Ooops! AD Blocker Detected

This content is FREE because it is supported by advertisements. Please deactivate - or whitelist our site - with your Ad blocker to read it. We appreciate your support and hope you'll find the recipes and info worthwhile the small bother of ads. Ciao! L

This multi-cooker infomercial shows an actress pressure canning meat and vegetables- do not do this!
This multi-cooker infomercial shows an actress pressure canning meat and vegetables- do not do this!

The National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP), an offshoot of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), posted an announcement today warning consumers against using digital multi-cookers for pressure canning – even if they are advertised as being able to do so.

Specifically, they said..

Even if there are referrals to the National Center for HFP in the instructions for canning in the manufacturer’s directions, we do not currently support the use of the USDA canning processes in electric, multi-cooker appliances.

hip info: canning-schmanning

There are two types of canning: hot-water bath canning for acid foods (fruits jams and jellies) and pressure canning for low-acid foods (vegetables, meat, grains and/or tomatoes).  Anyone can do hot-water bath canning with a normal pan and steamer basket (or  using pressure cooker) but pressure canning is a tightly controlled process. Low-acid foods can provide a hospitable environment to the growth of deadly bacteria which is odor-free, taste-less and otherwise invisible.  Pressure canning takes advantage of the high temperatures which can be achieved with pressure to fully sterilize the food within the jars and ensure that the contents are safe. Temperature, altitude and “processing times” are carefully calculated based on the type of food being pressure canned.

Four months ago, an American-based manufacturer began to run a TV infomercial, and large web ad campaign for a digital pressure multi-cooker with the ability to can and preserve.  It raised lots of eyebrows because it claimed to meet USDA standards for canning and the internet was a-buzz about this new ability in a multi-cooker.

This multi-cooker infomercial shows an actress putting jars in the cooker with the words "Meets USDA Standards for Canning." The National Center for Home Food Preservation says it DOES NOT!
This multi-cooker infomercial shows an actress putting jars in the cooker with the words “Meets USDA Standards for Canning.” The National Center for Home Food Preservation says it does not.

When we first saw a copy of this cooker’s manual, in September,  hip pressure cooking posted a warning to inform readers.

These multi-cookers cannot be used as canners, according to NCHFP’s guidelines:

Multi-cookers are still safe to use to pressure cook food directly in the inner pot. The NCHFP only takes issue with using these vessels for pressure canning.

Dispose of improperly canned food

If you have one of the above multi-cookers and you preserved jars of vegetables, meat, grains, and/or tomatoes there is no guarantee that these items were preserved properly. Improperly pressure canned foods offer a hospitable environment for botulism – a toxin that can cause nerve damage, paralyze, and even kill. Botulism is tasteless, odorless and invisible to the naked eye. We strongly suggest following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) recommendation: When in doubt, throw it out!

To dispose of suspect jars, wrap them tightly  in plastic, tape the bag shut and put them in the garbage (out of reach of humans and animals). Do not open or recycle the jars; do not taste or eat the food in the jars; do not feed the contents of the jars to animals; do not put the contents in a compost pile or throw them down the drain.

Opening jars of improperly canned food will contaminate your hands, kitchen and utensils with this deadly bacteria spores. If any jars break or fall open, clean the entire area with a 10% bleach solution.  Dispose of the contents, glass, any sponges and rags used in the clean-up in a bag that is taped and sealed. For more information, read the Home Canning and Botulism Factsheet by the CDC.

If you ate foods pressure canned using the instructions of any of the above-mentioned cookers and have become ill please file a report with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to record your injury.

Read the full article from National Center for Home Food Preservation for more details, here:

Note: The screen captures of the infomercial above are used in accordance with copyright fair use. Reproduction of a small portion of  a copywritten work for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship or research do not constitute copyright infringement. 

To avoid any appearance of impropriety, any advertisements for pressure cookers that originate from this website have been suppressed from this page.

UPDATE 1/19/2015:
When we posted a link to this article on Facebook and Eric Theiss, a representative for Power Pressure Cooker responded the next day (11/27/2014) defending the product but falling short of confirming whether the Power Pressure Cooker XL has been inspected by the National Center for home Food preservation and approved for pressure canning.

Eric Theiss: LAURA -- You have a serious conflict of interest here. You sell pressure cookers for profit on the same website where you "warn" others about the safety of your commpetitor's and claim to be looking out for their safety? Ridiculous. My power pressure cook... See More
Representative for Tristar’s Power Pressure Cooker XL responds to article announcing new National Center for Home Preservation guidelines. Click here to view entire conversation.

We recommended they contact the NCHFP, directly with their concerns.  However, despite a recent update to their website and nearly two months after acknowledging being aware of these new NCHFP regulations via facebook, Tristar still mentions that the Power Pressure Cooker can be used for pressure canning on their website. On the pages “Top 10 Reasons”, “Comparison”, “FAQ”, there are also pressure canning recipes in the “Recipes” section.

We double-checked the NCHFP website before posting this update and their warning has not been amended or updated to exclude any other pressure cookers from this warning- other than the one mentioned previously in this article.

Similar Posts

60 Comments

  1. Hi –

    I have a very large American Canner Pressure Canner – I have recently moved and this does not fit on my burners or under the ‘hood.’ I am trying to source a industrial strength (due to weight and size) induction burner.
    Any suggestions?
    Thanks

    1. If your pressure canner is made of aluminum, which I’m pretty sure it is, you will not be able to use it on induction without a “transducer” plate – this is a metal disk you put on top of the burner that heats-up. Theoretically, if you can use a home burner to run the canner you can run a home induction plate. However, I would be concerned about the weight!!

      Do you already have a gas BBQ with an extra burner, by any chance?

      Ciao,

      L

    2. Fagor has a nice pressure canner on the market. Costs around 100.00

  2. Thank you for the information. I have contacted American Canner and will post the results here for all to share.
    Please keep the ideas and experiences coming.

  3. A Newbie here to pressure canning education and this site. I apologize if this has been addressed. I have read on this site that the guidelines for a pressure canner size (only speaking about size) is that it needs to be able to hold 4 quart jars,( on a trivet?) with the required amount of water and spacing between jars to allow steam to reach all jars, with the lid on. I also believe I read here that a 10 qt. canner would typically achieve this. I think I have that right. Anyway, on the NCHFP site I believe it says they only recommend a 16 qt canner as that is what their testing has been with. Further All American says on their site that they have been told that their 10 and 15 qt canners are not recommended now by the NCHFP for canning “fish” (stated on one page and “smoked fish” stated on another). Can you give me some direction as to what is correct because I would like to can tuna and small batches of low acid foods. I don’t know how small I can go in size. Many thanks for the good work you are doing in helping folks. Just bought your book, too!

    1. Kathy, are you using an electric pressure cooker to pressure can?

      I can only report on NCHFP publicized guidelines – I cannot know if what they told someone else is correct. You should contact NCHFP directly if you are concerned about whether they changed fish pressure canning guidelines.

      Ciao,

      L

  4. It would be interesting if someone would test one of these by modifying it with a temperature probe to see what the interior temp is during the cycle.

  5. Electric pressure cookers great invention which beats the Old heavy pressure cookers I used to have.I would like to know where I can find cooking times for all sorts of meals. I understand this is supposed to be 70% faster so if I cook a ham and it takes three and a half hours What’s my cook time going to be. I’ve Look for the information on your site, I have not been able to find the directions and cook times on most meals.
    I would appreciate a bit of help in locating the Library section of this website library section of this website
    Thank you. !!

    1. Hi Dan and welcome.
      You can find a pretty comprehensive list of cooking times here:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooking-times/

      And the index of detailed recipes is here:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/pressure-cooker-recipes/

      If you are new to pressure cooking, you might want to start with the lessons here:
      https://www.hippressurecooking.com/learn-to-pressure-cook/

      And that ” 70% faster” is a bit like saying men are stronger than women. Yes it may be true in general. But it is not true for every single case.

    2. Hi Dan, we have a lot of information to fish through so I don’t blame you for getting lost. Greg has given you a nice set of links to follow. The cooking times are listed by ingredient so you would use the cooking time for the main ingredient in the meal to figure that out. Or, you can use the search box on the website to find a similar pressure cooker recipe and use that cooking time for your meal.

      Welcome!

      Ciao,

      L

  6. Ball states on their Ball Fresh Tech Home Canning System that the unit CANNOT can beans, meats, or other low acid foods.

    1. The Ball Fresh Tech Home Canning System, is not a pressure canner. Thus those warnings.

  7. So I just got one of these things. Is the type of pressure canner ok for high acid foods that would otherwise be hot water bath canned?

    I recently got a ceramic flattop stove that can’t maintain a safe rolling boil so would love a reasonable alternative.

    1. Yes, you can use it in place of a hot water canner, but not a pressure canner.

      Be aware that some brown/saute’ programs (which can be used to maintain the rolling boil) might time-out before the processing time – so be nearby to re-start the pressure cooker if necessary.

      Ciao,

      L

      1. From Barbara Inham, University of Wisconsin, where they do most of the testing g to set the guidelines for canning,
        “This is an interesting question. You are correct that these appliances are not recommended for pressure canning. I reviewed the information from the National Center for Home Food Preservation nchfp.uga.edu on these appliances http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/factsheets/electric_cookers.html

        As I read the concluding paragraphs (and comparison to other types of electric appliances), I would say that IF you could assure that the water in the multi cooker could achieve and maintain boiling (210-212 F, generally depending on elevation) with the jar immersed AND the jars were surrounded by circulating boiling water and covered by 1-2″ of water during the timed process – these multi cookers could be used in place of a boiling water canner. You would simply need to ensure that all important process parameters for a boiling water canner were being met.”

  8. I’m very disappointed if I can’t use my pressure canner XL for canning venison . That’s what I bought it for. I canned carrots already does that mean there no good ?

    1. Since there is no guarantee that the cooker maintained the correct temperature during the entire canning process there is no guarantee that the foods pressure canned with an electric pressure cooker are safe.

      Sorry.

      L

      1. I canned carrots last year , we ate them and know one got sick . It’s hard to believe at 80 lbs. pressure at 75 min. Would not can meat . ☹️️

        1. Betty, your electric pressure cooker cannot achieve 80 pounds of pressure. Also, you should read-up a little on Botulisim – it’s an equal opportunity bacterium and will grow in both vegetables and meat.

          Ciao,

          L

        2. The Power Pressure Cooker XL reaches 80 pKa (kilopascal) not psi (pounds per square inch). So it didn’t reach 80 pounds of pressure, it reached 11.6 lbs/square inch. Then add the atmospheric pressure at your specific altitude. At sea level the atmospheric pressure would be roughly 14.7psi, so the pressure reached inside a pressure cooker at 11.6psi would be 26.3psi which would translate to 242 degrees. Botulinum spores require 240 degrees for a minimum of 10 mins to kil them. So, at sea level, the temperature might be high enough to kill botulinum spores. As you go up in altitude the atmospheric pressure decreases. Once you reach 1500 ft above sea level the atmospheric pressure is only 13.9psi which would make the pressure inside the pot only 25.5 psi which translates to slightly above 238 degrees, so possibly not high enough to kill botulinum spores.

          But something else to consider, to increase the pressure inside a stove top pressure canner you increase the heat applied.. the higher the fire, the higher the pressure inside… and pressure canners have regulators so you can adjust the heat applied to maintain adequate pressure inside. Pressure canners have pressure valves (rockers) to also help regulate the pressure and make sure it doesn’t over pressurize inside. Electric pressure cookers don’t have regulators and don’t vent during operations b/c they run through heating cycles to regulate their internal pressure. Then they turn the heat off and on to maintain the pressure. So they tend to only reach their max psi at the very beginning of cooking, right as the machine comes to pressure, then the internal temp would be up and down throughout the remainder of the cooking time. That heat cycling means that, even below 1500 ft altitude, the temp inside doesn’t remain at a constant 240+“ for the length of cooking. So there’d be no way to know if the food inside had reached 240“ for long enough to kill botulinum spores.

          1. What a great explanation! Thanks!

    2. I plan to purchase one for the very same reason. This is a clear example of government overreach. Fear based information. ……if our grandmother’s water bath canned meat and lived the electronic pressure canner/cookers should out perform that method by quiet a bit.

      1. Brenda, pressure canning information and advice from the USDA and their agricultural stations is not fear-based but science-based.
        http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/uga/using_press_canners.html

        Just because the dangers were not well-known or researched when your grandmother was hot-water canning meats and low-acid vegetables it doesn’t mean the dangers didn’t exist.

        Ciao,

        L

      2. You need to remember that this science is Statistics based. Just because your grandmother got away with it, doesn’t mean others did. Or you will.

        Some people smoke and live healthily into their nineties. Most don’t.

        As Clint said: Do you feel lucky punk?

  9. I’m very frustrating to know that I can’t do Canning in my Power Cooker. Yesterday I spend all day Canning baby food to find out that it is not safe, and that I have to throw it away. . Waste of money and time! And to to mention the risk of given that food to my baby . How they can promote the Power cooker as pressure Canning if is not!!!

  10. Nora, empty your jars into ice cube trays and freeze them. They should be safe if you just made them yesterday. That is, if its vegetables….I don’t know about meat. I would think it’s OK if you cooked it first. We made all our baby food by steaming the veggies, pureeing them and freezing them in cubes. They lasted months in the freezer and only take seconds to thaw in the microwave. I’m also sad to see I shouldn’t can meat.

    1. I’ve canned meats, milk, butter…….you shouldn’t microwave baby food……microwaves aren’t healthy for us. …..destroys the quality of the food.

      1. Interesting statement. Do you have the science to back it up?

      2. You shouldn’t microwave baby food b/c microwaves don’t heat evenly which means there can be hot spots in the food which can burn babies. Has nothing to do with any health implications some associate with microwaves.

        1. THere is a simple solution to hot spots… Stir the food. if you stop and think about it, a standard saucepan on a stove does not heat evenly either.

    1. “Access To Website Blocked”

      1. The site wasn’t blocked for ME!

  11. There is what appears to be a new one on the market, Geek Chef (seen on amazon). I’d love an update to know if this can be used for pressure canning, as it claims.

    1. From THEIR listing:
      “Pressure: 82.7 Kpa / 12 psi”

      I would give it a resounding NO!
      But check the USDA website to see if there has been an update.

      Sales and marketing people have long been known to make false and/or misleading claims to move product. The practice has not died out.

    2. Kathy, I checked the NCHFP website and do not see any other exceptions added to their original warning. So, until further information comes out about this directly from NCHFP I would say to continue being wary of mutli-cooker manufacturers and their claims of a pressure canning function.

      I am aware of a manufacturer working on an electric pressure canner that will monitor the pressure and temperature in several areas all the way through the canning process to ensure the integrity of the pressure canning. However, even if THAT comes to fruition until all of the concerns of the NCHFP are addressed (which also includes the time to reach and loose pressure) I will not be able to recommend that, either!

      Ciao,

      L

  12. New canner here, so please bear with me :) What if the meat is cooked already prior to pressure canning it in an electric canner? Does/would this still lead to possible botulism?

    1. Yes, even pressure canning pre-cooked meat can lead to botulisim risk. Because botulism spores are in the air and they can get on the jar, utensils, etc. while you are preparing them.

      Ciao,

      L

  13. I canned jars of jalapenos by pouring the hot brine in to the jars and sealing them. They did not go into a hot bath or a pressure cooker. Actually, the instructions say that they do not require a hot bath. Is that the case because the brine is hot?

    1. Megin, I don’t know what recipe you followed, but NCHFP recommends also treating brined Jalapenos to a hot water bath for sterilization and storage:
      http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_06/pickled_jalapeno_rings.html

      Ciao,

      L

    2. If you did not put the jalapenos in a hot water bath they are only pickled and not actually canned. They should be kept in the refrigerator and are only good for about 1-2 weeks.

  14. Hello, I’m so glad I came across this! I was considering getting and electric pressure cooker that I could also use to can…but evidently, that’s not a good idea. So, could you give me a list of pressure canners that I could can low acidic vegetables in, please? I’m new to pressure cooking and canning, but want to do both!

    1. Welcome Julie,
      You are basically safest using a dedicated pressure canner for pressure canning. I’m sorry I cannot give any recommendations as I have no personal experience with them.
      It needs to be big – probably about 8 litres/quarts as a minimum.
      It should also use a weight based system for regulating the pressure. There are some approved pressure gauge systems out there, but the gauges need to be checked regularly for accuracy. Weights don’t change. Spring based systems should not be used as 1. they can lose tension ( and therefore pressure) over time and 2. they tend to seal automatically so you miss the recommended venting time at the beginning.

      You can use any pressure canner for pressure cooking, but most of them are huge, and you would be better off with a dedicated separate smaller pressure cooker for day to day cooking, and just drag the big beast out when canning.

      1. Greg and Julie – actually the pressure cooker canners sold in the US are 10 liters or larger. You can see a selection of top quality stove top pressure canners here:
        https://www.hippressurecooking.com/go-shopping/#canner

        Since you already have a pressure cooker, I would consider just getting a dedicated pressure canner – they are larger but lighter and less expensive because they are made of aluminum. And they almost all have the weight-based valve that Greg recommends.

        Ciao,

        L

  15. Thank you, Greg and Laura!

  16. Induction heaters are a nice way to can, but to do so you should buy stainless.

  17. I just bought a Power Pressure Cooker XL because it had a canning feature. I really didn’t want to hear this…but thank you for telling me. We’re a family of 2. Can you recommend a very small pressure canner? Thanks in advance

    1. Roxi, pressure canners are large because even though you may only be two people you might want to make just one large batch of something to store on a shelf. You can always use smaller jars so you don’t have too many open sitting in the fridge in-between.

      I purchased the 16L Presto Pressure Canner for myself – but I regret doing it because it has a dial-guague which needs to be calibrated each year. I live in Italy, and I have not yet found a place to calibrate it! In the U.S. you would drive to your local Extension office to have it calibrated.

      So my recommendation is to get a weight-controlled pressure canner. The weight will not need to be calibrated – it remains the same through the life of the cooker. I have not used this myself but this looks like a good-sized, beginner-priced, pressure canner:
      http://amzn.to/2n9zBQo

      Good luck and have fun – and don’t forget that you can still use your Power Pressure Cooker XL for pressure cooking!!! : )

      Ciao,

      L

  18. Just a quick observation….everything I’ve read says no pressure canning in an electric pressure cooker. Some people respond, “that’s only for pressure canning; you can do water bath canning in it.” However, I’ve been canning since I was a kid growing up on a farm, and know that the jars have to be completely submerged in water to use the water bath method, and I read on the NCHFP site that it must be at least 1″ water to do so. So how do you interpret this? I have a 6 quart and to meet the 1″ requirement, the largest jar I can do and stay below the 2/3 maximum fill level, is a 4-6 oz. jar. Is the temperature inside high enough and consistent enough to water bath can the high acidic foods?

    1. Hi Janet, I can’t speak to other people and where they get their information but I carefully research mine and stick to the facts. As you’ve noted, some of what you’re hearing doesn’t make a lot of sense. So let me tell you why they might be confused, and what I recommend until we hear directly from NCHFP.

      First of all, it’s true, there is a “pressure steam” powered hot water canner. It is the Ball FreshTech Automatic Canner by Jarden Home Brands. And, with this appliance, you can safely can high-acid foods using their steam pressure programs and recipes. To the common observer, the FreshTech Automatic canner looks just like an electric pressure cooker with a new panel on the front. But when you dive into the technology (here is the FreshTech patent with technical drawings) you’ll find that it’s much more complex. Specifically, instead of just a temperature sensor on the base (like most electric pressure cookers), it additionally has an extra temperature sensor in the lid, PLUS a pressure sensor too. Also, unlike electric pressure cookers, it is designed to vent continuously during operation to maintain a steam-saturated environment for optimal heat transfer. Additionally, to all of these technical feats, they also have a specific 5-phase process to ensure the proper heat-up and cool-down phases. And, it is my understanding, that they sent their testing data to NCHFP in order to receive the Ok from them to market their product to pressure steam high-acid foods instead of boiling them.

      So, can the same processes, timings, and phases to pressure steam high-acid foods be used with an electric pressure cooker? No. Because electric pressure cookers do not have the same number of temperature and pressure sensors to monitor the temperature and pressure consistently and they do not vent continuously during operation. Also, more importantly, NCHFP has not announced that any additional brands or models are OK to use for hot water bath canning with pressurized steam.

      My recommendation is to use an electric pressure cooker to can hi-acid foods like a hot water bath canner – following the same directions, processing times and precautions as you normally would. The only difference is that you would use the brown/saute program to bring the water to a rolling boil, you can fill the cooker up with water to the non-pressure program max-fill line, and remove the valve and gasket from the lid to ensure the cooker does not accidentally start to build pressure.

      I have done this with both stove top and electric pressure cookers and, despite the fact that I followed “hot water bath canning” procedures, using an electric pressure cooker made the whole process relatively hands-off and splash free! BTW, with an electrics, you do have to watch and re-start the brown/saute programs because they last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes -depending on the brand- so you don’t want them to finish before the heat-up and processing times are up.

      Ciao,

      L

      P.S. I already dropped NCHFP a note asking for guidance regarding the use of pressure steaming for hot water bath canning- I’ll post a follow-up comment with any of their advice when they respond.

      1. So, how could they advertise this as a method for canning?

        1. Because they are sales people. Sales people, like politicians, will tell you anything if they think it will make a sale/vote. I spent part of my working life doing “after sales support” in an unrelated field. Most of what I did was trying to make the stuff they sold do what they promised it would do. Not always (or even often!) successfully. Sales didn’t care. They got their commission anyway and moved on.

          There were and are a few honest exceptions. But anyone who claims their electric pressure cooker is suitable for pressure canning is NOT one of them.

      2. Here is the response from Barbara at the University of Wisconsin regarding g steam canning
        “My laboratory at the University of Wisconsin did the steam canning research published in 2015. It was not actually supported by Victorio, but by USDA under a grant to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. As long as you can prove that the steam temperature in the multicanner is that of pure steam (210-212 F), then you can use the appliance for steam canning. Because these canners do not vent in the same was as a steam canner (they do not emit steam throughout the process), I am not optimistic that they can be used for steam canning.
        Barb”

  19. I received mt Gourmia Pressure Cooker in January, I chose it becuause I wanted to use it for canning. When I received the appliance I read it cover to cover. Mine even has instructions for canning. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to hear that electric pressure cookers are not safe for canning.

  20. Am I correct in thinking that food canned with an electric pressure cooker could be safe to eat after reboiling (upon opening) to kill the botulism spores that actually make you sick? I used one of these to can a beef stew, but I’m so afraid of low-acid foods that I always boil them before eating. Thanks in advance!

    1. From Wikipedia:
      “The toxin, though not the organism, is destroyed by heating it to more than 85 °C (185 °F) for longer than 5 minutes.”

      So you may get the toxin, but not the cause of it. Also, there are other bugs to be concerned about.

      Still. It is your life. So it is your call.

  21. I am curious if there are reports anywhere of people getting sick from eating the food canned in these types of cookers?

    1. Unfortunately, the databases that track reports of food poisoning from hospitals do not track the preparation or cooking method of an ingredient. The only information that is entered into the national database is :
      -Year
      -State
      -Location of Preparation
      -Food Ingredient
      -Etiology (aka toxic or poisonous agent)

      You can search through it here:
      https://wwwn.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/

      To find botulism outbreaks in the U.S. choose “Clostridium” from the “Etiology” drop-down.

      Ciao,

      L

  22. Hi,

    New to this. Tried to can salmon in an instapot in pint jars (4 pint jars fit into the pot). Now I’m reading that this was not a good idea. So, a half day later, I’m putting them in the fridge. Can I start over with an actual pressure canner and still eat this canned salmon?

    1. According to this website (http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/18244):

      “How long does cooked salmon last at room temperature? Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F; cooked salmon should be discarded if left for more than 2 hours at room temperature.”

      Sorry.

      L

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 notify me of new comments

upload a photo with your comment (max size 500k)

Comments containing links, photos or from new members are moderated may take a few hours to display.

Please note that by commenting you will be automatically subscribed to the newsletter.