I have noticed a growing increase in the knowledge and interest around pressure canning in New Zealand amongst forums and Facebook groups. Buying a pressure canner in New Zealand is currently not easy as there aren’t any affordable places to buy them new.
There are however a couple of options if you live in New Zealand and you want to buy a pressure canner for home use.
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Considerations when choosing a Pressure Canner to buy
Before you spend a large investment on buying a pressure canner, you will want to look into the options available and decide what is best for your situation as well as your wallet.
1. Size of Pressure canner
Pressure canners come in a range of sizes. Because they are mostly sourced from companies that serve the large American market, most are measure in quarts – which is not quite a litre, but pretty close (946.35mls to be exact).
The All American Pressure Canner
This comes in a range of sizes – 10, 15, 21, 25, 30, 41 quarts. The 30 and 41 quart models can hold a double layer of quart jars, the 10 and 15 quart versions are quite small, with the 21 and 25 being the most commonly used in the home kitchen.
A full All American is very heavy and this is worth taking in to consideration.
The Presto 23 quart Canner (21 litre Presto Canner)
This holds 7 quart/litre jars or a double layer of pint/500ml jars. It is much lighter than an All American.
Older Presto pressure canners have an all aluminium body which means they will not work on induction cooktops, there is a newer version with a stainless steel base which will.
The All American is also made of aluminium. However, because your food doesn’t come into contact with the metal of the pot, it is considered OK to cook in despite the alumium.
3. Seal types for Pressure Canners
The Presto Pressure canner uses a rubber seal gasket and rubber pressure release safety valve. Both of these will need replaced every few years as the rubber degrades. The All American has no requirement for replacement parts.
4. Weight and stove top type
The All American is a very heavy duty pressure canner, but it is very heavy when full. The Presto is lighter weight but still fairly heavy once full of cans and water.
The All American was designed with cooking on gas in mind, so it is not recommended for ceramic or glass topped stoves, but it is very durable even when used on direct flame.
The Presto is lighter weight and now comes with a stainless bottom and is the only pressure canner currently on the market that can safely be used on a glass or ceramic cooktop including induction ranges. I have also successfully used my on my Wagener cook stove and they can also be used on gas or other elements.
All of these canners will last for a lifetime if they are looked after well and maintained as the instructions say to. The Presto will need the rubber parts replaced on occasion.
6. PSI ability
All pressure canners should be able to go up to 15psi. Different recipes and different altitudes require different pressures for safe and successful pressure canning, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
Presto has a variable rocker or set PSI rockers available which consists of a 3 piece weight set of 5-10-15 pound weights.
The All American has several rockers for set PSI levels. Pressure regulator weights with settings of 5, 10 and 15 psi are available.
At time of writing the All American Pressure Canners are hard to come by as they are having supply challenges. The Presto 23 Quart canner can be found in several places online. You may also be able to find these and some older brands second hand.
8. Shipping costs
Because a pressure canner is large and heavy, shipping costs can be huge. Thankfully ordering from Australia is cheaper than buying from American suppliers.
Can you use a pressure cooker for pressure canning?
The differences between a pressure cooker and pressure canner are small, but significant. A pressure cooker doesn’t reach the required PSI (internal pressure) to safely can things. Adding a heavier weight to the rocker in theory would help this but you risk the entire pot exploding, so for this reason it is strongly not recommended.
Pressure cookers are also much smaller and inefficient to fit in jars.
Pressure canners can be used to pressure cook in however, just be aware that cooking in aluminium is not recommended especially if the food is acidic.
Where to buy pressure canners if you live in New Zealand
Our options within NZ are currently limited, but there are options.
Oz Farmer is an online source of all sorts of canning supplies. They are well priced, provide good customer service, and honestly, their shipping to NZ is pretty similar to shipping within NZ.
They stock a variety of canners, and spare parts.
Amazon US and Amazon Australia both stock pressure canners when they are available.
It is worth checking and comparing shipping prices, as sometimes they have specials on the canners and it can work out worth doing, other times it is twice the price of the canner to ship it here.
Trade Me occasionally has second hand pressure canners available, and sometimes people import 2 and sell one. It is worth setting an alert for the search term if you aren’t in a hurry.
Very rare find but worth looking before looking elsewhere!
UBUY or FISHPOND
You will likely pay a premium to buy through these as the ‘free shipping’ is actually included in the product price. However, sometimes they have specials that are worth looking at.
Buying a pressure canner in NZ can be a challenge at times, but I trust this has given you some ideas on where to start looking.