Presto Electric Pressure Canner Review

This page may contain affiliate links. More Information.

So many many questions about using the Presto electric pressure canner. Is it safe? Is it approved? Not yet, but you might be pleased to hear what I found.

Image of the Presto Electric Canner sitting on a kitchen counter.

First I’ll say I do not have personal experience using this digital canner. My comments here are only on the safety aspects and what I see coming from extension services and the NCFHFP. I’m super hopeful! What I found was actually encouraging.

Presto Electric Pressure Canner – link to purchase on Amazon

Is the Presto Electric Pressure Canner Approved?

It comes down to this.  The National Center for Home Food Preservation has not approved the canner, however, they stop short of saying it is unsafe… it is just untested by them.  And I don’t believe they really endorse any specific brands anyway.

From what I understand, one of the extensions is in the process of testing the canner. I’ll be sure and update this article when those results come out. I’m hopeful it will be good results.

My experience or lack of…

I do not have one of these canners. I’ve already got 2 traditional canners that suit my needs. I may someday purchase one of these to try it out. But recently I attended a canning meat workshop where someone brought and used their electric canner.

It seemed to work well. It was an extension service doing the workshop and I was actually surprised that she’d even use it for a workshop until the canners have been endorsed. But she did. And emphasized how easy it is. 🤷‍♀️

You pack your canning jars according to normal pressure canning directions. Then you put the jars in the canner on the canning rack, and set the required processing time. Hit start.

Presto Electric Canner Measures Temperature

This is where I was surprised….. You do not have to put in the pressure needed. Usually you need to adjust your pressure according to your elevation. But with the Presto electric pressure canner handles all adjustments to its temperatures not pressure.

The way traditional pressure canning works; Each food type needs a specific amount of time at a specific temperature. The testing is done to determine what pressure is needed to achieve that temperature for that time. High altitudes need a different pressure than low altitudes.

In the case of the Presto electric canner… it is measuring exact temperature, not pressure. So the machine does its thing to get to the right temperature no matter where you live. High or low elevation.

Traditionally, you also manually track time for the entire canning process. This includes venting, coming to pressure, processing time and cool down time. This canner does all this for you.

Image of both the waterbath and pressure canning directions that come with the electric canner.
A water bath and pressure canning complete instruction sheet comes with it.

Oh and it can also be used for a water bath canner! I didn’t realize that either until I saw the instruction sheets.

For those new to canning –

  • vegetables are low acid foods and need the pressure canner.
  • fruit, jams or jellies, pickles are high acid and only need the water bath.

You can read more about canning method and how to know which to use.

How many jars will it hold?

There is one limitation that may be of interest if you do a lot of canning. Its capacity is relatively small. The canner lists its regular mason jar capacity at 12 quarts, but that is just liquid capacity. That is not how many jars it will hold.

The Presto Electric Pressure Canner holds 8 pint jars and 5 quart quart jars. This is smaller than many canners. Which may be fine for your needs if you don’t do a lot of canning.

USDA guidelines state that a pressure canner should be able to hold a minimum of 4 quart jars. So this does meet those recommendations.

My main concerns about Digital Canners

My main concern revolves around making sure that beginners understand the importance of following every step of the canning process for safe and successful food storage. Safe canning guidelines include more than just processing.

You might initially think using an electric canner is a breeze—just place the food in the jar, load it into the canner, set the time, and hit start. However, it’s important to know to that safe canning involves more than just processing.

Properly packing the jars is essential, especially when dealing with items like soups or other meals. It’s also important to ensure your ingredients are correct and follow instructions for either hot or raw packing.

Canning itself isn’t a complicated process, but it’s vital to get it right. And I always say, right is not hard. Each step plays a crucial role.

Cover locking system and built-in safety features.

Is the Presto electric canner safe?

The Presto company has done their own testing to determine that they comply with USDA recommendations. You have to trust that research. They suggest using standard processing times in accordance withUSDA guidelines.

There is a recipe book that comes with the canner that includes recipes and instruction.

I do think it is a little sneaky putting that little symbol on the box that LOOKS like it is a USDA-approved product. It really is not. Presto has done testing that indicates that (according to Presto) they satisfy USDA recommendations.

State Extension Article and Comments

There is an article from the Kansas State Extension that is encouraging.

They basically state that you’ll need to trust Presto’s processes and testing methods. The seem to indicate that Presto is on the right track… but don’t specifically endorse it. And they recommend that you use Presto instructions with that canner.  NCFHFP recipes are not developed with this Presto electric pressure canner in mind.

It’s a matter of personal choice and comfort level on this one.

I have not totally made up my mind on this but, would lean towards trusting Presto.  They have been in the canning business for a long time and have always recommended safe practices in the past as far as I know.  It is a personal decision. I am strongly considering getting one and trying it out…. I’ve thought for years that if someone would come up with such a beast it would be a good thing! Just remember it is up to you.

Does the USDA approve any electric pressure canners?

At this time No. There are other digital cookers that also claim to be for canning. None of them are approved.

Although I have high hopes for the Presto brand, I would not recommend any other electric appliance for Pressure Canning. They are experts at their niche… pressure cooking. Not home canning. I talk more about canning in pressure cookers here…

And I’ve got more about canning in an Instant Pot in particular here. This brand has come out with one model that has canning instruction. But there are still concerns. Know what questions to ask yourself to decide if you want to use it for canning.

What about stovetop pressure cookers with canning instructions?

There are many brands of pressure cookers. Remember a cooker is not the same as a canner. A cooker is a smaller pot that is great for cooking dinner. I talk more about canning in cookers here. Basically, I would not recommend it. Again you’d have to trust the testing process of these companies and their specialty is not canning. I would not feel comfortable doing that and can not recommend it.

But the Presto Precise Digital Pressure Canner shows promise!

“Canning is not Cooking”


Pin This For Later!

Expand Your Pantry

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 months ago

I’ve had the Presto electric canner for about a year, and I love it. I bought it because I wanted to start canning and didn’t trust myself to get a stovetop one as a newbie. I like that I don’t have to babysit it in the sense that it keeps temp and pressure consistent. The limitations are it only holds 5 quarts and 9 pints and you can’t double stack. But for my needs, it’s fine. Several YouTube channels have tested the canner, and it performed well within the canning guidelines.

Stephanie Brook
Stephanie Brook
1 year ago

I’ve had the presto canner for a bit now. Everything I’ve canned in it using their instructions comes out overcooked. Vegetables are mushy. Sauce is about the only thing that is okay.

1 year ago

If Presto really did do research, you’d think they would be as transparent as possible and make their research available for review. You’d think they’d do everything possible to reassure consumers that their testing was vigorous and met or exceeded standards. That lack of transparency is what prevents me from exploring this canner.

2 years ago

Seeking information before i commit to ‘electric pressure canner.” Do very little canning now; thought I might do more with updated equipment. Will take a “wait and see” attitude awhile longer.

2 years ago

I just bought this canner thinking it was USDA approved to now seeing it is not. I used it for the first time today and loved it but I’m trying to decide if I should return it and stick with the original canner…???

2 years ago

I have used the Presto electric canner for canning butternut squash (pressure) and pears (water bath). The process for canning is not fast—jars prewarm for 20 minutes—and it has a sequence of steps that might impose on a longtime canner BUT I feel good using the canner. The pot holds temperature and pressure more consistently than I can. I lose little to no liquid from jars. All jars seal. The big pressure cooker on the gas stove was hard for me to manage so I always needed help before. So far so good.

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Dee

Thanks for sharing your experience, Dee!

Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Darcy Boban
Darcy Boban
2 years ago

I just bought this from Amazon Will let you know what I think I am older and lifting my heavy pressure canner on and off the stove is getting harder I can’t always wait for my husband to be around LOL This looks and sounds good to me My only worry is the recipes that come with the canner Hope they work for this home canner Mema

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Darcy Boban

Yes! Let us know what you find out. 🙂

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)