Pressure Canning: A Think Ahead Lifestyle

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
Provideth her meat in the summer,
and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
~ Proverbs 6:6-8


In recent weeks, I have been asked quite a few questions about pressure canning. I suppose this past year of 2020 has had everyone thinking a little differently about their lifestyle of eating.

Is it simple to pop into the car and drive to the grocery store and buy what you need? Absolutely.
But when your life is suddenly halted and you are unable to go anywhere as easily, you will thank yourself for your thinking ahead lifestyle.

While, normally, December  is not the peak season of canning, this year is different for all of us in many different ways. Those who were teetering on the brink of “wanting” to learn to can have jumped into the pot, so to speak, and have just begun. I have a dear young friend who, at the beginning of the summer, rushed out to the local farm store and purchased her first pressure canner. With a baby on hip and a toddler underfoot, she quickly learned how to pressure can all her meats needed for the winter. She did not hesitate to learn a new skill of preserving her food. I was so proud of her!

Now, after an unsteady year across the globe, many housewives interested in pressure canning once again. Some have started canning this year for the first time. Others, still have not begun as they unsure where to begin – they are researching and and asking questions. Wherever you stand, I think we can all see it’s time, ladies! It’s time to return to the lost art of home preserving.

Not only is it prudent …  it’s fun. Yes, I consider canning an enjoyable pastime!  It’s a good thing, too, since my family benefits from all our canning as we eat out of our Provision Room all winter long.

– “Take Care of Pressure Canners”, USDA, 1945.


This was my first pressure canner – it worked just fine, with the exception that, after a few years of using it regularly, I needed to replace the rubber ring that needs to go around the lid.

I decided to upgrade to a larger canner for a few reasons – our family had grown and grown 🙂 and also, my sweet aunt, who is a very well-versed woman in the area of food preservation, sang the praises of this pressure canner for years. Trusting her sound advice, I placed an order the All American Pressure canner. I have not regretted it for one moment!

I will say that I LOVE my pressure canner.

It works well, it’s a beast and heavy and works straight through the summer and fall. It is amazing and I love it. I love that I can stack two tiers of soups or stews inside the canner.


Here is a website for those in the United States. You can also purchase straight from the All American website. (Sadly, there are so many orders, you will not receive your pressure canner until this coming spring! That is a long wait! At least you can do your research now and get ready for this coming year. I would still place an order for a pressure canner, if you are able, and get on the waiting list.)

For those in Canada, here is a website to purchase from. Unfortunately, with the rush on those learning to can food this year, they are back-ordered, but you can place your name on a waiting list! I actually purchased mine from but it is no longer listed there. Here is one available right now– this is similar to the brand and version I started with. It is smaller than my current pressure canner, but if you have a smaller family (whereas we are at 11 people in our family), perhaps it would suit your needs. If you cannot wait for the All American canner, which is not available until next year, maybe this is a good second option — again, for smaller families. I found nothing wrong with this canner; it was easy to use and operate; however, over time, I needed to move to a larger size. So if you are looking to pressure can this winter, why not try this version?

Let’s get straight to the details of pressure canning. We are not talking about water bath canning – this is only pressure canning. We are also NOT talking about pressure COOKING. That is completely different and not the same. Do not use a pressure cooker for your pressure canner.

In order to join me in the pressure canning experience, you will need:


~ your pressure canner
~ mason jars (approved for canning)
~ new lids
~ rings



and your soup or food of choice!

You will need to pressure can:
– soups and stews
– anything with meat
– green beans
-chick peas, kidney beans
– carrots
– broth
– corn
– low acid foods


Here is a handy reference chart from the University of Minnesota Extension:


Reference chart: pressure canning low-acid foods

Type of food Style of pack Jar size Head space Process time (minutes) Dial gauge (PSI) Weighted gauge (PSI)
Asparagus Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 30 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Beans – lima (fresh) shelled Hot and raw Pints Small beans – 1 inch small 40 11# 15#
Quarts Small beans – 1 ½ inch 50 11# 15#
Pints Large beans – 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Quarts Large beans – 1 ¼ inch 50 11# 15#
Beans – green and wax Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 20 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 25 11# 15#
Beets Hot Pints 1 inch 30 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Carrots Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 25 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 30 11# 15#
Corn (cream style) Hot Pints 1 inch 85 11# 15#
Corn (whole kernel) Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 55 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 85 11# 15#
Peas (fresh green) Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Peppers Peeled Half pints 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Pints 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Potatoes (white, cubed or whole) Hot Pints 1 inch 35 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 40 11# 15#
Pumpkin and winter squash (cubed) Hot Pints 1 inch 55 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Spinach and other greens Hot Pints 1 inch 70 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Soups (vegetable, dried beans/pea, meat, poultry-NO seafood) Hot Pints 1 inch 60 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 75 11# 15#
Meat (ground or chopped) Hot Pints 1 inch 75 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Meat (strips, cubes or chunks) Hot and raw Pints 1 inch 75 11# 15#
Quarts 1 inch 90 11# 15#
Poultry (without bones) Hot and raw Pints 1¼ inches 75 11# 15#
Quarts 1¼ inches 90 11# 15#
Poultry (with bones) Hot and raw Pints 1¼ inches 65 11# 15#
Quarts 1¼ inches 75 11# 15#


Now, do not let that chart scare you away from pressure canning. Basically, you just find the food you want to can (for example … carrots?) and look at the chart. If you have a weighted pressure canner (which I do), you use the appropriate weight for your altitude. If you have a steam pressure canner, you read the directions for your steam stream (I can help you with that – email me if you have questions) and can for the listed amount of time.

A note on thinking ahead:

In the past, I was able to buy packs and packs of new lids at the local dollar store. I no longer visit the dollar store as much and have ordered lids online. This year, I purchased a couple hundred lids online and never even thought once about not having enough lids. Currently, there is, however, a high demand on lids, I have noticed. If you are need canning lids, it is best to think ahead and purchase when you can this year and coming into the summer time of preserving. There may be a shortage this coming summer. Think ahead!


Start stocking up on jars, as well. You will be surprised at how many jars you will need!

Have you started collecting mason jars? I hope so! Those are in high demand right now, as well. For the past few years, I have not had to buy any jars, which is wonderful. Sometimes, I find I need jam sized jars, as we give those out as gifts and therefore, need to replace our jar stock in that size. However, over the years, people have given me hundreds of mason jars. They are usually the 1 litre size. It is amazing! People just know that I can and put up food so, I suppose, they remember me if they see jars in the thrift store or if they have jars to give away. I have thousands of glass mason jars to be used in my home for preserving food. And preserve food I do! Our Provision Room, a section of our very old basement of our 130 year old home, is home for all our summer and fall efforts of preserving food. It is a crude room with a dirt floor, one light bulb and many spiders. However, it serves a great purpose for our family.


If you can locate a pressure canner this yer — and need encouragement to start – leave a reply on this blog post and I will gladly help you with anything you need to know. There are loads of website to help you, but sometimes it is nice to talk to someone in person with your question.


Happy Preserving!


December 20, 2020 - 5:37 am

Gigi Mrs. Robichaux, that is wonderful! I’d love to see a photo! You can message me at – that’s so fabulous! We have bees, as well, although only two hives, so we simply eat all our honey and do not sell it. Have a great holiday!

December 19, 2020 - 10:16 pm

Mrs. Robichaux I LOVE your Provision room. I made one of my sons old bedrooms into a canning room. I had shelves built all around the room right before March. It is my favorite room except for the kitchen. I also love to can. It is my favorite thing to do. My mother in law taught me and I am so very grateful! She has since past but she has left me with a great love for canning! We buy jars and lids every chance we get because of my canning and we have honey bees and sell honey as well. I have not thought to have a back up Pressure caner and that is something I should do. I love your blog and I have learned a lot from you.

Have a Merry Christmas!
Mrs. Robichaux

December 19, 2020 - 5:41 am

Gigi All began with you, mom! xo

December 19, 2020 - 5:41 am

Gigi Miriam, a wide variety is lovely! Yes, lids are tricky. Are you in the U.S.?

December 19, 2020 - 5:40 am

Gigi Regina, I can understand being afraid of it – it’s a little menacing looking, isn’t it? Many are afraid of exploding – 🙂 – but as long as you follow the instructions properly, you will be okay. I do remember shoo-ing all children from my kitchen during my first few episodes of pressure canning, just in case.
I would not use my pressure canner for cooking – I have heard of that and I think you can, but I like to reserve my canner for canning and not use it for anything else.

December 19, 2020 - 5:39 am

Gigi Cathy, yes, that is where I get my lids. I think I posted a link before. So handy to have it shipped! I love the sound of your Cellar Store!

December 19, 2020 - 5:33 am

Gigi Hi Sam – great to hear from you! Yes, you re-use the jars forever – which is wonderful — however the lids (not the rings, but just the sealing lids) are a one time use. (You can re-use those used lids in your pantry for things like chocolate chips or flour in mason jars, etc. but not for canning). Yes, you can can meat, however, as mentioned in this post, it MUST be pressure canned. If you follow the guidelines, your meat will be safe. In all my years of canning, we have never met up with a jar that made us sick. If your seal breaks, you will know as the food will grow mould.
Canned items are good for various times – usually you want to eat it within the year or two, but it can last a bit longer for some items. The first year is the best to eat it, in my opinion. Two years is completely useable. 😉
Email me if you would like – – if you are going to can and have questions! I would love to help.

December 18, 2020 - 5:51 pm

Sam Hi Gigi!
Awesome post! I am really interested in beginning canning but not really sure how it all works. So you reuse the jars over and over but the lids are single use? And I didn’t realize you can meat LOL how do you ensure it’s safe? How long are canned items good for?

December 16, 2020 - 1:37 pm

Cathy I love my pressure canner! I just started getting serious this year but have made so many things! I too have a room in the basement. We call it the “Cellar Store” and we have so many goodies to choose from. We are eating so much healthier now and it tastes so much better than the stores. I realllllllly want an all american as I had to stand around the kitchen all day while making tons of chicken stock and it would have gone so much faster if I had one of these beauties! Also if anyone is interested we have been getting our lids from and they are very good. ;D

December 15, 2020 - 5:00 pm

Regina Shea I have an All American canner and I love it though I’ve only used it a few times. It’s my first pressure canner and I even named it Little Bertha. I was afraid of it at first because I was terrified it would explode like that in episode of I Love Lucy when Fred and Ricky tried to cook the chicken in the pressure cooker.
I am wondering though. Can I use my pressure canner for pressure cooking too? In my owner’s manual there are directions for pressure cooking foods but I’ve only used canner for canning.

December 15, 2020 - 3:39 pm

miriam stoltzfoos I love canning! I too consider it enjoyable. We only have 1 child so i don’t have to can as much of anything but I can a wide variety like you. I’m having trouble buying lids this year,though. Am hoping they increase their production by next spring. I love your blog by the way. It’s like reading a little house on the Prairie book.

December 15, 2020 - 10:27 am

Brenda Clair (Gigi’s Mom) Thanks for the tips!! This is a welcome post!! Love Momma xo