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Old 10-21-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
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Fagor Splendid Pressure Cooker for canning?

I decided to try my hand at canning but I know absolutely nothing about it. I have purchased a 10 qt. Fagor Splendid Pressure Cooker and it came with directions on cooking and canning and I have read and re-read all of it. Is there a difference other than size between the pressure cooker and the canner? I have also found an 8 inch rack to fit the bottom of the pot. If there is a difference, why would it come with canning directions, too? Any help and advice would be very much appreciated! Thanks!

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Old 10-21-2008, 09:14 PM   #2
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There is a big difference, mostly in the construction. A 'cooker' is designed to heat up fast and cool down fast (and be put under tap water even), whereas a 'canner' must have a slow heat build up and a slow cool down. There's other technical stuff, but that's the basic drift of it. A Canner can be used as a cooker, but not the other way around.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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Fagor says that you can use the 10 quart pressure cooker as a pressure canner as the jars fit in there. With most pressure canning you have the items in there for a long time anyway.
mcnerd I am not sure what you mean about a cooker being designed to heat up fast and cool down fast -- when you get a couple of quarts of liquid in a pressure cooker, it does not cool down fast. It takes many minutes to cool down enough to release pressure. And with the new cookers you do not have to run them under water to release pressure.
I am pretty sure that Fagor would not recommend their 10 quart cooker, that they sell a canning set for, for canning if it wasn't "legal".
It also depends upon what you intend to can. I have done all kinds of fruit in mine with great success. I don't can non-acid foods as many of them, that I would eat, taste better frozen.
Canning is not hard but it requires that you follow the directions, especially for keeping things clean. Good luck.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:51 AM   #4
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Thank you so much VeggieQueen! I was beginning to feel really depressed because I spent $90 on something that I could not use. I'm going to give it a try and see what happens. I'm not sure how to use the recipes that say to get up to 10psi when mine goes to 15psi and doesn't have a guage but I'll deal with that when it comes up. Thanks again.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VegQueen View Post
mcnerd I am not sure what you mean about a cooker being designed to heat up fast and cool down fast -- when you get a couple of quarts of liquid in a pressure cooker, it does not cool down fast. It takes many minutes to cool down enough to release pressure.
Perhaps because I've researched the issue and if you doubt the fact you are invited to send an inquiry to the National Center For Home Food Preservation which are the authorities on the subject of food safety, but here's a simple narrative about it from another site
Pressure cooker or canner?
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:39 AM   #6
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I don't doubt you. One big issue is that you cannot put that many cans in a 10 quart pressure cooker so it's not the same issue as with a 24 quart canner. As I said, I don't do non-acid foods and maybe Illine won't be either. Then it's a non-issue.

It's a great pot for water bath canning.

If following recipes for 10 psi you would likely decrease the canning time but I am not a canning expert but maybe mcnerd is.

I am a pressure cooking expert for cooking only.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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One of the problems with using a smaller pressure cooker for canning is that the heat-up time is less that it would be for a big canner, and the heat-up time is calculated into the the amount of time necessary for safe canning.

If your Fagor came with canning instructions, it must be safe for canning. I would NOT shorten the canning times.

If you have questions, call your local extension office.
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:35 PM   #8
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It's always a good idea to follow the instructions that come with your cooker, and to check with your local cooperative extension who has the latest canning recommendations.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:00 PM   #9
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I work for Missouri Extension (4-H specialist) and our info comes from the National Center For Home Food Preservation site and from the Ball Blue Book. The Extension office is always glad to answer questions on food preservation and safety--call them if you have any questions.

Be warned, though--we will ALWAYS err on the side of caution. None of this "well, I would eat it" stuff we hear around this place. :)
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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I have a 24 quart Pressure canner because I put up alot of tomatoes (which are considered low acid) It cuts the processing time in half. When I'm doing pickles, hot peppers or something with acid I usually do not pressure can because it is easier to use the my smaller canner for shorter periods of time. The best thing you can do to learn, I think, is to get a good book on the subject and make sure the guidelines for safety are current. The county extension office is a good idea too. They have lots of information on the subject.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:02 PM   #11
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Thanks so much to all of you! I did purchase the Ball Blue Book today and gave them a call. The gal with whom I spoke did not have an answer for me so she spoke with her supervisor. The supervisor said it would not make much difference (the Fagor with 15# pressure will be 10 degrees hotter than the normal 10# pressure for canning which is 240 degrees) however, she would go ahead and use the longest processing time. For instance if the processing time for quart jars was 50 minutes and the processing time for pint jars was 40 minutes... use the longest time. That confused me even more since the temperature would be hotter anyway... Maybe I should just use the Fagor for cooking and forget about the canning for now... : ( I know VeggieQueen is a pro on the cooking end of this!
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:11 AM   #12
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Yep, if you are doing a mixed batch of quarts and pints, use the time specified for quarts.

I pressure can my tomatoes, too, and my salsa, even though it has vinegar and could be water-bath'ed.

Don't worry about overcooking by using the higher pressure--10 degrees higher won't make any difference in the finished product.

Also, I don't know where you are, but if your elevation is more than 1000 feet, you should use the higher pressure anyhow.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:12 PM   #13
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Thanks, Sparrowgrass! I appreciate the support. Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:53 PM   #14
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While the general rule is that you can not pressure can in a pressure cooker, for the reasons that have already been mentioned, it appears that Fagor does certify their 10-qt Splendid cooker for double duty as both a cooker and canner - however you will need the canning rack found in the Home Canning Kit accessory which is sold seperately and not included with the pot, according to the manual (information and instructions begin on page 21). There is a Home Canning manual that comes in the kit that gives you more canning instructions and 30 pages of recipes.

DO NOT decrease processing times just because you are using 15-psi!!!

DO pay close attention to the warning about how to release pressure when canning - both because the time to release pressure is part of the cooking time and also because if you don't you will be back wanting to know why your jars are half empty!

Now, if you think that some of us are obsessed with the National Center for Home Food Preservation ... look in the Fagor manual on page 25 - they also suggest the NCFHP for more information. Not only are there instructions they also have recipes and processing times.
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:39 PM   #15
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I have a mirror pressure cooker, along with a couple pressure canners. The cooker does say you can can in it and I had a small batch and was going to do just that.

Then I remembered how much better the process went when I waited longer to lift the lid (I had some chili bubble out of the jars a little bit one time) and decided that the cooker would heat up and cool down to fast and make my jars boil over so I didn't use it.

I still wonder though, sometimes if I am making something like beans or pea soup and only have a few pints left over, it would be simpler to use the smaller pot.
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