The 5 Best Pressure Canners of 2021

Preserve the garden's bounty with these pressure canners

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The Rundown
"If you need a large pressure canner that also works on an induction cooktop, this is the answer."
"Great for beginners, this pressure cooker is one of the most reasonably-priced options."
"Saving space in the kitchen, this pressure canner also serves as a pressure cooker or steamer."
"Make an extra large batch with this heavy duty pressure cooker and canner."
"Small but mighty, this model receives rave reviews for its heft and durability."

Whether you’re dealing with a bumper crop of green beans from your overflowing garden or you scored a deal at the farmer’s market, canning is the ones of the best ways to preserve nature’s bounty. You can support local farms, stock up on high quality fruits and vegetables when they’re in season, and free up valuable freezer space. Plus, it gives you control over the ingredients in your food. The jars and rings are reusable for years, too (though the lids and seals are one-time use items). There’s also immense satisfaction in putting up your own food like Gram did, and self-sufficiency is never a bad thing!  

Basically, there are two canning methods: A boiling water bath, which is exactly what it sounds like because jars of food are processed in a pot of boiling water. This technique works for foods that naturally are acidic, such as pickles, jams, and most fruits. But other foods that are not acidic need processed in a pressure canner, such as vegetables, poultry, fish, and meat. These pots have a domed lid with vent holes, and either a weighted gauge or a dial-type gauge on the lid to monitor the pressure level.

Ahead, our top picks for pressure canners.

Best Overall: Presto 01784 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Presto Pressure Canner and Cooker

Capacity: 23 quarts | Dimensions: 15.4 x 15.1 x 14.8 inches | Induction Compatible: Yes

If you need a large pressure canner that also works on an induction cooktop, this is the answer. This canner is made from aluminum but has a stainless-steel-clad base, which makes it usable on electric, gas, smooth-top, and induction ranges.

It has a pressure gauge for precise processing pressures and a canning rack. It accommodates 18 pints (when stacked) or 7 quarts, so you can process huge batches at one time. A nice bonus is that you can also use the canner for the boiling water bath canning method, so it’s a good option if you’re just getting into canning.

An all-aluminum version of this model that's not induction compatible is also available.

Take Note:

Most canners are meant for use on burners of 12,000 BTU or less, but be aware that not all canners work on all cooktops. For example, aluminum canners will not work on induction cooktops, unless the base is made with a different material like this Presto Pressure Canner.

Best Budget: Mirro 92122A Polished Aluminum Pressure Cooker

Mirro 92122A Polished Aluminum 5 / 10 / 15-PSI Pressure Cooker / Canner Cookware, 22-Quart, Silver

Capacity: 22 quarts | Dimensions: 17 x 14 x 17 inches | Induction Compatible: No

This aluminum canner holds 26 half-pint jars (when stacked), 16 pints or 7 quart-size jars. It features an overpressure plug, locking lid system, and side gasket pressure release. The handles stay cool to the touch, but just remember that the lids of most pressure canners are not submersible, so don’t dunk it under water to clean.

It’s one of the most reasonably-priced if you’re not yet sure how often you’ll be using a pressure canner. It’s a reliable budget model, but that the aluminum is thin compared to other canners.

Best Multi-Purpose: Granite Ware 20-Quart Pressure Canner Cooker Steamer

Granite Ware 20-Quart Pressure Canner Cooker Steamer

Capacity: 20 quarts | Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.3 x 13.4 inches | Induction Compatible: No

If you have limited space in your kitchen for multiple devices, this 20-quart pressure canner serves both as a pressure cooker and steamer. It holds 24 half-pints, 8 pints, or 7 quarts. This is a weighted gauge canner, meaning there’s no dial pressure gauge to watch; instead, the weighted gauge will rock and rattle as the pressure builds. It’s affordable and well-made.

Note that unlike many of the company’s products which are made in the United States, this particular item is imported from China.

Best Large Canner: T-FAL Polished Aluminum 22 Quart Pressure Cooker and Canner

T-FAL Polished Aluminum 22 Quart Pressure Cooker and Canner

Capacity: 22 quarts | Dimensions: 19.3 x 15.4 x 16.3 inches | Induction Compatible: No

This extra-large canner with dial pressure gauge can hold 26 half-pint jars (when stacked), 16 pint-size jars, or 7 quart-size jars at a time. The safety features include a pressure monitoring device built into the handle, and the cooker can only pressurize if the lid is fitted properly. It also cannot be opened if the pot is pressurized.

In addition, the steam release component includes an overpressure plug (the red pin in the center pushes out, releasing steam), and if more release is needed, the gasket release window pushes out from the lid opening. The aluminum pot, which comes with two racks, is for use on gas and electric cooktops only. It has a large capacity and the lid twists into place easily.

Best Small Canner: All American 10.5 Quart Pressure Cooker & Canner

All American 10-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker Canner

Capacity: 10.5 quarts | Dimensions: 14 x 13 x 14 inches | Induction Compatible: No

This 10.5-quart pressure canner holds 7 pint jars or 4 quart jars, so it’s a good choice if you prefer to process in small batches, say, as you harvest vegetables from your garden. It has two automatic venting features, including a safety control valve and overpressure plug.

There’s also a unique metal-to-metal sealing system, i.e., there’s no rubber gasket to may get bunched up or need replaced. The handles clamp the lid securely into place. Canning enthusiasts typically consider this brand the gold standard of pressure canners, and it’s made in the United States. It’s heavy-duty, and many users like it for its heft, durability, and craftsmanship.

Final Verdict

Our top pressure canner pick in the Presto Pressure Canner and Cooker (available at Walmart), which compatible with induction stovetops. If you’re looking for a less expensive option, consider the Mirro Polished Aluminum Pressure Cooker (available at Walmart). 

Pressure Canning Basics

The reason you need a pressure canner for low-acid foods is because the spores of the deadly bacterium Clostridium botulinum, known as botulism, are heat resistant. If you remember way back to science class, water boils at 212 degrees at sea level, and that’s simply not hot enough to kill botulism spores. Conversely, a pressure canner can attain temperatures of 240 to 250 degrees, which is plenty hot to kill those nasty little bacteria.

The other critical thing to remember is that there’s no free-styling when it comes to canning, either with a boiling water bath or pressure canning. Heat penetration tests, performed by food laboratories, have analyzed the internal temperatures and processing times necessary to kill harmful microbes. There’s no formula to take into account all the variables that affect food safety, such as the consistency of food, pH levels, size and shape of the jar, and the solids to liquids ratio—so you must follow tested and approved recipes at the USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation.

It’s also helpful to take an online class by your local university coop extension service and to brush up on the basic methods. Also, always read the instructions before operating your pressure canner, making sure to “vent,” or get rid of air that’s trapped inside the pot, for the appropriate amount of time before pressurizing your canner. It’s important to know that canners must be operated at increased pressures as the altitude increases (find your altitude here); approved recipes will offer guidance on time adjustments.