Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pressure Canning

There are many good and capable pressure canners on the market. My canner is the “All American” 915 model that holds 7 quarts or 8 pints or 12 half pints of the large mouth jar/lid sizes. The 915 and 921 are a common size and plenty large enough for a small family.

I purchased my canner used for $50 and as you can see it was like brand new. It was 27 years old the day I bought it and this is the photo taken that day, so being a good deal it’s now mine. However, if I were to buy a brand new one I would buy the 921 for the extra jar capacity.

Canning up to 4 loads a day; 28 quarts or up to 32 pints for the 915 and 28 quarts or up to 76 pints for the 921, is a very long hard day but puts a lot of food on the shelf. Remember that most of the real work is in the prepping the food to be canned. The canning itself is rather laid back just waiting for the cycle to complete.

A note on the 915 vs 921 Canner Size:(The 915 size canner can not water bath process Quart Size Jars because the jars are to tall for the water depth of the 915, but you can process pints.
The 921 is tall enough to water bath can Quart jars in. So if you are buying a new canner the 921 has that advantage when compared to the 915 and can save you from buying a water bath setup).

Pressure Canning is safe and very easy to do. It is a skill requirement for the survivalist or the frugal person. Being able to long term preserve your own meats, soups, sauces and vegetables are paramount in uncertain times. Canning is the easiest and most affordable way can you save long term your garden, hunting and fishing bounties?

I am not going to go into detailed how-to procedures because you should reference back to qualified resources for the particular food being canned so not to error in the processing times and pressures. The ‘Ball Blue Book’ is one of the best how to books and then there are all the University Extension Services who also have information.As with learning any new skill it is wise to practice on something other than real food. One of the common ways is to can water. Yes, plain old water. Each element of the canning process can be followed canning water so when the real time comes you are familiar with those procedures. Canning water will show you (make notes) just what stove settings or heat are needed to maintain the constant pressure throughout the canning cycle. Verify that the amount of water level recommended in the bottom of the canner will not boil away before the end of the cycle and all the safe hot jar and lid handling techniques.


  1. I have a Presto canner with a gauge and a little piece that sits on top of the vent that sort of jiggles. I know how to operate this canner just fine. However, I always wanted to get an All American (metal to metal instead of a gasket in the lid). I found a brand new - old All American at a resale store and bought it. I know I have to have the gauge tested, but I'm unsure how to operate it as it is like your canner and doesn't have a piece to fit on top of the vent. It has the same sort of toggle as your does. It didn't have a manual with it. Can you tell me how to use it? Thanks.

  2. Annon 9:18, Glad to hear you have the best canner on the planet. The best thing you can do is go to
    and download the PDF for this canner. It's about 50 pages but print it out and save it as it is from the factory and free this way.
    Hope it helps.

  3. Oh, thank you, thank you.
    I really wanted to use it a couple times, but didn't know exactly how. I often buy meat on sale and having a canning extravaganza for a couple of days. Now with two canners running, I can get done in half the time:)

  4. Your welcome.
    Having two canners going at the same time will save time. I find most of work and time is in the cleaning and sterilizing of the jars and lids and the lions share of work is preparation of the foods to be canned, get help if it's available....

  5. All of the websites for 915 say it holds 7 quart jars, but I have a hard time envisioning that it could hold that many and can't find any pictures online. What's your experience?

    1. Anon 7:00pm
      It does hold 7 quarts or 8 pints!