The newest model of the popular small appliance will come with a home canning setting. But guidance from the USDA and the makers of Instant Pot warn against using an electric pressure cooker for certain types of canning.
Last month, Instant Pot representatives said that the Max model could be used for canning because it can reach an internal pressure of 15 psi. But according to the NCHFP, that's not enough to prove that your jars have been properly heated throughout for a sufficient amount of time.
John F Dean wrote:If I was in your situation, I would freeze the left overs. If you are interested in learning how to can, get a serious pressure canner. I favor the All American. There are other excellent brands.
Anne Miller wrote:
It appears that the new Instapot with a canning feature is the one to do canning in maybe.
I am hoping to here other thoughts on this as it would be a great device.
Vanessa Alarcon wrote:Could someone pleease post detailed, dummy proof instructions on how to steam can using the instapot? Inspired by someone elses post i made tripe stew with chickpeas and potatoes and i made way too much. So to avoid eating it for the next week and a half i would like to can it. Problem is, I've never canned in my life and i hear you can get botulism if you do it wrong!🤢
My understanding is that the "reason" we aren't supposed to use electric pressure cookers for pressure canning is that early models didn't get all the way up to 10.5 psi of pressure (and thus, didn't reach the 240F temperature deemed necessary for safe canning). The user manual for my Instant Pot says the working pressure on the high pressure setting reflects a working pressure of 10.2 to 11.6 psi at sea level, and the working temperature is 239°F - 244°F. I'm only at about 500 feet of altitude, so that works for me. (Various cooperative extension sources say there's enough margin of error to allow safe canning at 10lbs of pressure up to about 1000 feet of altitude.)
However, my model of electric pressure cooker won't go up to 15psi the way many stovetop cookers will, which is what you "need" to have a bigger margin of safety or if you're cooking at a higher altitude.
Also however, and this is the biggie, every official source agrees: since none of the "approved" canning recipes have actually been tested in the electric pressure cooker models, and in fact nobody regulates or investigates whether the manufacturer specifications are actually true, it's theoretically dangerous to assume the Instant Pot is actually doing what the manufacturer says it's doing. (Internal pressures and temperatures might be lower than advertised.) I don't consider that a huge risk, but the way I compensate for it is to limit my use of the IP as a canner to high acid foods that would be safe to water-bath can, and to processing things like stock that I'm going to be boiling upon use anyway (which neutralizes botulinium toxins). It's sort of a defense in depth against the uncertainties, and the convenience / ease-of-use makes it worthwhile to me.
All that said, some new "deluxe" models of the IP are coming out with internal temperature displays on the LED readout. I'm very interested in Jay's account that quart jars fit in the 6qt, because they haven't announced a deluxe version of the 8qt yet. To my mind, having an extra confirmation of the internal working temperature (even though the internal temperature sensor could theoretically be inaccurate or miscalibrated) would push me "over the top" into fully trusting my IP for pressure canning.
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