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I understand that high acid foods can go in the boiling water bath, and the vegetables et al must go into the pressure canner.<br><br>
But my question is, are these two methods just simply different methods, each best suited for the related foods?<br><br>
OR is pressure canner the <i>superior</i> method, but you can "fall back on" boiling water baths for high acid foods if you don't want to use/buy a pressure canner?<br><br>
I don't have ANY canning equipment yet - a newbie - and not sure which to get. I am likely going to be canning more fruits and tomatoes and pickles than non-pickled veggies, so a boiling water bath setup may make more sense. But if it's a case of pressure canning being superior and covering ALL food types, then wouldn't it make sense for me to get the pressure canner?<br><br>
Please help me understand.
 

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Not totally sure of the answer but did want to mention that water bath canning is very cheap.You can do it in a large stock pot that you may already have in your kitchen. So long as the water remains over the top of the jars. Doing small jelly jars in a soup pot works great. You don't need the special rack to hold the jars. Just so long as they have a bit of wiggle room in there you are fine.<br><br>
If you need to buy a larger pot, we got a water bath canner with rack at Walmart for $25.<br><br>
Pressure canners do cost more.
 

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My pressure canner can be used as a water bath canner (I have the All American Pressure Canner), but your typical water bath canner can *not* be used as a pressure canner - though water bath's are WAY cheaper!!
 

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If you plan on canning a lot and like the freedom to can whatever you want I'd get a pressure canner because it can work as a water bath canner as well.<br><br>
The reason you can't water bath can everything is because it just doesn't get hot enough to assure that your food will be safe. I'd say a pressure canner could kill just about anything....I mean heck, it can cook you a roast in 20 minutes! LOL<br><br>
So unless it's something highly sugared like jelly/jam, or acidic like pickles, tomatoes, etc. it really does need to be pressure canned. You can pressure can the jams, tomatoes, pickles, but really it's overkill and you have to keep in mind that pressure canning really does cook the foods. If you can something like field peas or butter beans, when you're done they'll be cooked through and you'll just have to reheat them when you're ready to use them. So if you, say, pressure can something like peaches, they'd pretty much be peach mush when they're done.<br><br>
The freedom to can both ways is worth it if you plan on doing a lot or want to put up a wide variety of foods. I think we got our canner (something like 23 quarts) for a little less than $100. Something liike Ebay might be cheaper. I got a great high quality pressure cooker super cheap through there.
 
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