Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Granite Ware Pressure Canner/Cooker/Steamer at Amazon
"This 20-quart cooker can hold up to eight pint-sized jars and can also be used as a steamer or pressure cooker."
Best Budget: Mirro Polished Aluminum Pressure Canner at Amazon
"If you have space to dedicate to a canning-only pot, this aluminum choice is top-quality without breaking the bank."
"The Instant Pot Max packs a ton of features into a relatively small package, including letting you pressure can without a stove."
"For occasional small-scale canning, this compact choice can't be beaten."
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Best Overall: Granite Ware Pressure Canner/Cooker/Steamer
This pressure canner is made of hard-anodized aluminum, so the pot can be used for cooking a wide variety of foods when it’s not being used as a canner. The lid is made of stainless steel and the handles stay cool during the canning process so you can move it while it’s hot.
The steamer insert fits into the stepped section of the pot that’s about 1/3 of the way from the bottom, so you can steam vegetables, tamales, or similar foods. The rack fits into the bottom of the pot, so it keeps jars off the bottom during canning. The rack handles make it easy to lower the jars into the pot and remove them when canning is done. It's not recommended for use on glass stovetops.
Available in 12 or 20-quart models, the latter can hold seven quart-sized jars or eight pint-sized jars. It has an adjustable regulator system that can be set to 5, 10, or 15 psi, so you can use it for safely canning non-acidic foods. You can also use it as a standard pressure cooker for large batches of food and large cuts of meat.
This has a pop-up pressure indicator that also locks the lid in place for safety since it keeps the lid from opening even when a small amount of pressure remains. The steam vent is in the center of the lid, and if it fails, there are two additional safety valves; the second valve whistles to let you know there’s a problem.
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Best Budget: Mirro Polished Aluminum Pressure Canner
If you’re looking for a canner and don’t care much about using the pot for pressure cooking or stovetop cooking, this budget canner will make your wallet happy. Since it’s made from aluminum, it shouldn’t be used for cooking reactive foods like tomatoes, but it would be fine for non-acidic foods or for steaming. And of course, it’s great for pressure canning, where the liquid is just plain water that doesn’t come in contact with the food you’re cooking.
This 22-quart canner holds five quart-sized jars or 16 pint-sized jars. It has an adjustable regulator for 5, 10, or 15 psi. Safety features include a reusable over-pressure plug, a locking lid, and a gasket pressure release.
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Best Electric: Instant Pot Max 6-Quart Multi-Use Pressure Cooker
If you don't want to set a canner on your stove for the better part of an afternoon, you may want to consider an electric canner instead. In addition to settings for sauteing, pressure cooking, and sous vide cooking, this Instant Pot model also includes a canning function.
The smart display allows you to select between pressure levels, venting options, and canning times, as well as adjust for altitude if needed. The Instant Pot comes with a rack for canning, as well as other helpful accessories for the other cooking programs. The cooker has a max capacity of only four pint-size jars—not ideal if you intend to can in big batches, but could be sufficient for some. However, note that Instant Pot is still working with McGill University to "validate the Max meets canning regulations."
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Best Compact: All American 10-1/2-Quart Pressure Canner
If you want to occasionally can small batches of soup stock or vegetables, a small, compact 10 1/2-quart canner might make sense. This is only 11 3/4 inches tall, with a 10 1/4-inch inside diameter, so it won’t take as much storage space as a larger canner, yet it holds four quart-sized jars or seven pint-sized jars.
This canner is made from cast aluminum with a satin finish so it’s easy to keep clean. Wingnuts on the lid clamp it shut, and there are no gaskets that need replacing since this has a metal-to-metal sealing system. Because you don’t have to deal with a gasket, the lid is easy to put on and take off.
The regulator weight is adjustable for 5-, 10-, or 15 psi. For safety, it has an automatic over-pressure release.
What to Look for in a Pressure Canner
Capacity Pressure canners come in a wide variety of sizes, from small models that can handle a few jars at a time to large ones that can handle your fall harvest. If you can for fun, a smaller canner might make sense, but if you have a big garden and can for winter use, a large canner will let you process more jars at a time.
Material Many pressure canners are made from aluminum because it’s lighter and less expensive than stainless steel. However, if you’re planning on using your pressure canner as a large stockpot, a stainless steel or anodized aluminum pot might be a better option, since those materials are nonreactive and you can use them for cooking acidic foods. One major downside to aluminum cookware, however, is that it can’t be used on induction cooktops.
Overall size Since it’s unlikely that you’ll be pressure canning on a daily basis, your canner will spend a lot of time in storage. How much space do you have to store a very large cooking pot with a bulky lid? A larger pot is also heavier, particularly when it’s full of water, so that’s important to consider, as well.