Canning food is the perfect way to have homemade, tasty food all year round. However, this process can be time consuming and involve a few tries before you get it right. Because of this, many home canners have dreamed of an electrical canner that would make the canning process easier. When the Instant Pot Max came out in 2018 advertising a canning feature, the home canners of the internet went wild with curiosity and excitement! This brings us to the question of the day- can you can in an instant pot?
Can You Can In An Instant Pot?
Instant Pots are truly remarkable kitchen appliances, known for reducing cooking time and labor. Last night I made mushroom risotto in mine, and trust me when I say that I will never go back to the labor-intensive, time consuming process of making it on the stovetop. These wonderful appliances are multi-cookers, so they can sauté, along with being used as slow cookers, pressure cookers, air fryers, rice cookers, and more. They are made with stainless steel for easy clean-up and can be found on Amazon or in the home and kitchen section of many stores.
While using an Instant Pot for canning would make the process easier and faster, it's still unclear whether or not you can safely use pressure cooking to can in an instant pot. While there are accounts of canners successfully using it for pressure canning, experts say that using the Instant Pot to preserve your food is more complicated than simply pressing a button and having a beautiful batch of canned jam.
This is because you need to reach a certain pressure and temperature to can food safely and effectively. The USDA advises not to use the electric pressure cooker for some methods of home canning, because it hasn't yet been established whether the Instant Pot Max and other electric pressure cookers can meet the requirements necessary to kill bacteria inside the canned food.
If the correct levels haven't been reached, botulism can be caused, and it's best to be cautious regarding food safety. Also, the elevation of a home canner's location can affect the actual cooking temperature, which adds another complication. Since it's unclear whether you can use your instant pot for safe canning, it's probably best to stay away from using it for pressure canning.
But You Can...
Use it for other methods of canning! Using the Instant Pot, you can do boiling-water canning, also called water bath canning. This method is perfect for pickles and jams. Boiling-water canning is done at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and is a great method for fruits, tomatoes, pickles and jellied products. It's important to ensure that your water is boiling throughout the entire processing time of your food. You can learn more about how to use your instant pot for boiling-water canning here.
You can also do steam canning, also known as atmospheric canning, as long as you follow the rules of safe canning. One essential rule is to only use high acid foods like fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, and some tomatoes. You cannot can low acid foods like meat, poultry and fish, but feel free to make strawberry jam or tomato sauce using this method!
This step by step tutorial explains how to use your instant pot as a steam canner:
Using your instant pot for canning opens up a whole new world for your instant pot recipes! Not only can you make painless pot roast, soup and mac n cheese, you can fill your kitchen with jars of tomato sauce and jellies to last through the winter using your trusty multicooker.