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Grow a lot of home produce? You would have come across pressure canners at least once then. You might even have one at home. Are there any advantages of electric ones?
Manual pressure canners require you to pay some attention to it while in operation, as well as spend time setting it up and depressurizing it. Electric ones allow you to carry out the process in a more hands-off approach. With electric models, it’s basically set-and-forget, which makes them really easy to use.
In this article, we discuss the difference between electric pressure canners and their manual counterparts, our list of reviews on various electric pressure canners, and how to pick one for yourself.
If you’re looking for the overall best electric pressure canner, we recommend the Instant Pot Max. If price is a concern to you, the Mueller pressure cooker is a solid offering at an affordable price.
For larger capacity, the Carey DPC-9SS is a good choice. It offers 9.5 quarts of volume compared to the typical 6 quarts of most electric pressure canners.
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All About Electric Pressure Canners
First things first. If you’re envisioning this specialized electric pressure canner that would can as many jars as manual ones are able to at a time, there’s some disappointment here. While an idea like that would be nice, manufacturers haven’t made a specialized electric pressure canner yet. All that’s available currently are pretty much models that are primarily electric pressure cookers, but with canning capabilities.
With that, what’s the biggest difference between pressure cookers and pressure canners? The biggest one is the ability to sustain a high pressure of at least 15 PSI consistently. While pressure cookers are fine with varied pressure over time, pressure levels have to be more consistent in canners. This is so that bacteria is effectively killed, and to minimize the risk of botulism as much as possible.
That being said, there are electric pressure cookers out there which have been labelled as capable of canning foods by the manufacturers. Note though, that none of them have been officially certified, as they all lack the gauge to be able to be done so. That being said, a large portion of them is able to sustain 15 PSI (or as far as the manufacturer is willing to claim). This makes them safe for canning at home.
One disadvantage of electric pressure canners compared to manual ones is the lack of volume and capacity. While pressure canners go up to 20 or even 30 quarts, electric pressure cookers are stuck at typically only 6 quarts. If you do a lot of canning, this might be unacceptable. However if you’re only doing the occasional canning and would much prefer a hands-off approach, electric pressure cookers with canning capabilities are worth your time.
For more about using pressure cookers, read our article here. Or if you’ve decided that electric ones aren’t for you and you would like an actual pressure canner, here’s our list of top pressure canners and how to properly shop for one.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For in Electric Pressure Canners
As electric pressure canners are fundamentally different from manual ones, you would shop for them differently. Electric pressure canners are closer to appliances like rice cookers and, well, pressure cookers.
Here are a few things to look out for when shopping for electric pressure canners.
Since we’re talking about doing food canning at home, the more important specification to look out for here isn’t the capacity in quarts, but how many jars the appliance fits – be it quart jars or pint jars.
However, as most electric ones on the market are primarily pressure cookers with canning functionality, it’s admittedly difficult to find out from the manufacturers’ listing sometimes. As a rule of thumb, a standard 6-qt pot – the typical size for an electric pressure cooker – holds around four 1-quart jars.
Maximum pressure level
The recommended level of pressure for canning is 15 PSI. Note that the pressure level has to be sustained as well, not just hitting it occasionally. Lower than that and there’s some risk of botulism.
For this reason, if possible, always look for ones that are able to go up to, and sustain, 15 PSI of pressure.
While this article focuses primarily on pressure canning, it would be nice to also have a pressure cooker do other cooking stuff as well. For this reason, keep an eye out for the additional functionalities a pressure cooker is able to perform, other than just canning. It’d come in handy when you actually need them!
Most, if not all pressure appliances already have basic safety features in place, so you would not have to worry much. The barebones include lid-locking, pressure release before allowing the lid to be opened, among others.
However it’s always good to check what other additional safety features a model has in place. For that peace of mind!
Our Picks of Best Electric Pressure Canners
Appliances built just for electric pressure canning are pretty hard to come by. Manufacturers often build electric pressure cookers that also have canning capabilities. As such, our list consists only of such models.
We’ve also come across plenty of other interesting electric pressure canners, by manufacturers the likes of Ball, Presto, Nesco etc. However, we’ve ultimately settled on our list that unfortunately does not include them.
Whenever anything ‘pressure’ is brought up in the kitchen, the default brand that comes up to mind is Instant Pot. Making their name through really well-built pressure cookers, they’re also one of the first to come up with this range of appliances. With this Max model, its functionalities extend to also include the ability to pressure can.
Having the capability to sustain a pressure of 15PSI consistently, there is no need to worry about its ability to safely pressure can. It is constructed with food-grade 304 stainless steel that is both a looker and offers great utility value. All controls are accessed through the large touch screen mounted on the front that is easy to use.
Apart from basic pressure cooking and canning functionalities, it also comes with some advanced features. For example, you’re able to adjust your current altitude and let the unit do all the calculations necessary for your recipe. No need to adjust the recipe yourself to compensate for altitude! It also comes with a variety of safety features: safety lid lock, lid detection, overheat protection, just to name a few.
If you’re looking for a robust electric pressure canner, look no further than the most reputable brand in the pressure cooking industry. It is easily the best-rated electric pressure canner out there.
- Constructed with food-grade 304 stainless steel
- Sustained 15PSI for safe pressure canning
- Large touch screen with easy controls
- Altitude adjustment for precise pressure
- Comes with safety features e.g. automated venting, lid-lock etc.
- Includes a steam rack
- Pot and accessories are dishwasher-safe
- Except for the sustained 15PSI for pressure canning, no real advantage to Instant Pot’s cheaper offerings
- Electrical cord is a little short
- Advertised sous vide functionality does not work reliably (does not affect pressure canning)
- Small capacity
Being a tad lower priced, this TEKAMON model provides even more functionalities than the Instant Pot. Being constructed with the same food-grade 304 stainless steel, it has a whopping 11 functions built-in, including specialty ones like yogurt making, egg cooking, sous vide and so on.
It also has several features that the Instant Pot does not have, e.g. a delay start function that lets you set a starting time of the process. The unit also comes with a generous range of accessories, including cooking mitts, a steam rack, a soup as well as a rice spoon, a measuring cup etc. It even includes a recipe book out of the box.
However, it should be noted that the quality of construction feels a little lower than the Instant Pot. While the Instant Pot feels really premium and well-built, this one definitely cheaps out a little – especially the lid, which is quite difficult to open and close. The inner surface of the pot is also quite hard to clean, as food bits stick to it stubbornly.
- Constructed with food-grade 304 stainless steel
- Comes with 11 functions including sauté, yogurt making, steaming etc.
- Has delay start function
- Includes a range of accessories including a steam rack, soup spoon, measuring cup etc.
- Includes a recipe book
- Lid is quite difficult to open and close
- Cleaning could be easier – residue tends to stick onto the pot
If you’re looking for an easy entry into the world of electric pressure canners, this model from the Austrian brand is highly affordable. The product is German-engineered and uses light stainless steel as its construction. However it feels rather heavy when handling, and the parts around the lid feels just a tad flimsy. Not our favorite, but certainly could be much worse.
The unit includes a glass lid – which is quite rare among pressure cookers – as well as other accessories e.g. a steamer basket, a ladle, a measuring cup etc. The inner pot is non-stick, and don’t worry, it’s PTFE- and PFOA-free as well.
In terms of functionalities, it’s not too bad but at the same time, nothing to boast about. The model includes 10 functions built-in, such as oatmeal, stew, slow cook, steam, and of course, canning. It also a delay timer that allows you to set a starting time of a chosen program.
It does have its own set of flaws as well. For one, the lid is not easy to clean, and hides a lot of residue in the cracks around the edge. And as we’ve mentioned, the construction quality isn’t the best. Other than that, it’s a rather pleasant experience using it.
- Includes a glass lid, steamer basket, ladle, and a measuring cup
- Has a delay timer
- PTFE-free and PFOA-free non-stick inner pot
- Lid is not easy to clean
- Heavy unit makes it hard to move around, yet feels a little flimsy
A runner-up to our value pick is this pressure cooker by NuWave. Among its range of low-priced competitors, this one functions really well for its price.
The low price tag is not an excuse for leaving out functionalities – as this is packed with 11 presets – including a canning feature. It also comes with a few safety features included, making up the sure-lock system. These include a food blocking cap, a lid-lock function, and a bottom pressure switch. All these combined, the unit will only allow the lid to be opened once the pressure level is safe.
In terms of accessories, the manufacturer is quite generous as well. The purchase includes a measuring cup, a soup ladle, a rice spoon, as well as a recipe book for pressure cooking. The inner pot is also non-stick and dishwasher-safe, which makes cleaning up a breeze. The pot fits 9 pint jars at a time.
Overall, it’s a really solid offering at a very acceptable price. Although, do keep in mind that the product seems to be relatively new and doesn’t yet have reviews talking about how it holds up long term!
- Digital control panel with 11 presets
- Lid-locking safety feature
- Non-stick inner pot is dishwasher-safe
- Includes a measuring cup, soup ladle and rice spoon
- Includes a recipe book
- The inner coating somewhat peels after some usage
- Does not go up to 15 PSI – maxes out at 10 PSI – which is below the recommended level for canning
- Not many online reviews that talk about long-term durability
If you would like something with a bigger capacity, this model from Carey is worth the consideration.
It has a durable stainless steel body that looks good on the countertop. Apart from the non-stick aluminum inner pot, it also includes a canning rack and a steam rack. A removable condensation catcher is also included to make cleaning up afterwards easier. The pot is also dishwasher-safe. At 9.5 quarts, this canner is able to hold 4 quart jars, or 5 pint jars at a time.
Operation-wise, the model allows you to set the pressure at 10 PSI or 15 PSI. Apart from the basic operation, it also includes several safety functions, such as pressure-limiting valves, not operating when the lid isn’t fully closed, lid lock protection etc.
Having just a few buttons and a digital timer display, the operation of this unit is really simple. If you’re a beginner, the lack of controls and options might be a good thing. All you have to do is to put the jars in, set the timer, and turn the dial when enough pressure builds up. No need to select the mode or fuss with the controls. For this reason, this is one of the best pressure canners for beginners, in our opinion. The lid is a little difficult to put on though, but it gets better once you get used to the positioning.
- Durable stainless steel body
- Allows to be set at 10 PSI or 15 PSI
- Includes a canning rack and a steam rack, plus a removable condensation catcher for easier clean up
- Comes with safety features e.g. lid safety lock, pressure-limiting valve, fuse protection etc.
- Dishwasher-safe pot
- Not as well-built as we would have liked
- Water bath canning in this can get a little messy with some leakage
- Lid is a little difficult to put on
- Quality control seems to be lacking compared to competitors
If you love having many features packed into your pressure cooker, this one is worth considering. At a reasonable price, it includes 15 cooking features built into the unit. With this, you’re able to even air fry or pasteurize if you so desire!
Everything is controlled through a simple one-dial operation. On the front of the unit, there’s a dial on the front of the unit, with a large digital display. Combined, you control all of the unit’s functionality through this simple interface.
The unit includes a pair of mitts, a glass cover, a steaming rack, rice spoon, as well as a bonus cookbook. It also has a few safety features up its sleeves, including automatic lid locking, anti-scalding handles, etc.
While it’s definitely feature-rich, it suffers a little on quality control as well. While we’ve not encountered it ourselves, a small number of complaints online mention random shutdowns of the unit. The capacity is also smaller than its competitors at the same rated 6-qt volume. Do keep these in mind if you decide to go for this.
- Sustained 15 PSI pressure for safe canning
- Includes 15 functions, e.g. slow cooking, frying, pasteurizing, even making cakes or yogurt
- Simple one-dial operation
- Includes a pair of mitts, glass cover, steaming rack, rice spoon etc.
- Includes a cookbook
- Safety features e.g. lid lock, anti-scalding handle, pressure valve etc.
- Capacity is smaller than other 6-qt pots
- Quality control lacking – small number of complaints of unit randomly shutting down
How to Pick for Your Use Case?
If you’re still confused as to which to pick to satisfy your needs, we’re here to help you narrow down.
If you’re one that does a lot of canning on a regular basis, a large capacity is a must. Getting a pressure canner that allows you fit as many jars as possible will save you a lot of time in the long run. It is certainly a worthy investment. For this purpose, we recommend the largest one on our list, the Carey DPC-9SS at 9.5-qt.
Say you’re instead looking to maximize the usage of your pressure cooker as much as possible, you would want a model that packs a lot of functionalities. In this case, the MOOSOO Pressure Pot Max is worth your consideration. While it is smaller in capacity and has its own little quality control issues, it has 15 functionalities from frying to pasteurizing, from canning to making cakes.
If none of those needs appeal to you, it all comes down to budget. Considering the fact that a pressure canner is a long-term purchase, the highest-priced unit on our list isn’t that much different in price than the lowest-priced one. If you can, we recommend going for the Instant Pot Max for the most optimal experience.
If budget is a concern though, the NuWave NutriPot is an excellent choice at an affordable price, the lowest on our list. Note that it does not go up to the recommended 15 PSI for safe pressure canning though – for that you might wanna look into the Mueller pressure cooker.
If you grow your own produce at home, or you are simply looking for a way to preserve your own foods, a pressure canner is a convenient appliance that allows just that.
Coming in two variants – manual ones and electric ones – the latter allows for a more hands-off approach to pressure canning at home. Most specialized pressure canners on the market are manual ones though, so you’d have to opt for electric pressure cookers with canning capabilities.
Picking a right one simplifies the pressure canning process immensely. If you’re still considering whether you should get one, go for it. Skim through our guide on picking the right one for yourself and follow through the links to check the latest prices. Getting one saves you a lot of time and effort down the road!
Since you’re probably all about the health-conscious life, you might also be interested in some of the best green smoothies blenders out there, some gluten-free-friendly bread machines, or the best large-capacity air fryers for absolute convenience.
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