Pressure Canners – Which One is Best?

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In the world of home canning, pressure canners are an essential tool for preserving food. Especially if you want to preserve vegetables or meats. Water-bath canning pickles and jam can only take you so far.

Two of the most popular brands are All American and Presto. Both offer a range of models with various sizes and features, but how do they compare to each other? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the All American and Presto pressure canners (I own both). I’ll comparing their design, pros and cons or each and help you determine which one is best for your canning needs.

Similarities of the All American and Presto Pressure Canners

Both Presto and All American canners have similar safety features,

  • They both have a rubber overpressure safety plug. (I call this the mighty plug in my Canning Confidence workshop)
  • Though the style of locking is different they both securely lock down for processing.
  • They both have a thin metal canning rack that holds the jars just up off the bottom of the canner.
  • They both have a vent pipe for a pressure regulator.
  • They both have a dial to help you determine where the pressure is during processing.
Showing the locations of the different elements on the All America and Presteo canner lids.

Pressure Canner Sizes

First let me say that a pressure cooker-canner is only suitable for canning if it will hold a minimum of 4 quart jars sitting upright. There are some smaller pots that are labeled cooker-canner but they are only good for cooking dinner. Not for food preservation.

Both Presto and All American have canners that come in a variety of sizes that you might want.

  • The smallest suitable for canning will hold 4 quart jars or 7 pint jars.
  • A standard size that many people use holds 7 quart jars, or 8 or 9 pint jars.
  • A step up from that will hold 7 quart jars but is tall enough to layer or stack pint jars which allows for processing 18 pint jars at a time.

The All American Canner also has some larger sizes for the serious pantry.

  • The All American has a canner that is tall enough to double stack pint or quart jars. They will hold 14 quart jars or 19 pint jars.
  • And the biggest monster canner is tall and bigger around. It allows for 19 quarts or 32 pints. That is a lot of jars in one batch! (I’ve never even seen one of these big guys!)

Keep in mind with the very tall canners that you need to be aware of the size and dimensions. Most home kitchens have a hood over the stove. You’ll need to get measurements and make sure these taller canners will even fit.

List of Pressure Canner Size and Capacity

Presto sizes

  • Model 01755 – Capacity 16 Quarts (liquid) /. Holds 10 Pints, 7 Quarts
  • Model 01781 – Capacity 23 Quarts (liquid) / Holds 7 Quarts or 20 Pints
  • Model 01784 – Capacity 23 Quarts (liquid) / Holds 7 Quarts or 20 Pints

All American sizes

  • Model 910 – Capacity – 10 1/2 Quarts (liquid) / Holds 7 Pint Jars, 4 Quart Jars
  • Model 915 – Capacity – 15 1/2 Quarts (liquid), Holds 10 Pint Jars, 7 Quart Jars
  • Model 921- Capacity – 21 1/2 Quarts (liquid), Holds 19 Pint Jars, 7 Quart Jars
  • Model 925 – Capacity – 25 Quarts (liquid), Holds 19 Pint Jars, 7 Quart Jars
  • Model 930 – Capacity – 30 Quarts (liquid), Holds 19 Pint Jars, 14 Quart Jars
  • Model 941- Capacity – 41 1/2 Quarts (liquid), Holds 32 Pint Jars, 19 Quart Jars

Induction Stoves

One of the Presto Canner models is induction stove compatible. Model 01784 has a specially designed stainless steel base that works for induction stoves. It is a 23 quart liquid capacity and will hold 7 quart and 20 pints. As far as I know, it is the only induction ready canner available. (If you know of another please leave a comment below and I’ll check it out.) Presto states it works on gas, electric, smooth-top, and induction ranges.*

Expert Tip – Bigger is not always better!

I own both Presto and the All American Canners. When I was looking for my All American I considered the tallest one to stack quart jars… but it would not fit on my stove. My kitchen hood is too low. I do some canning outside so I could have gotten the biggest one but I opted for the next size down.

The biggest one is sure tempting. Yes you’ll be able to process more at a time but there are trade offs.

  • Size – will the canner even fit on your stove?
  • Do you have the storage space when it is not in use?
  • Weight – All American Canners are already fairly heavy, the bigger they are the heavier they get.

I’ve never regretted not going for the biggest canner.

Both the Presto and All American Pressure Canners that I have allow me to process a standard 7 quart jars but are also tall enough to stack pint jars.

The 23-quart pressure canner has been perfect for our family.

Now having said that…. if you’ve got the space, and plan on doing some serious canning those tall canners might be what you want.

Looking down at the domed lid of the All American canner compared to the slightly flatter lid of the Presto.


Gasket? Or No Gasket?

Presto has a rubber gasket inside the rim of the lid. This gasket seals the lid to the body and allows pressure to build inside the canner.

The gasket may need to be replaced every couple of years depending on how much you can. You’ll know when the rubber starts to get hard or you can’t get the canner to seal up right. It might be time for a new gasket.

All American has no gasket. It seals metal-to-metal. There are handles around the lid to screw the lid to the body of the canner.

It has been reported that the lid will sometimes “stick.” This is easily solved by lubricating the lid with a bit of oil.

Dial Gauge vs. Weighted Gauge Canners

The Presto Pressure canner is a dial gauge. You will watch this gauge to determine the pressure build up in the canner. This gauge needs to be checked for accuracy every year. 

The Presto Pressure canner can also be used as a weighted gauge canner with the purchase of a 3 piece regulator. It is an extra purchase…. but so very well worth it.

The All American Pressure canner has a dial, but they are used as a weighted gauge canner. The dial is just an indicator of approximate pressure buildup. The weights are what is used to determine when pressure is correct. 

Single weight for dial gauge, All American weighted gauge, and Presto weighted gauge lined up next to each other.

Adjustable Presto Regulator / Invaluable

At the time of the video on this post, I did not have the 3 piece weight. It is an extra regulator you can get for your presto canner. I now highly recommend getting that 3-piece weight for your Presto if you can.  I’ve got one now, and it is so very very helpful.  

Pressure gauge or regulator examples.

This is a picture of three types of pressure canner weights. The one on the far right is the type of weight I suggest. The base with the black handle can be used if you need 5 lbs pressure, add one ring and you’ve got 10 pounds, add the 2 rings you’ve got 15 pounds pressure. It makes life so easy!

Link to Presto 3-piece weight at Amazon. 

This little addition will allow you to use the Presto as a weighted gauge canner and eliminate the need to have that dial checked each year. Personally, I prefer a weighted gauge anyway, so I love it. 

In this video, I push a little on the All American, but I have to add now that since I’ve gotten that weight, my Presto gets used MUCH more than my All American. I still like both canners…but they are on equal footing now in my book.    

Be sure you check your model number to verify the fit.  Model numbers can be found on the bottom of most canners.

Other Considerations

Metal Quality

The All American canner is heavier. That pot will last forever! Some very old All American Canners are still in use. Some people like the heavier weight…it feels solid. Some feel like it is too heavy to handle easily.  

The Presto is a lighter weight metal. It is still designed for pressure canning, so it is still safe. 

All American and Presto pressure canners side by side.


The All American is definitely more expensive. The quality is there, so I do believe it is worth the price.  But if you are on a budget don’t be afraid to get a Presto. It is a great canner and will also last years.

What is the Best Pressure Canner?

If you go to any canning group and ask the question… All American or Presto? You’ll get a hundred answers with many on both sides. Everyone has an opinion. and some people are pretty adamant about it!

  • Some say the durability of the All American makes it the best. (The Presto will last for generations too!)
  • Some say the cost is the deciding factor and go with the Presto.
  • Some say they don’t want to buy gaskets and test the gauge and go with the AA.

What is the best pressure canner? The one you will use.

My conclusion is…. Both canners are great canners. Pick one based on your personal preference and learn to use it. Home food preservation is fun and is a great way to fill your pantry. Don’t let choosing between 2 good options stop you.

Presto pressure canner sitting next to the All American pressure canner on the range.

Bacteria and Botulism are not difficult to avoid if you just make a choice, and get the canner that works for you. Follow simple instructions for using your canner and you’ll be filling your pantry with low-acid foods like vegetables and meats in no time.

Where to Buy Pressure Canners

The All American canner that I have can be purchased from Amazon here… 

Presto Pressure Canners can be purchased at most Ace Hardware stores or online at

Replacement parts can be found online. And again Ace Hardware is a great place to find Presto parts.

You can also find pressure canners second hand. Estate sales, friends of friends. Look around, get the word out that you are in the market for a used canner and you never know who has one on their shelf that they never use and might let it go for a good price.

Frequently Asked Questions

What pressure canner does the USDA recommend?

Actually the USDA does not endorse any specific brand of pressure canner. The National Center for Home Food Preservation gives guidelines for methods, processes, time, and methods of pressure canning. They have recommendations of what the canner needs to be able to do. For instance, if your canner can not hold 4 quart jars upright… it is not the appropriate size for home canning.

They DO however state that electric canners should not be used with their standard canning recipes. The testing done was with stove top style canners. Electric canners work a bit different. You can read more about electric canners here.

How many jars fit in a 21 quart pressure canner?

A 21 quart canner will hold 7 quart jars, and is tall enough to stack pints so it will fit 19 pint jars.

How many jars fit in a 23 quart pressure canner?

A 23 quart canner will hold 7 quart jars, and is tall enough to stack pints so it will fit 19 pint jars. The same amount of jars as the 21 quart. But it does have a larger liquid capacity.

Presto has a digital pressure canner. Is it ok to use?

Yes! Presto does have a digital canner. And it is looking good as far as it’s suitability for home canning. However!…. there is some debate and I would not yet say it is approved. Check here for more on my thoughts on the Presto digital canner.

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All American vs. Presto

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1 year ago

I am in Canada. I have a Presto 23 quart – when I bought it about 10 years ago, I paid $125.00 – All American canners were $3-400 up here, then. They are now almost $900 for the big one, if we can get one. The Prestos are hard to find up here, also, but they are still significantly less money than the AA at about $200. I had to buy an electric pressure canner because my electric stove cannot handle the weight of the Presto….I can’t imagine what the AA would do to it. 🙂 (I rent, so a… Read more »

Marguerite Cricket Stephens
Marguerite Cricket Stephens
1 year ago

I personally prefer the gauge. I am better at seeing than hearing.

1 year ago

I have Presto and love it. I now know where to put my heat so the gage stays put.

Rachel Calcamuggio
Rachel Calcamuggio
3 years ago

Any options that you know of that would work on an induction stovetop?

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
3 years ago

Hi, Rachel,

Yes, there’s now a Presto pressure canner that’s induction compatible. There are also some other ideas on this page, which also links to the Presto canner:

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Rachel Calcamuggio
Rachel Calcamuggio
3 years ago

Fantastic! Thank you!

Charlene Rookard
Charlene Rookard
3 years ago

My grandmother use to can meat when my dad was young in the 1940’s. Thank you for this post.❤️