Preserving what you grow is always a good thing, but when it comes to choosing a canner, you must first figure out what you want your canner to do for you!
You should know the canning requirements for each of the foods that you plan to preserve or that you will grow in your garden before deciding what type of canner will best suit you, and then weigh the pros and cons of having each type. They all have their advantages!
Normally the first canner you'll own is a water-bath canner, though once you start home canning, you'll find that certain low-acid foods, such as vegetables, meats, fish and some fruits are more safely and quickly processed at the higher temperatures a pressure canner offers. However, even a water-bath canner can process low-acid foods; it just takes quite a bit longer.
So, take into consideration the volume and the type of produce or meats you will be preserving. The size and type of your canner will determine how many of what size jars you can process at one time and can you decide if a pressure canner may trump a water-bath canner, especially if time is a significant factor.
Home canning is a time-honored tradition and one that is making a come-back as families make healthier and more economically sound choices.
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