Buying a Pressure Canner
Portland, OR / 03.01.18
Recently I met with a friend to pressure can some meat. I have a Presto pressure canner (that I love) and she brought her gorgeous All-American canner to my house. I was so excited to check out the All-American as I had never seen one before (expect online in pictures). Would I immediately donate my less expensive canner and buy the Cadillac of pressure canners after our canning session?
All-American on the left side, my Presto on the right side
What are the differences?
- First and foremost, price. The All-American 21.5 quart canner costs $280 on Amazon. My Presto 23 quart canner costs $70 on Amazon.
- The AA had several sizes ranging from 10.5 quart to a huge 41 quart canner that weighs 40 lbs. The Presto canner also has a 16-quart model.
- The AA is made in the USA. My Presto was made in China.
- The AA is heavier than the Presto. This particular AA model weighs 20 lbs while the Presto weighs a little over 12 lbs. You should not use the AA on a glass top range. You can use the Presto on a glass top range.
- The AA is a metal-to-metal lid fitting. No rubber gasket is used. A rubber gasket is used with the Presto to seal the lid. You must oil the rubber gasket with vegetable oil occasionally and replace the rubber gasket as needed (I have not replaced my gasket yet and have heard from others that you do not need to do this very often, like many years often).
- The AA has a handle on the top that is cool to the touch when canning. I really like this AA feature. In contrast, the Presto has two handles on the sides of the canner. I do not like these as much as they are squat handles and I always fear burning my hands (I wear oven mitts and rubber kitchen gloves when canning with the Presto).
- The AA is a weighted gauge canner. Presto has a dial gauge. You will watch this gauge to determine the pressure build up in the canner. Both work well, it is just a personal preference.
What are the similarities?
- As of this post’s publication, the AA canner has around 2,100 reviews and gets a solid five stars. The Presto has around 3,600 reviews and gets 4.7 stars. Both rate high.
- The AA holds approximately 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars. The Presto can fit about 18 pint jars and 7 quart jars.
My friend and I canned the exact same thing side to side on my stove. My Presto canned like a charm, but her AA was leaking steam out of the side. We clamped all of the clamps down pretty hard and it still continued to leak. We called the 800 number that accompanied her AA canner and they said sometimes you need to can a few times to get the lid to “set” correctly on the canner and stop steam from leaking. This was just our experience, but a disappointment to say the least. She will try to can a few more times and see if the leaking stops and I will update my post with her feedback.
Since both canners perform well per online reviews and we may have had an odd mishap I am not discounting the AA canner. There are many people that love their AA canner (read their online reviews) and will pass it down for generations. I know it is a solid, well-built canner. However, I am very happy with my less-expensive Presto canner. First and most obvious, the price. For around $70 there is less risk if you buy it and decide canning is not for you. Second, it may not be heirloom quality, but it cans as it should and works great.
Note, there are other brands of pressure canners that I have not tried which include T-Fal, Carrey, and Mirro – you can buy these brands also on Amazon. Please remember, when pressure canning, buy a pressure canner not a pressure cooker. You cannot safely can in a pressure cooker.
This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and I paid for my Presto pressure canner.