Hottest Canner for Christmas 2012

There are always a few home-making queens or kings in our lives. If you are contemplating about buying a canner for them as a Christmas gift this year, you’ve come to the right place. This guide will cut into the chase and share the insight into the hottest pressure canners in 2012.

While there may be hundreds of pressure cookers/canner wannabes on the market, there are only two brands that can be truly qualified to do the job. They are the All American and Presto pressure canners. Fortunately, both are American brands.

Why am I so sure about my pick? First of all, the pressure canner has to be big enough in liquid and volume capacity. Being able to hold 4 quart-sized jars is the minimum prerequisite to be called a canner. Then comes the build material and construction. Next is how safe it is to use it in terms of pressure regulation and release. Last, but the least is the brand reputation and warranty. How they stand behind their products is reflected in the time they’ve been in the business; how they service their customers after the sales; how long they’d guarantee to have the replacement parts and how long their warranty period is. Let’s compare the two best pressure canning manufacturers side by side, shall we?

Brand Overview

All American Pressure Cooker/Canners

Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry is the brand behind All American Pressure Cooker/Canners. They have been in business since 1930 designing and producing canner/cookers. Even though many similar manufacturers have moved their facilities to overseas for lower costs and cheaper labors, the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry stands steadfast to be the proud brand made in the U.S.A.

Presto Pressure Cooker/Canners

This line of pressure cookers and canners are manufactured and marketed by the National Presto Industries since 1905 which happens to be based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin also. Most of the Presto pressure cookers and canners are designed in the U.S., but made in Asia-China.

Product Portfolio

All American is best known for its extensive line of canner/cookers from 10.5 quart to 41.5 quart. This collection of 6 products is made of the same cast aluminum material with the same mechanism for pressure regulation and release.

Presto straddles between pressure cookers and canners, weighing more on the cookers. The canners consist of two sizes only on Presto’s website, 16 and 23 quarts all made of heavy aluminum. You might be able to find a 22 quart size on Amazon.

Product Features

All American is the only brand with an exclusive metal-to-metal seal between the lid and the cooking pot. 6 clamping locks are used to form a hermetical seal between the cover and the base. No need to worry about replacing a worn-out gasket after so many uses.

The pressure is regulated through a weighted topper that has three pressure level settings as 5, 10 and 15 psi (pounds per square inch). A pressure gauge on top of the lid provides a visual indication of the pressure level inside the pot.

Pressure can be released through the two traditional methods, i.e. the “cold water” and “natural release”.

Three handles, one on top and two on the sides enable you to carry the pot easily with balanced weight. The handles are made of bakelite that stays cool during cooking. It’s not recommended to use this canner on smooth surface cooktops, including ceramic and induction.

Presto’s canners are sealed via a gasket or a sealing ring which is prevalent in most of the pressure cookers/canners around the world.

The pressure is regulated through two methods, the primary valve and the overpressure plug. A pressure gauge has readings from 0 to 20 pounds per square inch (psi) but the regulator only rocks at 15 psi when you should be monitoring and adjusting the heat level to maintain the required pressure per the recipe. I confirmed with Presto that you can cook at 5, 10 and 15 psi in this canner.

While the Presto canner is suitable for smooth surface cooktops besides gas and electric, it CAN”T be used on induction cooktop.

There are only two side handles in the Presto canners. The same two pressure release methods are used in Presto’s canners.

Warranty

There is no comparison in terms of warranty period between the two brands. Presto offers a 12-year warranty while All American only 1-year. The argument the All American makes is there is nothing to warrant against because it’s so well-designed and made. Nothing much to replace really.

Consumer Ratings

Both canners have received 4.5 or better ratings across the board with All American models slightly having an edge of 4.78 over 4.6 for Presto.

Pricing

A huge disparity exists in pricing between the two. An All American canner is 2 or 3 times more expensive than the comparable Presto canner. The price-value equation is a very subjective matter.

My Final Thought

The higher price would buy you a metal-to-metal seal that no gasket needs to be replaced down the road. It also gets you a heavier hand-cast aluminum pot made in the U.S.A. The three pressure level settings are another edge the All American has over Presto. You get to choose among 6 different capacity sizes from 10-1/2 to 41-1/2. But one-year warranty?

This is what I would do. If budget is not a constraint for you and this is for someone very special to you, then buy an All American. Otherwise, go for a Presto.

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