Do I need a pressure canner?
I'm wanting to pickle and preserve some vegetables this summer. My understanding is that for most vegetables except for tomatoes, you need to pressure canner to kill microbes due to low levels of acidity. With tomatoes, you're fine boiling the jars to create a seal. Moreover, if you're pickling, you can stick to boiling because you're adding acidity, through the brine.
Bottom line, if I want to jar tomatoes and pickle cukes, beans, carrots, I'm fine with just a large stock pot to boil the jars? Or do I need a pressure canner.
Thanks in advance.
I have a 22 qt mirro pressure canner and absolutly love it. I like making big batches of tomato sauce and stock and am happy when I can pack away 9 quart jars a run. I never really used it to save produce. But I originally bought it for sterilizing spawn containers for growing oyster mushrooms. I think mycology is one of the most rewarding hobbys and it's almost impossible to do without a pressure canner.
If you're only planning to put up tomatoes and pickles, you don't need a pressure canner. I thought about getting one this summer, but I wasn't sure how much I'd really use it and it's so big! I decided to stick with tomatoes, jams, and pickles in jars and if I had anything else from the garden to preserve I'll blanch and freeze them.