Canning In An Instant Pot
If you love to can veggies or other foods, and you own an Instant Pot, you may be wondering if you can do canning in an Instant Pot. The answer is you can, but it is limited, and not all types of canning processes can be done in an Instant Pot.
There are two ways to can foods. One is called water bath canning, and the other is called pressure canning. The pressure canning is the type used most often for foods with low acid levels, and water bath canning works the best with food that has a high acid level. That’s because high acid foods will be able to kill any bacteria so you won’t get food poisoning. Meanwhile, low acid foods can’t do that unless you mix the two types of food together. That can be done by adding in things like vinegar or lemon juice.
So, how can these methods be modified to be safe if you want to can using your Instant Pot? Here are some ways to do that:
Water Bath Canning
Firstly, you have to make sure your canning jars are sterilized, which can be done in an Instant Pot. Put some water and vinegar into your Instant Pot, then put the number of jars that will fit onto a rack and put it inside the Instant Pot and close the lid. Then run the Instant Pot steam cycle for at least a full minute.
Next, pour in more water and vinegar into the Instant Pot, then pour the food into the hot jars and be sure to leave at least a quarter-inch of headspace in the jars. Make sure the rims of the jars are totally clean so your jars can be tightly sealed. You want the lid to be fingertip tight, so stop when you feel the resistance in the closed lids.
After you have done that with all the jars, put them into the Instant Pot and set it to vent but not to seal. A vital thing to remember is when you set it to steam mode you must wait for the float valve to come back up, and then you can begin to time the process.
Next, process the jars of food for whatever timeframe is appropriate depending on the type of foods you are canning. Then turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure come down naturally, which takes a couple of minutes. Then when the float valve comes down once again, open the Instant Pot, remove jars of food, and place on a rack to cool for 12 hours.
Some Instant Pots actually have a feature for canning. If so, you can also use that to can food. Some say you can do pressure canning in the pot, but it is more complicated than the water bath canning. If you do it wrong, then the food could be contaminated with harmful bacteria, and you’d get sick. For instance, foods must be heated to a temperature of at least 240 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off any bad bacteria that could cause food poisoning. Instant Pots are capable of maintaining 15PSI of pressure, and that should keep the temperature high enough. However, there are mixed reviews on if you can do pressure canning in an Instant Pot, so in some cases, it is ill-advised until more testing is done on the process.