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Dan Gustafson's All American Pressure Canner Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

All-American Pressure Canner Buying Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

I see All-American Pressure Canners, are these some of the better canners?

They are probably the sturdiest, as they have been made for a long time.  They are manufactured with a very heavy duty sand cast aluminum which means that the sidewalls are extremely thick.  The walls run between a 1/4"-1/2" wide, and when you sand cast something it is stronger and more durable than other canners that might have been stamped out via die casting or stamping.  Sand casting means it have been poured in a mold and allowed to sit and cool--the corners, the bottoms, the top have more strength in them.

Does this have a weight ball on it--like the older ones I am familiar with?

Some people refer to them as a jiggler weight, Wisconsin Aluminum calls them a regulator weight.  It can be set at 5, 10, or 15 pound pressure.  It is not a ball, but it is round and then flat about a 1/2" to 3/4" inch wide and round.  It has holes in it so you just flip it around and set it on one hole for 5, one hole for 10, you just keep changing it around to 5, 10, or 15 pounds.  You set the pressure for whatever the recipe calls for so you can switch it--you don't have to have three separate weights, it's three in one.

What is the deal with cooking the meats?

Because meat is more dense it requires more time to cook--that is generally why they need to reach a higher temperature.  If it is done correctly it significantly reduces the risk of germs and or botulism--this is why there are 90 minute recipes for meat.  For more information, see the Complete Guide to Canning produced by the USDA as well as the Instruction Manual included with each and every All American Pressure Canner.

How long do I cook the vegetables?

It depends on how you have them packed, what vegetable they are.  Please see the All American Pressure Canner Instruction Manual as it has tons of information, recipes, and charts available to help you cook vegetables appropriately.  Each category, seafood, vegetables, foul, have their own sections within that manual.

Does canning destroy the nutrients in your food and vegetables?

No, it preserves them.  By canning them in jars, the nutrients are preserved with the contents of the jar rather than losing the nutrients that might occur while boiling vegetables. 

Do you suggest the canners you carry for canning meats?

Yes,  because All American Pressure Canners are designed and manufactured to withstand the lengthy 90 minute recipes necessary for canning meats. The U.S.D.A. recommends that pressure canning is one of the very best ways to can meat, fish, poultry and vegetables.

Will I ever have to buy a seal for them?

No, they do not have a seal to replace.  Our All-American Pressure Canners feature an exclusive metal to metal seal with a bolt down lid and therefore there is no gasket to wear out and replace. Other pressure cookers on the market have a twist lid with a gasket.  These canners are made of extra heavy, high grade aluminum that heats quickly, wears well, cleans easily, and will not rust--since the 1930's!

What about safety?

There is a neoprene plug which is designed as a safety measure incase the canner reaches too high a pressure--typically around 23-26 p.s.i.  If you leave it on the stove and it starts to overheat the plug will pop out.  Once it is popped out you will need to purchase a new plug because the old one will not stay in when using the canner again. 

What is the difference between Pressure Canners and Water Bath Canners?

Water bath canners are great for processing jellies, fruits and other high acid foods.  Generally speaking the fibers from fruits will break down at the higher temperatures that pressure canners provide.  Use a water bath canner instead because it only reaches 212 degrees, the temperature at which water boils.  Pressure canners start working at around 250 degrees and are used for low acid food meats and vegetables like corn.  When used properly they help to reduce and or eliminate the risk of bacteria while being canned and stored.

What else should I know?

All American Pressure Canners are extremely durable. They are bigger than other canners you might find on the market so you can generally do more canning at one time.  They have a number of safety features, the bolt on lid, the neoprene plug which pops when the pressure is too high.  The gauge will stand up and release, as well as a the dial indicates the amount of pressure within the canner itself.  They can't blow up!

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