Individuals are often confused about the capabilities of pressure canners and pressure cookers. Many often wonder if the two can be used interchangeably; can pressure cooker be used for canning and can pressure canner for pressurizing? Although pressure cookers and pressure canners almost look similar design-wise, they are actually quite different, in their function and mechanism.
Pressure cookers function by using steam and heat. Pressure canners essentially operate in the same manner except that they are much more efficient; maintaining higher levels of pressure and temperatures inside the cooking pot. This is important for destroying harmful botulism bacteria found in improperly canned foods.
Is Canning a Feature of The Pressure Cooker?
A pressure cooker is an effective tool that produces healthy and nutritious dishes in half the time taken for other traditional cooking techniques. Nonetheless, you should never use pressure cookers for canning. This is because pressure cookers are simply not designed to function in the same way as a canner.
Fist and foremost, pressure cookers are designed to prepare food quickly while pressure canners are used for canning food safely to destroy harmful botulism bacteria growth. When using pressure cookers, simply place the food in the middle of the cooking container. There is no need to monitor the pressure or temperature of the cooker throughout the cooking process.
Secondly, pressure cookers are not designed for monitoring the accurate temperature and pressure – the important component of the canning process. Your pressure cooker may be able to handle small jars of food and even bring them up to pressure. However, there is really no way of measuring accurate temperature or pressure. So, when canning using a pressure cooker, there is no way of telling whether your food has been canned properly.
Since you would be incapable of monitoring the pressure or the temperature, never attempt to use the pressure cooker for canning purposes. As such, only use the pressure cooker for pressure cooking and not for any other purposes.
Conversely, can pressure canner be used as pressure cookers?
While pressure canners are capable of cooking certain types of food, always monitor the temperature and pressure inside the container. Monitoring ensures that constant pressure is maintained and it will eliminate any safety issues that you might be facing. This means that using pressure canners is a lot more time-consuming than preparing food with a pressure cooker.
Before you attempt to use a pressure canner for pressure cooking, be sure to check the manual of the model that you are using to verify its safety and effectiveness. If you do use a pressure canner for pressure cooking, try and avoid preparing food that can foam up or create bubbles. These foods may potentially clog up the steam vent of the canner. Consequently, it will cause pressure to build excessively, which could present a danger to the user.