The All American Pressure Canner Review
Read here what makes the All American pressure canners so superior!
Summer and autumn are the time of the year when nature is exceptionally rich with fruits and vegetables of all sorts. If you want to preserve this abundance for the cold and long winter days then canning might be the right thing for you. If you are a first-time canner or an experienced one, you need the right tools for your canning job, especially if you are not just going to can acid fruits (that are more resistant to bacteria) but non acid fruits, vegetables and even meat and seafood.
As you may well know, the most dangerous bacteria that can be found in canned food is the Clostridium botulinum bacteria that can cause botulism. The Clostridium botulinum bacteria is heat resistant but in high acid fruits and pickles its further growth is prevented by the high acidity, allowing you to process these types of food using a boiling water bath at 212°F.
Low acid foods, like vegetables, meats and seafood must be pressure canned at 240°F to eliminate the botulinum spores. If you would choose to process them in boiling water you would have to boil them from 7 to 12 hours (I don’t know for you but I certainly don’t have the time to do it). If you do it with a pressure canner, depending on the type of food, jar size and some other factors, it would take you from 20 to 100 minutes! Just think what a time saver a pressure canner is. On the other hand when pressure canning you can be sure that your food is going to be safe for consumption.
Why choose the All American cooker/canner?
First of all the All American pressure cooker/canner is one of the most popular pressure canners on the market and certainly the one the gets the best reviews (we are talking about 4,5 and 5 stars reviews). It’s made in Wisconsin, U.S.A., of hand-cast aluminum, giving it a surprising durability that makes it last for decades. You will be able to pass this pressure canner to your children and grandchildren as well! It’s practically unbreakable. The canner has a smooth satin finish that makes it very easy to clean and double thick edges for added protection on points of heaviest wear.
Furthermore, the All American has an easy to read pressure gauge with automatic pressure release with three different pressure settings (5, 10 or 15 psi).
5, 10 or 15 psi? What does it all mean?
PSI stands for pounds per square inch and is a unit of pressure. The amount of pressure you need for canning depends upon many factors, the most important being the type of food you are processing and the altitude of your area. For example, you need to increase the pressure with non acid foods. The same goes for canning at higher sea levels because at higher altitudes water boils at lower temperatures. So, to compensate the lower temperatures you need to increase the pressure in order to kill the bacteria.
The All American cookers/canners have a special “metal-to-metal” sealing system without a gasket. In standard pressure cookers the gasket helps forming a tight seal when the pressure cooker is locked, preventing leakage. The gasket has to be in good conditions or the pressure cooker won’t work properly. So, you need to wash it regularly, store it properly, check for cracks and leakages and eventually replace it.
This canner has no rubber, plastic or silicone gasket, but sturdy screws to seal the lid to the pot. And believe me, you will see no blow-outs and leakages with this system and you will save some money on gaskets as well.
What size to choose?
The All American comes in many variations. Which one will you choose depends upon the amount of canning you plan to do. The most popular model is the 21-1/2-Quart (I have one too) followed by the 15-1/2-Quart and the 30-1/2-Quart models.
You can choose between the following sizes:
the 10-1/2-Quart (11-3/4 inches high with 10-1/4-inch inside diameter holds 7 pint jars or 4 quart jars);
the 15-1/2-Quart (12-1/2 inches high with 7-1/2-inch inside diameter, holds 10 pint jars or 7 quart jars);
the 21-1/2-Quart (15-3/8 inches high with 12-1/4-inch inside diameter, holds 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars);
the 25-1/2-Quart (16-3/4 inches high with 12-1/4-inch inside diameter, holds 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars);
the 30-1/2-Quart (19 inches high with 12-1/4-inch inside diameter, holds 19 pint jars or 14 quart jars);
the 41-1/2-Quart (19 inches high with 15-1/4-inch inside diameter, holds 32 pint jars or 19 quart jars).
Just two. The first one is that is not suitable for glass or flat top ranges. The other one, that because of its sturdy construction the cooker/canner is a little bit heavy (my 21-1/2 quart weights 20 pounds). But, on the other hand because it is so sturdy it’s going to last forever. Look for the height of the canner as well and check out if your cooking area has the needed height (height of the canner plus the additional space for handling).
The All American pressure cooker/canner can be used for standard pressure cooking as well, even though you might option for a smaller sized (and lighter) pressure cooker model for your everyday cooking.
And finally the price!
You can find different prices on the web. I did a pretty thorough research and I found that Amazon.com offers the best prices on the market. Their prices range from 170 $ (for the 10-1/2-quart) to 440 $ (for the 40-1/2-quart) and they offer free shipping as well!