Best Pressure Canners

Updated December 2021
Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

30
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
14
Hours
Researched

Buying guide for best pressure canners

Although modern food preservation methods have largely reduced the need for home canning, many people still have an interest in the time-proven practice — especially when faced with a bumper crop of fresh fruits or vegetables. Indeed, many cooks love to create homemade jams, preserves, and soups for themselves or as gifts.

A pressure canner safely seals the lids of jars or containers. The high pressure inside a canner can also kill bacteria and pathogens that may be present. But with a number of pressure canners on the market today, how do you find the best one for you?

Content Image
Did you know?
Today’s pressure canners offer safety features and design elements that take the fear out of the canning process.
STAFF
BestReviews

At BestReviews, we aim to simplify shopping for you. We do extensive research, test products in our labs and the field, consult experts, and analyze feedback from real-life owners. And instead of accepting gifts from manufacturers, we buy all the products we test to ensure that our reviews are unbiased and honest.

If you’re ready to purchase a pressure canner, check out the product list above for our five favorites. For more on how to find the right pressure canner for your kitchen, keep reading.

Types of pressure canners

There are two types of pressure canners: dial gauge and weighted gauge. They measure pressure differently.

  • Dial gauge: This type of pressure canner has a dial that shows the pressure level inside. As a safety precaution, it’s important that the dial works correctly, and it should be inspected as part of the regular maintenance of your pressure canner.

  • Weighted gauge: A weighted gauge pressure canner is a good option for those who like to set and forget. These models alert users when they reach the set pressure.

Content Image
Expert Tip
Choose the size of your pressure canner based on how many jars you want to can at once.
STAFF
BestReviews

What to consider when buying a pressure canner

Size

Pressure canners are sized by quart. Some models allow you to stack jars on top of each other to can more at one time. Pressure canners are large appliances, so make sure you have the storage space in your kitchen.

Material

Aluminum pressure canners are cheaper, lighter, and heat up quickly, but they aren’t very durable. Stainless steel pressure canners last longer, but they are pricier and heat up slowly.

Content Image
For your safety
While tomatoes and berries are high in acid, foods like meats and potatoes are not and require a pressure canner for safe preservation.
STAFF
BestReviews

Handles

A pressure canner is a hefty piece of kitchen equipment, and you need to be able to get a good grip on it. Make sure it’s comfortable to carry. A pressure canner requires a firm hold to move around, especially when it’s full to the brim.

"Canning is a time-consuming process. Set aside an afternoon to prep and process your food using your pressure canner."
STAFF
BestReviews

Lid

  • Twist: Some pressure canner lids twist to lock and seal. A twist lid uses a gasket to ensure a proper seal. These often need to be replaced.

  • Clamp: Other pressure canner lids use clamps. A clamp lid must be lubricated each time a pressure canner is used.

Stovetop compatibility

Choose a pressure canner that’s appropriate for use on your stovetop. Some pressure canners will scratch glass stovetops. Aluminum pressure canners can’t be used on induction stovetops. If you can’t find a model that’s safe for use on your stovetop, you can use a pressure canner on a hot plate or other portable burner.

Content Image
Expert Tip
If you have a glass stovetop, look for a lightweight pressure canner that won’t damage the glass.
STAFF
BestReviews

How much do pressure canners cost?

Pressure canners range from $50 to over $400. More expensive canners are made of higher-quality materials and are built to last. Larger canners are pricier, too.

However, if you use your pressure canner to preserve food, chances are you’ll pay for the cost of the appliance quickly. Canning summer crops for the winter allows you to avoid buying expensive out-of-season produce.

Content Image
Did you know?
Pressure canners quickly pay for themselves. Canning summer crops allows you to avoid buying pricey out-of-season produce come winter.
STAFF
BestReviews

FAQ

Q. Couldn’t I just use a hot water bath to can foods?
A.
This is the traditional method used by home canners, but you can’t reach the same temperature with boiling water as you can with a pressure canner. And if you want to preserve foods with low acidity, you must use a pressure canner.

Q. Why is such a high temperature required for canning?
A.
Boiling water is not hot enough to kill off the bacteria responsible for botulism. Botulism spores thrive in the conditions created by improperly canned low-acid foods. Skipping a pressure canner and opting for a hot water bath when canning low-acid foods could lead to dangerous health risks.

Q. What are low-acid foods?
A.
While tomatoes and pickled foods are high in acidity, foods like green beans, meats, and potatoes are not. Even when canning high-acid foods, it’s important to stick to recipes to ensure that the final product is safe to eat, especially if you’re new to canning.

Q. Can my pressure canner explode?
A.
If everything is working correctly, no. Keep any vents on your pressure canner’s lid open during the canning process to ensure there is no possibility for unsafe pressure buildup. When filling your canning jars, make sure to leave some room at the top (called “headspace”) to allow for the contents of the jar to expand. Otherwise jars can break open or not seal properly during the canning process.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
See more
Our Top Picks