If you enjoy canning fresh fruits and vegetables then a pressure cooker is a must have item for your kitchen. The USDA recommends pressure canning as the only safe way to can. In order to create enough pressure in the canner, the temperature inside is so high that it actually kills a lot of harmful bacteria that may be present in the canning process. With your pressure canner, you can preserve meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and low acid fruits. The purpose of this article is to review the All American 921 21 ½ quart pressure cooker and canner. We will review the features of this product and explore some of the positive and negative aspects of this pressure cooker/canner.
About the Company
This canner is created and manufactured by All American. The All American pressure cookers have been manufactured since the 1930s. Tip: You can go on the Red Hill General Store website , an authorized dealer of All American products since 1998, where you can go to order your pressure canner and find all your replacement parts online when necessary. The company prides themselves on superior customer service and satisfaction.
Features of the All American Pressure Cooker/Canner
The All American pressure cooker/canner is made of extra heavy, high grade cast aluminum with double thick edges, the outside has a satin smooth finish. The seal between the lid and the pot is a metal to metal seal, meaning there is no gasket attached to the lid. The lid stays in place during pressurization with large, wing nuts that need to be screwed tight in order to secure the lid in place.
There is a “stay cool” top handle that can be used to lift the unit even after it has been cooking. It has an automatic venting system. This is a safety measure that helps release the pressure if needed. This venting system consists of the regulator weight and the vent pipe. The easy to read weighted pressure gauge cooks at 5, 10 or 15 psi. Most recipes call for 15 psi pressure in order to cook/can, but there are some recipes that require a lower pressure to cook or can. Also included with this canner is a canning rack and an instruction/recipe book.
Be aware that this canner is not designed to be used on a glass or flat top range. The weight of the canner my break the cook top. The diameter of the pot is larger than the average burner on a glass cook top and may damage the surrounding surface when the pot is hot.
Canning with a pressure canner is different than canning in a hot water bath. There are more things to be aware of and there are also more things that can go wrong. Make sure that you refer to the instruction book that is included with the All American canner for detailed information and safety instructions. The book also gives specific times at which to keep the jars in the canner in order for them to seal properly.
Basically what you will do to pressure can is pour one and a half inches of water into the canner. Place the prepared cans in the bottom of the canner. If you layer your cans, use a rack in between layers. Place the lid on the cooker and begin to heat up your canner on high heat until steam releases from your vent pipe for 7 minutes. Once that has occurred, you place the pressure regulator weight on top of the vent pipe. Set the pressure regulator to the desired psi. Listen for the pressure regulator weight, this will signal when the pressure has been achieved by jiggling. Reduce the heat and allow the cans to pressurize for the prescribed amount of time. When processing is done, turn off the heat and remove the selective pressure regulator weight until the gauge registers at zero. Once this is achieved, you may open your cooker and take out your sealed cans.
Positive Aspects of this Canner
Canning with the All American pressure cooker/canner is a revolutionary tool. Not only is it safer to can with but it is also faster. This is a twenty-one and a half quart unit. It is very large and has the capacity to pressurize many cans at once. If you are using half quart jars, you can fit twenty-one in the canner at the same time. The canner fits nineteen pint jars and seven quart jars. It clearly has the capacity to fit anything that you are planning to can. With the smaller jars, you simply stack them on top of each other in order to fit that many in there.
The aluminum wears well, cleans easily and will not rust. The metal to metal seal is one of the best features of this product. With this design, there is no gasket in the lid that needs to be replaced. This feature together with the durability of the aluminum ensures that this product lasts a lifetime and not only that; it is a product that can be passed down through generations.
Negative Aspects of this Canner
While this canner is durable, it is also heavy and bulky. Customers complained about how the unit weighs close to twenty pounds when empty. It is also sixteen inches high. These features make it difficult to store and difficult to move it around. The weight of this pressure cooker make it very difficult to move when it is full of cans.
Another complaint against this pressure canner is that it takes a long time to heat up. That time invested may not make this a quicker method of canning.
This canner is durable, but it is also high in price. Amazon.com has this canner priced at $218.99. That is a lot of money to spend on a canner, but most of the customers were satisfied and this product received 4.8 out of 5 stars. If you are planning on canning your entire life, this is a good product to invest in.