Insta-pot for canning

After sitting in my cabinet for almost a year, I decided to go through yet another learning curve. I have tried two batches of peas so far and am undecided if I like it. I love the concept for small batch canning and I think its amazing that I can walk away from a pressure canner and not worry about blowing up my kitchen. Both batches lost a lot of water and one jar broke in each batch, that is highly disappointing if you know how tedious shelling peas are. I'm curious if you have used one and what your thoughts are?


    COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

    simplethings4us are you talking about using the instant pot for canning? If you are, please don't use it! It is NOT a safe method for canning! The reason is that in a pressure CANNER the pressure stays the same and is reliable, because the pot was made to can in. In a INSTANT POT the pressure DOES NOT stay the same and is NOT reliable, because the instant pot was made to just COOK FOOD quickly and efficently. Therefore, the instant pot does not get the jars hot enough for a long enough time. They might be hot enough for a minute and drop down again. If you need more info here are some really helpful links:

  • Dani
    Dani Posts: 27 ✭✭✭

    Yikes! it has a whole section in the literature for canning, that's the main reason I got it. Thanks for the insight, I will definitely look into it. @COWLOVINGIRL

  • Another vote here for NOT using the Instant Pot for canning. There is only one electrice counter-top model that can be used for actual pressure canning (as opposed to water bath canning). That is made by a company called Nesco, although older models also have a brand name of Carey on them. They are both the same machine.

    Having said that, though, I have owned three Carey/Nesco units, and they all break after two or three years of consistent use. In particular the lid attachment seems to have been designed by an engineer that hates all humanity. They are still valuable devices if you want to do small batch electric canning in a "set it and forget it" fashion, but I budget them now as consumable items that will have to be replaced in 36 months or less.

    Also, they are completely frustrating to use compared to an Instant Pot. The IP has been through so many generations that it is really a refined experience now-- every feature is well thought out and anything that didn't work has been eliminated. The result is that my Instant Pot sits on a counter next to my microwave and gets used multiple times per week, but my Carey/Nesco lives in a closet in the spare bedroom and gets used a few times per season.

    Here is a short explainer video about pressure canning in the Carey/Nesco. Keeping my caveats in mind, I still think they are useful and worth having if you are really into canning.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,640 admin

    My personal opinion after many years of canning, both water bath and pressure canners, would be to NOT use an instant pot, for several reasons. A big one would be not knowing if it was maintaining adequate pressure throughout the process. Another is the size. When I can, I do large amounts and the instant pot just wouldn't be big enough. If you are getting jar breakage every time you use it, there is something wrong with the process. I hate broken jars in a canner. It does happen but for me it is only very occasionally and I blame myself for not inspecting the jars more carefully.

    @COWLOVINGIRL has given good resources. If you have a Caery/Nesco one I would check out the source that @seasparrow32 has given but use extreme caution.

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    Ball makes a self contained water bath canner that looks and acts similar to an Instant Pot, but is intended for canning (water bath only). It's good for small batches (4 quarts or 6 pints at a time). I have one and love it.

    Google this to find out more: Ball freshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @simplethings4us I agree with everyone else here. Please do not use an InstaPot/Instant Pot/ or any other multi-cooker to can in. A large amount of bloggers that are noted for their canning/preserving sites highly discourage using it for canning.