Can you pressure can in an Instant Pot?

Does an Instant Pot develop enough pressure to can smaller amounts of food (ie pint or half pint containers) and is there enough room to do several jars at a time? I know pH is a factor and I would be following professionally developed recipes. I have only done water-bath canning of jams and jellies.

  • Posted by: Gammy
  • August 6, 2019


Gammy August 7, 2019
Thank you Eric and Lori T. for your responses. I don't have an Instant Pot and was trying to determine all that it was capable of doing and whether it was worth the money and kitchen space. I guess not being able to tell whether it reaches the pressure needed to can or not is a biggy. So when I do get one, I will not consider canning with it and stick to recipes developed for my trusty water bath method.
Lori T. August 7, 2019
I feel you. I'd like somebody to develop a reliable electric pressure canner myself. But until that day arrives, don't let that stop you from canning- or even getting a small pressure canner. They are nothing like the old sort I grew up with, and I had a huge fear of them to start with myself. I experienced a blow out when I was young, and it was not until I hit my 30's that I bought one for myself. However, if you do like using a water bath for things, you should check out the steam canners. The FDA approves some of those now- and I got one as a present to replace one that was wearing thin. I LOVE it. Much less boiling hot water to risk, and all the timings are the same. If you try one, I think you will be converted.
Gammy August 7, 2019
I never heard of a steam canner, but will investigate. You hit the nail on the head about the water bath behemoth... I can not lift it when full of water and must wait for it to cool down, then remove much of the water with a bowl before I dare move it. New to canning, right now sticking to seedless blackberry jam and syrup and tomato catsup and spicy sweet tomato jam. Have had no problem with lids not sealing or jars leaking. Would love to can whole or halves of tomatoes for winter, but my garden isn't producing enough right now and perfect tomatoes are too expensive. For the catsup I can get away with blemished ones and cut the soft spots out. The long cooking time renders everything into a soupy mess that miraculously turns into catsup with a few additional ingredients. Thanks for your help!
Lori T. August 7, 2019
You should absolutely check out steam canners. I have a Victorio steam canner, which only requires 3 quarts of water to successfully seal 7 quarts or 8 pints per load. Mine is the stainless steel version, more expensive than their aluminum version. It comes with a built in guage to let you know when it's time to start process timing. It can also be used as a regular water bath type canner, but with the steam so wonderful- I've never been tempted to do that. Some of the other versions they make are strictly for steam canning though, and I expect are just as wonderful to work with. You will never have to risk scalding again- or battle the weight of a huge pot.
Lori T. August 7, 2019
There is a difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner, and the Instant Pot is rather in a curious area in between. Pressure canners are either weighted or have dials for you to determine interior pressure and to regulate it. The Instant Pot doesn't have either one- so it's hard to know when it reaches exactly what pressure- and if it is actually reaching it the entire time. While I wouldn't say a pressure canner is a cheap thing, a small one is no more expensive than the Instant Pot. You can get a small one suitable for pints and half-pints for less than the larger versions, certainly less that the biggest Instant Pot version. So far as I know the FDA hasn't approved any of the electric pressure cookers for canning purposes. Since the risk of doing it improperly involves botulism- it's worth it to be cautious and just use a regular pressure canner. You can use those to do water bath canning as well, if you choose. I do tons of canning every year, using a large pressure canner. I love my Instant Pot, and it does a lot of things well. Canning just isn't one of them- yet, anyway. The guidelines and directions for FDA approved recipes are all designed for use with pressure canners of the old variety, as well. So it's best to stick with one of the small versions of the old dial or weight variety.
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