
My fix-it-himself husband buffed it out for me and it does now seal again, so I can still use it.... but the metal is definitely softer and thinner. My old canner has been around a LOT of years...and never have I been extra careful about the sealing edge of the pot. Never has it had a ding like the new one.
The other issue I had is the design of the handles. It seems silly but I struggle to figure out a way to lift the lid after processing without burning my fingers in the steam. I've been canning for years. I'm not a total newbie at this. I know that you must be careful of steam escaping. You really have to awkwardly hold these handles to avoid burning. The problem is the handles angle down. On my old canner the handles angle up. Not sure why a small difference like this would matter. But I found it did.
This is the older presto canner handle. See how it angles up, in comparison to the other canner? I had to be careful yes, but it is much easier to lift this lid without burning your fingers.
This is the new canner handle. See how it angles down? I struggle to not get steam burned.
If I had to only recommend one canner... I'd suggest the All American. See my review here. However, if you just can't spend the money on the All American. Get a Presto pressure canner. As I said it does do the job. It will can your foods safely for you. There are just some quirks and design issues.
Consider looking for a good used older model Presto. Be sure that you can still get the gaskets and check the gauge for accuracy and you should be good to go.
Listed below are the models that I am aware of that are currently being sold. I'm quite certain there are others that are older models not being make any more.
As long as you have the correct gauges and gaskets they are all good canners.
A 16 quart capacity canner will process 10 pint jars or 7 quart jars.
A 23 or 22 Quart capacity Presto Canner will process 20 pints or 7 quart jars. This one is tall and will allow you to stack your pints.
I have read a lot of reviews of Presto Pressure Canners. There are an abundance of praises and very few complaints.
The one complaint I hear that is important enough to be worth mentioning is several problems with the pressure regulator.
I had an issue with my pressure regulator once as well. After the canner had been in use for years and years the place where the gauge screws into the canner had stripped. The guage blew off whith a loud bang. The gauge went straight up into the hood of my stove and I jumped 5 feet in the air! LOL Not really but I did jump. I replaced my gauge and have not had a problem since.
These canners have lots of reviews and only a very very small percent have any complaints.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
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by Linda J. (Kittanning, PA)
My Presto Pressure Canner was bought back in the late 70s from a neighbor who had only used it twice. It is a 21 qt. This ole gal can hold 18 pints stacked, 7 quarts and 4 half gallon jars.
She is even "Harvest" in color--one of the favorite colors from back in the 70s. I have only had to replace the gasket on the lid twice in all these years. She has worked like a dream. I've never had any problems with the canner. The directions are easy to follow--it's great to have pictures!!
My mom had one, too. When she decided to give up canning, it was passed to my daughter-in-law. This poor girl was terrified of the thing at first. She was convinced that she could use it when she saw how much she could save with canning and watching others do it.
She went from a non-canner to making her own salsa. I guess this makes the Presto Canner a family heirloom! :-)
Thanks for many years of canning, Presto!