This is must have if you have a vegetable garden or just like to preserve large quantities of food to use throughout the year. I have a Sears Kenmore 22 quart Cooker-Canner that I have had since 1978 (the manual gives that date). My family is a big fan of Sears products from simple tools to kitchen gadgets to lawn mowers. We have always believed in this company and the quality of its products. I have had this canner for 35 years so I guess that number speaks for itself. I just checked online and I can actually still get parts for this pressure canner so that is another plus.
As I mentioned the model I have is 22 quarts and I have only used it for canning produce such as apples, tomatoes, green beans, sauerkraut and so on. It could be used to cook a big batch of chili or soup but I have not used it as a cooker.
There are many sizes and manufacturers who sell pressure cookers and or canners as small as 4 quarts (for food only) and on up to the big size I have when canning. They use pressure to achieve the high temperature for safely processing foods. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends the pressure canner as the only safe method for canning low-acid foods like vegetables, meats and poultry. I recently canned a bunch of applesauce and I used both my pressure canner and water bath canner. Apples are not a low acid food so canning can be done by both methods. Between the two the pressure canner does not take as long to process the jars of food. See my post Kitchen Gadgets – Water Bath Canners.
My manual – this page was used a lot!
Steam gauge and pressure regulator covering the vent pipe. The picture on the right shows the air vent/cover lock in the down position.
These pictures show the air vent/lock cover in the up position.
Vent pipe covered with pressure regulator and uncovered.
I am canning applesauce and the pressure is slowly building until it reaches 15 pounds pressure.
The finished applesauce canned in my Sears Kenmore pressure canner.