The 7 Best Pressure Canners in 2021

Pots in various sizes for your pressure canning needs

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products, and articles are reviewed by healthcare professionals for medical accuracy. You can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Cooking Pressure Canners

The Spruce Eats / Chloe Jeong

There's only one safe way to can low-acid foods like corn, beans, and pork without pickling them: Use a pressure canner. The large pot creates a tight seal, heating water above its boiling point and trapping steam to create pressure. The ultra-high temperature kills bacteria—most importantly, those that cause botulism—according to the CDC.

Pressure cookers resemble pressure canners, but they're not always dual-purpose, even when marketed that way. The ones that are right for the job must pass two safety checks: The first, by Underwriter Laboratories, certifies that it works safely (look for the UL approval symbol stamped on the pot's bottom) and the second, regulated by the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP), ensures that the food sealed inside jars is safe to eat.

The NCHFP doesn't approve specific models, so you must look for several features: Will the canner hold four quart-sized jars? Can you vent, monitor, and adjust its pressure? Does it work on a stovetop or pressurize and depressurize as slowly as a stovetop pressure canner? All of those answers should be "yes" if you want to use the device for pressure canning.

Always read and follow your canner's directions, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture instructions to ensure that your canned food is safe to eat.

With those guidelines top of mind, here are the best pressure canners on the market.

Our Top Picks
This classic canner has a 16-quart capacity and resembles models used to set USDA pressure canning guidelines.
Read Review
This model weighs less than 11 pounds when empty, holds 20 pint jars, and isn't too heavy when fully loaded.
Read Review
This pressure canner is among the smallest on the market that meets NCHFP guidelines.
Read Review
For a large-capacity canner on a budget, Mirro's 22-quart model may fit your needs.
Read Review
Consider this model a smart canner.
Read Review
Best for Induction Ranges:
Presto Pressure Canner and Cooker at Amazon
It also works on gas, electric, and smooth-top ranges.
Read Review
For those who want one pot that will steam tamales, cook beans, and can soups, consider this compact canner.
Read Review

Best Overall: Presto 01755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Canner and Cooker

presto-aluminum-canner-pressure-cooker
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Durable

  • Midsize capacity

  • Works on most cooktops

What We Don't Like
  • Need recalibration occasionally

  • Holds quarts only when pressure canning

This classic 16-quart pressure canner has stood the test of time and resembles models the USDA used to set its pressure canning guidelines.

It holds 10 pint-sized jars, and like many larger canners, it can also hold seven quart-sized jars. It even doubles as a water-bath canner for pint and half-pint jars (but not quart jars) of high-acid foods. Our tester loved the versatility of this pot, noting one pot can be used for multiple home-canning projects.

This aluminum pressure canner works on gas, electric, and glass ranges, but not induction cooktops. The dial pressure gauge helps you adjust the pressure needed for safe canning at high altitudes, and the 35-page instruction manual includes recipes for pressure canning, water-bath canning, and pressure cooking.

Liquid Capacity: 16 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 13 half-pints, 10 pints, 7 quarts | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 17.31 x 13.62 x 11.81 inches | Weight: 8.88 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"It works precisely as a pressure canner should: safely, efficiently, and with minimal hassle." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Large-Capacity: Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

presto-pressure-canner
What We Like
  • Large capacity

  • Works on most cooktops

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Needs recalibration occasionally

  • Not compatible with induction cooktops

A bumper crop or large catch calls for a large-capacity canner. The trick is balancing size vs. weight. Larger pressure canners are available, but this 23-quart model weighs less than 11 pounds when empty, holds 20 pint-sized jars, and isn't too heavy to lift when fully loaded. You'll need to stack the jars to fit that many pints, which is easiest if you purchase a second rack.

The canner's dial gauge makes necessary altitude adjustments easily, but like all dial gauges, it should be tested and recalibrated occasionally. The aluminum pot can double as a water-bath canner for all jar sizes and works on gas and electric stoves. Newer glass cooktops may support its loaded weight, but you should check your stove's rating first.

Liquid Capacity: 23 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 26 half-pints, 20 pints, 7 quarts | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 17.5 x 13.5 x 15.5 inches | Weight: 10.32 pounds

What The Experts Say

"Today’s pressure canners may have a dial gauge for indicating the pressure or a weighted gauge, for indicating and regulating the pressure. Dial gauge canners will usually have a counterweight or pressure regulator for sealing off the open vent pipe to pressurize the canner. Pressure readings on a dial gauge canner are only registered on the dial and only the dial should be used as an indication of the pressure in the canner." - Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Professor Emerita and Extension Food Safety Specialist at University of Georgia

Best Small-Capacity: All American 10.5 Quart Pressure Cooker & Canner

All American 10-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker Canner
What We Like
  • Takes up minimal space

  • Seals without a gasket

  • Reliable

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Heavy

If you can small batches and treat your pressure canner with love, a small-capacity canner can last a lifetime. All American makes some of the sturdiest and most reliable canners out there, but they're also among the heaviest and most expensive.

This 10.5-quart pressure canner is among the smallest on the market that meets NCHFP guidelines, holding four quart- and seven pint-sized regular-mouth jars. Even then, it's too small for safely canning smoked fish, but its size makes it the lightest All American model, weighing approximately 13 pounds when empty.

It comes with a dial gauge and regulator weight that does the real work of maintaining consistent pressure, so the canner doesn't need recalibration. The rubber overpressure plug should still be replaced annually.

Its sealing system also differs from other brands: Instead of a gasket that can wear out, wingnut clamps seal the lid to the pot. Our tester recommends oiling the beveled edge of the pot with a bit of olive oil to help keep the metal-on-metal seal easy to open and close.

Liquid Capacity: 10.5 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 7 pints, 4 quarts | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 12 x 13 x 10.25 inches | Weight: 13.33 pounds

What Our Testers Say

"The All American 10.5-Quart Pressure Canner is top of its class and well-sized for today’s home canners. It’s pricy, but built to last with minimal care." Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best Budget: Mirro 92122A Polished Aluminum Pressure Cooker

Mirro 92122A Polished Aluminum 5 / 10 / 15-PSI Pressure Cooker / Canner Cookware, 22-Quart, Silver
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Lightweight

  • Doesn't need recalibration

What We Don't Like
  • No fine-tuning at high elevations

  • Not compatible with glass or induction cooktops

For a large-capacity canner on a budget, Mirro's 22-quart model may fit your needs. It holds 7 quart-sized jars or 16 stacked pint-sized jars. If you live near sea level, its biggest boon may be the weight gauges for different pressure levels. This is less ideal if you live at a high altitude; instead of making an incremental pressure adjustment for your elevation, you must use the 15-PSI regulator, potentially affecting food quality. The trade-off is that you'll never worry about calibration testing.

Mirro's pressure canners have concave bottoms, so they aren't suitable for flat-top surfaces, whether glass or induction. The 22-quart canner comes with two jar racks, one for the pot's bottom and one for stacking pint-sized or smaller jars. The only added expense will likely be the occasional replacement of the rubber sealing gasket.

Liquid Capacity: 22 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 26 half-pints, 20 pints, 7 quarts | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 17.5 x 13.5 x 15.5 inches | Weight: 10.32 pounds

What The Experts Say

"Weighted gauges are usually designed to 'jiggle' several times a minute or to keep rocking gently when they are maintaining the correct pressure. There are several different styles of weighted gauges. Read your manufacturer’s directions to know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle to indicate that the proper pressure is reached and then maintained continuously during processing." - Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D., Professor Emerita and Extension Food Safety Specialist at University of Georgia

Best Digital: Presto Precise Digital Pressure Canner

Presto 02144 12Qt Digital Canner
What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Simple controls

  • Cycles automatically through processing steps

  • Built-in venting and cooling times

What We Don't Like
  • Food safety not yet verified by USDA

  • Hard-to-read labels for vent/can positions

Presto released an electric pressure canner that the brand claims has been tested against USDA guidelines. However, the USDA and NCHFP have yet to weigh in publicly on its safety for pressure canning. We're including it on this list since it's the only potentially safe digital canner on the market right now.

Consider this model a smart canner. After filling it and selecting pressure-canning or water-bath mode, the canner takes over. It's equipped with a sensor that automatically selects temperature and pressure settings, which as our product tester noted, may seem odd to regular canners. The canner also automatically cycles through processing, a 10-minute venting period, and cooling period.

Our tester felt pretty confident in trusting the appliance since the instruction manual follows USDA recommendations for safe canning. Her cans sealed properly in both canning modes, but she notes it's imperative to follow the manual's instructions for safety reasons. 

Liquid Capacity: 12 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 10 half-pints, 8 pints, or 5 quarts (quart-sized only in pressure canning mode) | Material: Nonstick stainless steel | Dimensions: 17 x 16 x 14 inches | Weight: 20.5 pounds

What Our Testers Say

 "The canner seems to build pressure and cool down at the same rate as a stovetop model. Jars sealed properly in both pressure-canning and water-bath modes." - Julie Laing, Product Tester

Best for Induction Ranges: Presto 01784 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Presto Pressure Canner and Cooker
What We Like
  • Works on all cooktops

  • Large capacity

What We Don't Like
  • May not work with portable induction burners

Pressure canners are generally aluminum, but Presto added a stainless steel-clad base to this 23-quart model. It works on gas, electric, and smooth-top ranges. It's still best to check burner specs if you have a glass cooktop or portable induction burner, which may not be able to withstand the weight of a full canner.

Portable burners aren't a great fit, since they can lack the heating power needed to achieve canning pressure. Besides the stainless steel bottom, the induction canner is essentially the same as Presto's all-aluminum 23-quart pressure canner.

Liquid Capacity: 23 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 26 half-pints, 20 pints, 7 quarts | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 17.5 x 13.5 x 15.5 inches | Weight: 10.32 pounds

Good to Know

If the thought of pressure canning makes you feel like a mad scientist, an electric pressure cooker or multicooker may seem tempting, but researchers have questioned their safe use for pressure canning. Preliminary research from Utah State University found that using electric pressure cookers "may not destroy the bacteria that is responsible for botulism poisoning."

Best for Small Kitchens: Granite Ware 20-Quart Pressure Canner Cooker Steamer

Granite Ware 20-Quart Pressure Canner Cooker Steamer
What We Like
  • Versatile

  • Doesn't need recalibration

What We Don't Like
  • Small pint jar capacity

Granite Ware is known for its speckled water-bath pots, but has branched into pressure canners with a different, hard-anodized aluminum look. If you have limited storage space and want one pot that will steam tamales, cook beans, and can soups, this 20-quart canner may be your ideal tool.

The weighted-gauge canner has three interchangeable regulators for different pressure levels, and the steamer rack sits several inches off the bottom. The canning rack features folding handles familiar in water-bath canners, too. It can hold seven quart-sized jars, but only eight pint-sized jars because of its low sidewalls. On the upside, it's easier to pull jars in and out of a short pot.

Liquid Capacity: 20 quarts | Mason Jar Capacity: 24 half-pints, 8 pints, 7 quarts | Material: Aluminum | Dimensions: 14.5 x 14.25 x 13.38 inches | Weight: 10.32 pounds

Final Verdict

The Presto 01755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Canner and Cooker is our top choice because it is large enough to hold a full batch of jars, but small enough to move when full. For smaller batches, the heavy-duty All American 10.5-Quart Pressure Cooker and Canner is built to last.

all-american-10.5-quart-pressure-cooker-canner-jars

The Spruce / Julie Laing

What to Look for in a Pressure Canner

Capacity

Based on USDA safety regulations, pressure canners need to hold at least four quart-sized jars with lids for safe processing.

Large canners that can handle seven quart-sized jars and sometimes three times as many pint-sized jars will make quicker work of your harvest.

Even larger canners are available, but are heavy and difficult to move when full.

Overall Size

A pressure canner spends more time in storage than in use, so be prepared to stash away a big pot with a bulky lid.

The larger the pot, the heavier it will be, especially when it’s full of water and jars of food. When choosing a pressure canner size, how much weight you want to lift is just as important as how many jars you want to process at one time.

Features

Pressure canning combines heat and pressure to kill microorganisms. To do this safely and effectively, a pressure canner must have a UL approval symbol and meet NCHFP guidelines.

Most modern pressure canners should also have the following key features: removable ventilated racks, a locking lid, an automatic vent/cover lock, a steam vent, a pressure gauge or regulator, and a safety plug.

Material

Most pressure canners are made from aluminum to cut down on weight and cost. You’ll need one with a stainless steel bottom if you have an induction cooktop.

all-american-10.5-quart-pressure-cooker-canner-gauge

The Spruce / Julie Laing

FAQs

How do you use a pressure canner?

Pressure canning is a process, and each step ensures your jars of food are safe to eat. Be sure to read and follow the specific directions that came with your canner, plus the NCHFP instructions for pressure canning.

They’ll tell you to heat several inches of water, add properly filled and lidded jars, and lock on the canner lid. Let the canner steam and then come up to and maintain steady pressure before you start timing. When your timer goes off, let the canner cool and depressurize naturally before removing the lid and jars.

Those are the basics, but the safety really is in the details from the canner’s manufacturer and the NCHFP.

When should you use a pressure canner?

To ensure food safety, use a pressure canner any time you want to preserve low-acid foods at their natural pH level. This includes meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables, including soups and stocks.

Low-acid foods have a pH higher than 4.6, according to the FDA. You could use pressure canning for high-acid foods, like most fruits, but it will take more time and might be less tasty than if you chose boiling water-bath canning.

What is the difference between pickling and pressure canning?

The alternative to pressure canning for low-acid foods is pickling. By adding an acid like vinegar to, say, green beans, you can raise the pH enough to safely process the jar in boiling water.

Without that extra acid, you need the combination of ultra-high temperature and pressure—achieved with a pressure canner—to kill microorganisms.

If you want canned green beans that mimic their fresh flavor, choose pressure canning. If you want green beans that keep their fresh crispness, but have a tangy taste, pickle them.

What else do you need?

Canning requires jars specifically made for home canning and flat canning lids with rings to hold them in place until they seal.

To have the most fun and least mess when canning, you’ll also want a ladle, a wide-mouth funnel for filling jars, and a jar lifter for moving full and hot jars.

A second jar rack helps when stacking jars in a pressure canner.

Don’t forget a marker or labels, so you can write down what’s in the jars and when you canned them.

presto-16-quart-pressure-canner-cooker

The Spruce / Julie Laing

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

This roundup was written by Julie Laing, who has been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. She currently specializes in pickling, preserving, sourdough baking, and generally making good food from scratch year-round. She grew up pressure canning foods from the family garden and published her first cookbook, "The Complete Guide to Pickling," in 2020.

This roundup was updated by Sharon Lehman, a home cook who happens to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. She happily makes space for any gadget that make cooking faster and easier and specializes in small kitchen appliance testing and reviews for The Spruce Eats.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. USDA. USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. 2015.

  2. National Center for Home Food Preservation. Burning Issue: Canning in Pressure Cookers. September 2015.

  3. University US. Study finds electric pressure cookers not consistently safe for canning.

  4. National Center for Home Food Preservation. Preparing and Canning Fermented and Pickled Foods. February 2018.

  5. National Center for Home Food Preservation. Temperatures for food preservation. Updated February 2, 2017.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.