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Before I talk about the best pressure canners out there, I want to check in with you and where you're at on your canning journey. If you are just dipping your toe into this super fun hotter-than-normal-boiling-temperature water, it's better to start over here, where I discuss why I've begun pressure canning and why I prefer pressure canners to water bath canners.
If you're still with me in this post, then you likely already are sold on the pressure canning idea and are looking for some help finding the best pressure canners out there for your circumstances! I've tried to dig up the details on a range (in price) of pressure canners that are all similar in size, to keep things "apples to apples" while still making the cut for a list of the 5 best pressure canners of 2021!
Important things to look for in a pressure canner:
Right out of the gate, there are a few details that I feel are imperative to review before laying down any cash for a pressure canner. Trading your hard earned money (which equates to precious lifetime spent earning it) requires mindfulness. It's okay to impulse buy a candy bar, but better not to impulse buy a pressure canner or any kitchen appliance for that matter. We want to keep the kitchen appliance graveyard to a minimum size!
5 Best Pressure Canners of 2021
In my journey to look for the very best pressure canners, I have come up with a short list of five pressure canners that will *no doubt* fit the bill. They are all structurally sound, very highly reviewed and fall within what I consider a reasonable price range for what they accomplish. That range slides up and down for all of us, but the clear factors that affect the price are the size of the pressure cookers, the amount of plastic parts they have versus metal and the gauges built-in for ease of use.
I'm going to start with the All American pressure cooker because it's near and dear to my heart. It' the one that I personally own, and I'm in L-O-V-E with it. It does everything and is built like a brick s#%^house. Forgive the phrase (and my Dad who used it dutifully), but it truly deserves a round of applause for its construction.
Here are the yummy reasons why the All American pressure cooker makes the list of the 5 best pressure cookers:
The Presto comes in at a significantly lower price but still gets the job done. The 5000+ reviews are overwhelmingly positive. If you need to start your canning journey on a tighter budget, I'd definitely consider this one.
The T-fal is another pressure cooker that has overwhelmingly positive reviews (and thousands of them!), and it comes in at a lower price.
Oh, this Buffalo. While I adore my All American 925, the Buffalo is such a creature of beauty. I feel like it's rare when function is NOT being sacrificed for beauty, but in the case of Buffalo, they've done it. If I had a Buffalo, I'd park it on my stove year round. I'm not as enthusiastic about doing that with my All American. It's a work mule and goes the distance, but it doesn't score in the elegance category. If you are ready to splurge or plan on canning daily until the cows come home (and therefore just leaving her out for everyone to appreciate her beauty), you just might want to consider the Buffalo.
The Barton is the most economical buy you're going to make in the pressure canner arena while still getting serious canning capacity and function. It doesn't have the thousands of reviews that the T-fal and Presto have, yet the 500+ reviews are overwhelmingly positive. If your budget for preservation "gear" is unbearably tight, the Barton is for you, coming in around the $100 mark. But if you're at a high altitude and need the pressure to get to 15PSI, you should consider the Presto or T-fal instead, as the Barton only reaches 13PSI.
There you have it! My curated list of the 5 best pressure canners of 2021! If you're looking for a serious workhorse, then my personal favorite to recommend is the All American. If you're looking for a workhorse that looks more like a show horse and can reside permanently on your stovetop, the Buffalo is calling your name. If you're on a tight budget and have to get this done, the T-fal or Presto are great options.
Please feel free to comment about what you've discovered in your canning journey. We are all students of canning and have a lot of wisdom to share with each other!