What's the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning?

Asked By: Maryjo Audren | Last Updated: 16th February, 2020
Category: food and drink cooking
4.7/5 (96 Views . 17 Votes)
A pressure canner heats the food at a higher temperature than the water bath canner, with pressurized steam hotter than the temperature of boiling water. The big difference between water bath canning and pressure canning is: high-acid foods are canned with the water bath, low-acid foods with the pressure canner.

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Keeping this in view, can I pressure can instead of water bath?

One option is to use your pressure canner for preserving fruits, jams, and juices instead of a boiling water bath canner. You can fill the pressure canner to 2 inches over the tops of your jars, replace the canner lid with a regular lid that fits snugly, and use it just like a boiling water bath canner.

Beside above, do you need a pressure canner for canning? Here's the basic rule: all low acid a.k.a. alkaline foods must be processed in a pressure canner, not a boiling water bath. You need a pressure canner for them. The reason for that is that although botulism bacteria is killed at the temperature of boiling water, botulism spores can survive that temperature.

Beside above, what is the purpose of a water bath in canning?

Water bath canning is a simple process. It works like this: the high heat of the water drives out the air that is within the tissue of the foods as well as the air that was trapped during the packing process.

Can you can meat in a water bath?

Yes, in the “old days” people did can meat in a boiling water bath for 3 hours, but this was NEVER SAFE and people always risked food poisoning by doing this. You must use a pressure canner to home can meat. Meat may be canned in quarts, pints, or half-pint jars. I usually do some in each size.

35 Related Question Answers Found

Why do you have to boil jars after canning?

The bottles and lids are boiled to sterilize them as you said. The final water bath kills any bugs that were introduced while filling the jars. Additionally this boiling ensures a good seal on the bottles. In the time it takes to fill the bottles the jam will have cooled somewhat and you might not get a good seal.

When Canning does the water have to cover the jars?

Place jars in a large pot and fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars. Bring to a simmer (180°F) and simmer for at least 10 minutes-this will prevent the jars from breaking when filled with hot preserves or when transferred to the boiling water bath. Keep the jars in simmering water until ready to fill.

Can anything be pressure canned?

Pressure canners!
Pressure canning is the only canning method recommended safe by the U.S.D.A. for low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, and fish. Ordinary water bath canners can only reach 212 F and cannot to kill the types of bacteria that will grow in low acid foods.

What foods can you water bath can?

Water Bath Canning
  • Fruits and fruit juices.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Salsa.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Pickles and relishes.
  • Chutneys, sauces, pie fillings.
  • Vinegars.
  • Condiments.

What can you can without a pressure canner?


8 Answers. Without a canner you are limited to canning high-acid foods. Botulism spores don't die at 212F, the boiling point of water. A pressure canner boiling water at 15PSI raises the boiling point to 250F or so which will kill the spores.

Can I cook in my pressure canner?

You should only pressure can foods in a pressure canner which is made for canning food. You can cook in both a pressure cooker and pressure canner IF you follow manufacture instructions for your brand. You can water bath can in both pressure canners and cookers IF you DO NOT seal the lid and build pressure.

Is a pressure canner worth it?

Yes for low acid foods, you'll need a pressure canner. Look at the All American canners. It's worth the money. I use my pressure canner more than my water bath canner sometimes.

Why do you turn jars upside down when canning?

(Inverting is turning the filled jar upside down on its lid.) If the product cools down too much, the temperature of the product can become low enough to no longer be effective in sealing jars or preventing spoilage.

Can you seal jars without water bath?

You absolutely must have squeaky-clean jars that do not have nicks or cracks. You must put both lids and jars in boiling water and leave them submerged until you are ready to fill them. You must work quickly, as keeping things hot and sealing quickly keep contaminants out of the food.

How Long to Can jars in water bath?


Move jars from canner and set upright on a towel. This will prevent jar breakage that can occur from temperature differences. Leave jars undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. DO NOT retighten bands as this may interfere with the sealing process.

How long do you boil jars for canning?

Here's how to sterilize canning jars:
  1. Place empty jars right side up on the rack in a boiling-water canner.
  2. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to one inch above the tops of the jars.
  3. Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove hot, sterilized jars one at a time and drain.
  5. They will be hot!

Can jars touch in water bath canner?

When pressure canning, it is perfectly ok for the jars to touch. When water bath canning, there should be room all around the jars so the water is able to circulate freely. That's why the water bath canner comes with a rack to hold the jars apart.

What will happen if the water in the water bath is boiling?

The water could start to boil creating unwanted movement of the water bath liquid and disturbing or contaminating samples. Too much evaporation could result, lowering the liquid level within the bath. The reduced liquid level might even trigger the safety shut-off for the bath, switching it off altogether.

Can you can without a rack?

If you have a round rack (both my pressure cookers can with them), you can pop one into the bottom of your stock pot and consider your canning pot ready to go. 2. If you don't have a round rack that fits your stock pot, you can build one with aluminum foil.

What foods require pressure canning?


Pressure canning is the only safe method of preserving vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. Jars of food are placed in 2 to 3 inches of water in a special pressure cooker which is heated to a temperature of at least 240° F.

The low acidic foods include:
  • meats.
  • seafood.
  • poultry.
  • dairy products.
  • all vegetables.

Does a pressure canner have to be full of jars?

but no your canner does not have to be full of jars to operate. That is one reason why the cost of the larger canners isn't worthwhile for someone who is only going to be doing standard recipe batches of canning. However, note that the same amount of water is put in it regardless of the # of jars being processed.

Is there a difference between a pressure canner and a pressure cooker?

Pressure canners are not the same thing as pressure cookers, and it is important to understand the difference. Pressure cookers or pressure saucepans are used to rapidly cook meats, vegetables and other foods for a family meal. Pressure canners have either dial or weighted gauges.