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Steam Canner:
Extension recommended directions for use.  

Steam Canner

The steam canner I am referring to on this page should not be mixed up with a steam pressure canner.  What I am referring to here is a shallow pot with a tall cover that will fit over quart sized canning jars.

It is similar to a water-bath in that it is used to process high acid home-canned food. However, there are some definite differences not only in how it works, but in time and ease of use.

Is it recommended? I was notified of some great information on the Safety and Extension guidelines. I'm so tickled at this information!  Really...  Read more here... 

If you've heard that steam canning is not recommended, there is more information out there. Really click on that little red  Read more here... 

Steam Canner vs the Waterbath

This point is short and sweet.  and so true!  Unlike a water bath, a steam canner uses only approximately a quart and a half of water when processing jars of home canned food. Waterbaths may require up to four gallons of water to fill up and cover the jars. As a result home canning with steam is faster because heating a quart and a half of water obviously takes less time. 

Proper Use

The Utah State extension (and now the University of Wisconsin as well)  has a publication on proper use,  These directions come from that publication.  

1. Place appropriate amount of water in the base. Place the per-forated cover over the base and bring water to a low boil.

2. Pack and fill jars. Secure lids firmly, but not over-tight. Set each full jar on the base and allow it to warm up while pack- ing and filling enough jars for one batch.

3. When the last full jar has warmed up for 1-2 minutes, place the dome on the base and slowly (4-5 minutes) increase temperature setting of the stove until a column of steam 8-10 inches is evident from the small holes at the base of the dome.

4. Begin timing the process, maintaining the column of steam following the water bath canning recommendations adjusted for your altitude. Do not reduce temperature setting of the stove. The dome should not bounce from the base during processing.

5. When processing time is complete, turn off the stove and wait 2-3 minutes before removing the dome. Remove the dome by turning it away from your face and body to avoid burns.

6. Allow jars to cool and seal. Remove metal bands and store the jars in a cool dark place.

Utah State University PDF

Wisconsin State University PDF -

Two Styles

There are two types that I am aware of.  The traditional set up has the shallow pan as the bottom and a deep lid that fits over your jars.  See the image at the top of this page.  And for the second type see what I have below.  

Kathy made this comment on SimplyCannings Facebook page... and she has a great point. 

This stainless steel canner claims that it doubles for both water bath and steam.  Super cool to have one pot for both uses!

I have not used it with steam yet, but when I do I’ll update the page with my experience.  It comes with a book that explains the procedures.   Read more here….. stainless steel canner.  

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2017

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Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA, you are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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