Is it safer to use a pressure canner for all home canning?

by Tony
(QC Canada)

I do a lot of canning as I have a 3/4 acre+, organic vegetable and fruit and medicinal herb garden. I have asked the question a lot whether it is better/safer to use a pressure canner for ALL canning, low or high PH foods.

I can never get a straight answer. Its always just you don't need to use a pressure canner for low PH foods such as fruit jams.

I have both water canner & pressure canner, neither one is any more or less time consuming to use. So would it not be safer to use the pressure canner for all canning??

Please let me know if you have the straight answer...Thanks alot, love your site...Tony

Sharon Answers:

Hi Tony, I can only tell you my opinion. I don't believe either one is any safer.... provided it is used correctly. It is much safer for veggies and meats to be pressure canned. For fruits, pickled items, any high acid foods it would be your choice.

If you want to pressure can everything that is fine... but I can't really say it is "safer". Certainly won't hurt anything as long as you are using correct pressure and time for your food type.

Finding correct information on how to pressure can high acid foods is the key. You still need to use appropriate and tested times and pressures for those high acid foods.

I always use a water bath canner for high acid foods so I don't have pressure canning information for them on Simply Canning. My new pressure canner (a 921 All American) has directions for some jams and fruit.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some foods that are traditionally water bath canned may end up mushy in the pressure canner. Salsa is one that I can think of. Pickles are another. Come to think of it, so would fruits like peaches and apricots.

Mushy foods might just be the reason to keep you using your waterbath.

I hope that helps.


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pressure canning all ?
by: Dawn

I just made apple jelly and while my partially filled jar that I stuck in the refrigerator turned out perfect... My jelly that I pressure canned turned out liquidy. I am going to have to redo them all so I would say.. I should have stuck with water bath for them.

I pressured them since I was doing tomato sauce at the same time and thought it would save time! NOT the case at all... now I have to reset them all! Hope my mistake helps someone!

Is it safer to use a pressure canner for all home canning?
by: Scott


In your response to Tony you state foods like meats and vegetables should be pressure canned. Yet at the end of you response you state salsa may get mushy. Does this mean we shouldn't pressure can salsa (it is all veggies)? Thanks!!

From a Rookie Canner

Answer: Since Salsa is acidified when you add vinegar, it is safe for a waterbath canner. But the catch is you need to use a tested recipe so you know you have added enough acid.

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