In both design and quality, All American can be proud to be really worthy of their brand name. The All American Pressure Canner kept the design of the last century, while still introducing new materials and technologies that will enable you to preserve all kinds of tasty treats, whether they are salty, savory, sweet, or sour.
These pressure canners come in a variety of sizes that can fit different types of jars and cans. From small ones that can be used for all kinds of jams and sauces that are better when used from small jars. There are also intermediate models that are usually the best fit for any kitchen.
All American prides itself on sturdy and safe products, but the vintage Americana feel of the pressure canners does make the whole thing a bit more bulky and hard to store. The medium-sized canners make it so that you can pack in anything you want, but still, have some space left in your cupboards.
Finally, there are the ten-gallon models that are for those who are serious about their pressure canning and have ample space in their kitchen.
As the name suggests, the first thing a good pressure canner needs to have is good pressure. This doesn’t just mean that the pressure that builds up inside is high, but it also needs to be consistent.
There should never be any major fluctuations, as these can destroy whatever you are planning to preserve, especially if it is in glass jars. A good, slow, stable buildup is what you are always looking for in a pressure canner.
After pressure, the most important thing is the temperature. While pressure and temperature usually go hand in hand, the outer walls of some canners are not as thick as with All American pressure canners, and this can lead to cracks and shattering of anything inside the product, especially glass.
Finally, you should never forget safety when buying any kitchen product. Statistically, your kitchen is the second most dangerous place in your life after your bathroom, as you spend so much time there. Thus, you should make all of your kitchen tools as safe as possible as to bring all cuts, burns, and hits to a minimum.
All American has made a good choice to forgo the minimalist and slick design usually seen in modern product for a more ‘50s style look. They use strong, thick, hand-cast aluminum instead of stainless steel, as well as durable gaskets, valves, and gauges to make the whole ordeal as safe and effective as possible, even for novice canners.
Unlike other canners, All American uses a metal-to-metal seal, not needing a gasket as an intermediary to their sealing and clamping process. This is good because the gasket does eventually become something you will need to change and to use a new one, as the sediment in the tap water starts eating out the rubber.
This product mixes the best of both worlds, as there is no gasket to break and leak, and there is no plastic to crack. This is a strong clamping seal that will not break any time soon.
The main difference between other products and All American pressure canners is that this product is meant to last you a lifetime. A gauge or a control valve may start breaking, but you just buy new valves, not the whole pressure cooker and canner.
As far as aesthetics go, it is a matter of personal choice. While some people are enamored with new designs that are meant to make all kitchen appliances look like something from a sci-fi novel, others enjoy the classy vintage look that uses sturdy but bulky analog pressure gauges.
Aside from the looks, these two types are also quite different on the inside. This is because different materials are used to make the product. Pressure cookers and canners can be made from cast aluminum, stainless steel, or different types of composite materials.
Each of these materials has distinct benefits and drawbacks. In the case of All American, the canners are made from thick hand cast aluminum.
This durable metal is probably the best choice once the pressure canner is already on the stove, but it is quite heavy and bulky. Especially if you are using the bigger models.
Make sure to transfer the pot as close to the furnace as possible before you start filling it up. A filled up 10-gallon pressure cooker and canner can weigh more than 100 pounds, depending on the content, and that is not something you would want to carry around.
Not counting the fact that someone might prefer different colors or designs, the All American pressure canner is objectively in the very top of the market and the best tool you can have if you are a canning enthusiast.
There are small differences between the models, especially when it comes to racks and placing them inside, so it would be wise to know for what you will be using your canner before you buy it.
This is the smallest model coming from All American and is a perfect starting canner for all domestic needs. The complete volume inside is ten and a half quarts, which is not negligible by any means. If you are using regular-mouth pint jars, you will be able to fit seven of them in a circle. If you want to use quart jars, you will be able to easily fit four of them, with ample space around to make them seal properly.
All models use gauges and bolts of the same size, meaning that they are easy to see and read. Clamping wingnuts make taking off and putting on the cover easy and fast.
This is the largest model from All American and a truly impressive piece of equipment.
The whole Cooker Canner is 19 inches tall and 15.25 inches in diameter. The full volume inside is more than ten gallons or 41 and a half quarts. This can fit nineteen regular pint jars or fourteen-quart jars.
You may notice that as the products become larger, the difference between how many pint and quart jars fit inside reduces. This juggernaut of a pressure canner should be used mostly for quart jars, as there is both enough space and enough pressure and heat to treat and seal all of the contents with ease.
Last, but by no meant the least of all products, is the medium, 21 and a half quart All American Pressure Canner.
This model is the best pick for most people, as it easily fits in most family kitchens and isn’t as hard to carry around as the largest model. Additionally, you can buy this model as a bundle that includes racks, tongs, a jar lifter, as well as a magnetic want to lift the hot lid. Everything you need to fill and seal your jars is included inside the set.
The good thing is that the additions that you will use each time you are canning can neatly fit inside the pressure canner, making storage slightly easier.
Finally, the pressure canner cooker has all of the features as its differently sized counterparts and is made from the same hand cast aluminum, making it both durable and very sturdy.
Short of using specialized compartments to seal and can a large number of compartments, as they do in industrial production, you will need some additional tools to preserve your jams and sauces properly.
Also, if you are using All American products, you will be able to change any parts that have been broken. While all bolts, nuts, and gauges are quite sturdy, the body of the pressure cooker is much more durable. Apart from age and material fatigue, nuts and bolts can also be lost or misplaced, and the glass on the gauges can crack if it receives a direct hit.
Whenever you are canning products or sealing them in a jar, you will want to have a tray or a grid. This rack is slightly elevated from the bottom of the pot and protects your jars from heating unevenly.
There is a difference in placement depending if you are using only vapor pressure, or a water bath, but it will always be slightly above the bottom.
A gradual increase in heat and pressure is paramount. As we know, materials expand when heated, that is actually how pressure canning works. But, if your glass jars become much hotter in the bottom than they are in the top, they will shatter instantly, as the bottom becomes wider than the cold area.
This fact is especially important if you are canning something heterogeneous. For instance, if your jam has a lot of pulp, these pieces will heat up much slower than the rest of the jar. This can make a thermal imbalance and break the jars.
This doesn’t mean that you need to know advance thermodynamics to be a pressure canning enthusiast, just that you need to be patient and take everything slowly.
Once you have realized that you need to go slow, you will need to use gauges and valves to know just how fast you are going.
Thankfully, All American has nice, large, analog gauges that will clearly indicate how quickly the pressure is building up inside the canner.
As with all other features, these can be changed if and when broken but are generally very sturdy. They have clear settings on 5, 10, and 15 psi, as well as an automatic overpressure release that guarantees that handling will never become dangerous.
One of the main advantages of All American pressure canner and cooker is the metal-to-metal seal. No gaskets or fillings means that there is no rubber that can crack and ruin your work.
What AA does have is a set of six nuts that are used to keep the lid tight on the pot and doesn’t let any pressure escape on the sides. The seal is made so that you can’t even get the lid off while the insides are under pressure, making the whole canning process much safer.
While the biggest problem with these security nuts is that they can be misplaced easily while the canner is stored, they can be bought separately for just a couple of dollars.
There are four things to focus on when selecting a pressure canner: pressure, heat, volume, and safety.
A good pressure canner will need to get passing grades in all four categories. There are some that excel in places like volume, but don’t have the necessary strength to keep the pressure and heat consistent throughout the whole canning process.
Finally, safety is something often neglected when we talk about canners because everyone assumes that you know the dangers of heat and pressure.
This can be a serious and costly mistake, and you should always make your own wellbeing a priority. You can buy new bolts, you can buy new jars, you can even purchase a whole new canner, but you can’t buy a new body, so stay safe.
An All American pressure canner is in the very top of the market when it comes to pressure canners and pressure cookers. Their impressive vintage design can be recognized from afar, and with new materials such as hand cast aluminum, the whole process is faster, easier, and safer.
Depending on your needs, there are different sizes that can fit between seven and nineteen-pint jars and can seal everything from jams and sauces to tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers.
For newbie canning enthusiasts and longtime canning veterans, All American is a go-to choice.