Canning With Electric Pressure Cooker: Can You?

Canning With Electric Pressure Cooker
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Canning With Electric Pressure Cooker

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Electric pressure cookers seem like they can do anything and many people wonder if they can use their cooker for canning. The short answer is, yes, you can. It’s not the perfect tool for the job though and you will need to keep a few things in mind.

There are multiple methods to can goods: pressure canning, water bath canning, and steam canning. Not all of these are approved as safe for all kinds of food. For instance, water bath canning is not safe for non-acidic foods like meats and vegetables.

Canning With Electric Pressure Cooker

Ironically, the one way you can’t use your electric pressure cooker is pressure canning. However, you can still use your pressure cooker for a water bath or steam canning. These methods are best used for high-acid foods such as fruits, jams, jellies, and pickles.

You should not try to can low-acid foods such as meats and vegetables in your electric pressure cooker because of the botulism risk.

Canning Preparation

honey mixed nuts seeds dried fruits
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Regardless of your canning method, there are some necessary preparation steps you’ll need to take, such as:

  1. Inspect your jars and lids to be sure they don’t have any nicks or cracks. If they do, you won’t be able to get a proper seal, and your canned goods will go to waste.
  2. Wash your jars with hot, soapy water and rinse them well.
  3. Keep your jars hot until you are ready to fill them. You can do this using your dishwasher, placing the jars in water that is heating in your pressure cooker, or by pouring boiling water over them in the sink. Keeping them hot will prevent them from cracking when the hot food is put inside them.

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  1. If you are planning to use the water bath canning method in your pressure cooker and the recipe calls for the jars to be boiled during the water bath for fewer than 10 minutes, you’ll need to sterilize the jars beforehand. Do this by boiling them in a saucepan of water for 10 minutes. If you are at an altitude over 1,000 feet, add 1 minute for every 1,000 feet of elevation.
  2. Follow the recipe to prepare and fill your jars.
  3. Seal them while still hot.

Water Bath Canning

If you are using the water bath canning method in your pressure cooker, continue to the following steps:

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  1. Fill your pressure cooker with enough water to cover jars by 1 to 2 inches of water and begin heating.
  2. Place jars on rack or trivet immediately after filling.
  3. Lower the rack into the pressure cooker.
  4. Ensure that the jars are covered with 1 to 2 inches of water. If there isn’t enough water, add more boiling water taking care to pour between the jars and not directly on them.
  5. Place the lid on your pressure cooker.
  6. Start counting the processing time once the water comes to a rolling boil. Monitor the cooker to be sure the water stays at a rolling boil.
  7. When the time is up, turn off the cooker, remove jars, and place on a rack to cool.

Steam Canning

steam canning plums
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Steam canning is similar to water bath canning, only you use steam rather than boiling water to heat the contents of the jar enough to kill bacteria and create the vacuum seal.

  1. Place a rack or trivet in your pressure cooker.
  2. Fill the cooker with water up to the height of the trivet.
  3. Place jars on rack or trivet.
  4. Place the lid on your pressure cooker and check the seal.
  5. Set pressure valve to venting.
  6. Turn on your pressure cooker’s steam function.
  7. Start counting the processing time once the float valve comes up, and you see a steady stream of steam escaping.
  8. When the time is up, turn off the cooker, remove jars, and place on a rack to cool.

Your electric pressure cooker may not be the perfect tool for canning large amounts of food or for preserving certain foods, but you can still use it to make all the jelly, jam, canned fruit, and pickles you want.

And don’t ever forget the final step of the process: enjoy your delicious canned goods!

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