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Mar 3, 2010 10:25 AM

Canning with 15 psi pressure cooker, anyone done it successfully?

I make various can items which are usually high acid, so I am able to use the boiling water method of canning.

I recently bought a Fagor Duo 8 qt pressure cooker (2nd generation type that reach 15psi). Has anyone had any success canning low-acid foods in on of these. I'm not looking to make a large production, but I'd like to do certain things that won't work in the water bath.

Please advise. I've had people tell me that you shouldn't use a pressure cooker, but there are a lot of recipes out there using my specific model to can items.

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  1. The instructions that came with my Fagor say specifically not to can in it. Fagor's instructions in the manual for their Duo model say you should only pressure can in the 10 qt. Model. (


    From Miss Vickie's site:

    "Is It Safe To Use Pressure Cookers To “Can" Foods?

    In a word - NO. Pressure cookers have less metal, are smaller in diameter, and use less water than pressure canners. The result is that the heat-up and cool-down times will be less than for the standard pressure canner. These heating and cooling times are part of the total processing time that was determined in lab testing to establish a reasonable margin of safety for low-acid foods.

    If the heating and cooling periods are shortened, then the process time at pressure may not be enough to destroy targeted microorganisms and provide a safe product. If the food is underprocessed, low-acid canned foods are unsafe and can result in foodborne illness, including botulism poisoning, if consumed. "

    I know, I know...we all know someone who says, "I've been doing it that way for (insert number of years here) and I haven't died yet, so it must be fine." But for me, I trust the experts on this one. Besides, a 10 qt pressure Fagor cooker/canner is only $90 at Amazon.

    3 Replies
    1. re: al b. darned

      I've seen the 10 qt and it's identical to the 8 qt except for volume. Same specs for pressure etc.

      I think it might just be a size issue--that is it isn't tall enough to fill with taller jars for something like that. I'm planning to can some Italian Hot peppers in olive oil, which I'm going to put in small 8 oz jars.

      1. re: hankstramm

        I've investigated this a little more thoroughly and even the 8qt Fagor is fine, since it has an equal 15 psi. Space wise, the 10 qt is recommended. If you're just doing things in smaller jars (4-16oz) it'll work just fine.

      2. re: al b. darned

        I'm investigating this too. Maybe you are right about volume and cooling down times, I guess extending the cooking time would balance that issue, not sure and not arguing that point.

        Pressure cookers have in fact far more metal and are heavier than pressure canners. Because canners are typically larger, they would weigh a ton if they were made as solid as pressure cookers, which have thick bottoms and walls.

        I'm also mulling over this choice and mainly I don't want a huge piece of equipment that I only use twice a year and takes up space the rest of the time, so was hoping to find a way to safely use one gadget for both purposes. I wonder if the 10qt will be OK for cooking, that still seems large.

      3. >>>
        I've investigated this a little more thoroughly and even the 8qt Fagor is fine, since it has an equal 15 psi. Space wise, the 10 qt is recommended. If you're just doing things in smaller jars (4-16oz) it'll work just fine.

        If you have investigated, then you know an 8 qt is NOT fine. It s not just the pressure or the size of the jars you are using, but the volume of the vessel and the amount of water/steam needed to properly heat the contents of the jars, the heat up and cool down times, etc.

        You are obviously looking for someone to tell you it is ok to can in an 8 qt pressure cooker, and don't want to be told otherwise, despite what the experts (including the manufacturer of your pressure cooker) say. If you insist on doing it your way, please test the results only on yourself. Botulism poisoning is a very real possibility, and not a good way to endear your self to your family and friends.

        BTW - I hope you are not using only oil in the jar. From

        "Peppers and oils are both low-acid and together could support the growth of the disease-causing Clostridium botulinum bacteria. Specific problems exist when canning pickled peppers in oil. Follow the recommended amount of oil (2 tablespoons per pint) and allow proper headspace. Peppers in oil need additional processing time over recipes not containing oil. "