If you've decided that you want to start canning food, that's great! Canning food is a fantastic way to save money on groceries and preserve your garden fresh vegetables. Keep in mind that it can be dangerous if the process isn't done properly.
Even canning in an instant pot is no exception. This article will show you the proper way to keep your food safe while canning it and the basics of how to use an instant pot.
Different Canning Techniques
There are several different techniques that you should know about before you start the canning process, the most popular among them being pressure canning and water bath canning.
Pressure canning is best when you're canning low-acid foods such as beef or poultry. Which is not our focus here. I only focus on preserving garden fresh vegetables.
However, if you're trying to canned goods with a high-acid level, such as jellies or jams, it's going to be a lot safer to use water bath canning or steam canning.
If you happen to be using an instant pot, you will not be able to use the pressure canning process and will instead be required to go through with either steam canning or water bath canning.
But don't worry, we will go over the best ways to do both.
Instant Pot Pressure Canning
Unfortunately, you cannot use an instant pot as a pressure canner. This is because pressure canning requires the food within the pot to be kept at a specific pressure to ensure that it's safe to eat.
This is simply impossible to do in an instant pot. There's no way to measure the pressure inside the instant pot, therefore no way to know whether you're killing the bacteria inside the cans.
So because of this, it's only safe to use an instant pot as a steam canner or a water canner. Which is exactly how I make my homemade canned spaghetti sauce throughout the year.
Prepping Jars For The Canning Process
One way to make sure your jars are sterilized and ready to be used is to either use boiling hot water and wash them by hand or to put them in a dishwasher, but did you know that you can sterilize jars in the instant pot too?
Here are steps that will allow you to do this:
- Ensure no cracks or chips in your jars that might damage the seal.
- Give your jars a quick rinse to get them ready.
- Add 1 cup of water to your instant pot and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar.
- Place the trivet in your pot so that the jars aren't directly touching the bottom of your instant pot.
- Seal the lid and make sure it's not loose in any way, then set the steam cycle for 1 minute
- Finally, the cycle is complete. Lift out the jars carefully and fill them with hot water to stay warm.
Steam Canning In An Instant Pot
As the name implies, an instant pot is supposed to make the process of canning your food easier and faster. And I have found that the process has never been simpler.
Here are the steps to using your instant pot to steam your food.
- Add about 3 cups of water to the pot and then place the trivet inside. You can also add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to guarantee sterilization, but this step is optional.
- Fill your jars while they are hot, leaving about ½ an inch of headspace. Then you can either shake the jar to get bubbles out or use a fancy debubbler to do the same job.
- Use a clean, damp paper towel and wipe off the rim of the jar to ensure that you have a good seal.
- Once you've filled all of your jars and carefully used a jar lifter to place all of them within the instant pot, the next step is to close the lid and set the cycle to steam, and make sure the pressure valve is venting.
- Once the steam is venting, you set the timer according to your recipe.
- Once it's finished, wait for the float valve to drop before opening the lid and using your jar lifter again. Place your jars on a cooling rack and leave them at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Then you'll be good to go!
Tips For Safe Steam Canning
If you don't steam your food safely, there will be a food poisoning risk because the jars might not be adequately sealed or contain bacteria.
Here are some helpful tips for keeping your canning safe and food poisoning-free to ensure that this doesn't happen.
- Only use high acid foods: Foods like fruits, jams, tomatoes, and pickles are fab for this kind of steam canning. You can't steam can low acid foods like meat or poultry safely.
- Use a tested recipe: Make sure that you are using recipes for canning from a tried and tested source so that you know what to expect.
- Use heated jar and heated food: This is the most effective way to ensure that you don't harbor any bacteria in the jars or the food. Also, using a cold jar would increase the chances of the jar cracking.
Resources for Canning
Canning is a time-honored tradition in our family, and I can preserve hundreds of jars of fresh garden tomatoes, pickles, and more. Try one or all of these fantastic mason jar recipes when you're ready to get started.
- USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning (free)
- Foods that are Not Safe to Can
- Know your enemy - Botulism
- Know the role of acids in foods for canning
Canning & Preserving Recipes
My canning recipes are fantastic when you have a bumper harvest of tomatoes or cucumbers. Real garden-to-table canning recipes!
Best Instant Pot Canner
Without a doubt, the best instant pot canner as of 2022 is the Instant Pot Ultra. This is an intelligent computerized pressure cooker, which makes it light years ahead of your mom's or grandma's pressure cooker.
An all-in-one kitchen appliance can sterilize common household items like lids, mason jars, and canning. Plus, this versatile cooking gadget makes family dinners a breeze.
Instant Pot Ultra - 8 Quart - Check Price
Instant Pot Canner Accessories
If you use your instant pot to preserve food, you'll need a few key accessories to complete the process from start to finish.
- Instant Pot Stainless Steel Wire Roasting Rack
- Norpro Canning Jar Lifter
- Norpro Magnetic Lid Wand
- Canning Funnel for Regular and Wide Mouth Jars
- Canning Scoop
Instant Pot Canning Basics
Canning is a great way to save money and keep your healthy food fresh all year round. Instant pots make the process easier and faster, but you need to make sure that you follow the necessary steps so that your food is safe and edible.