Can You Use an Instant Pot for Canning


Jenny GomesInstant pots are very popular for good reason. They are a modern, digitized iteration of the pressure cooker that can save a cook lots of time and can prepare anything from rice to roast to hard boiled eggs to chicken chow mein and everything in between. But can you use them for canning? It’s a question I get a lot and I wanted to address it.

Water bath canning and steam canning works in part because the inside of the jar reaches over 212 degrees fahrenheit. The USDA tests recipes to ensure that the inside of your applesauce, salsa, or strawberry jam gets to this temperature, which is hot enough to kill spoilers in a high acid environment. 

Instant pots are not tested for canning. We have no idea how hot, for how long it is inside your jar of tomato sauce if you tried to can it in an instant pot. Therefore, we’d have no idea for how long to process any particular recipe to kill spoilers. We cannot rely on the rather amateurish test of if the jar is sealed or not to determine a safe canning process. A jar can be sealed by simply sitting in a hot grocery store shelf, completely empty, and we know that’s not a safe canning process, right? The seal is only ONE part of the very important trifecta of elements that works to ensure water bath canning is safe. 

An instant pot is designed to do a very different job than a water bath canning pot or steam canner. It doesn’t create steady heat- it builds pressure very, very quickly, and it is designed to cook foods with pressure, as fast as possible. That’s a very different job than what a steam canner or water bath canner does. 


Canning works by putting a high acid recipe (raspberry jam, tomato sauce, pickled pearl onions) in a jar and submerging the jar in heat. The heat kills the spoilers present in the jar and forces the oxygen OUT of the jar, creating a vacuum which causes the lid to suck inward and seal. A sealed lid alone is NOT enough to create a safe canning situation. 

12/15/2019 9:28:50 PM

NONE of the Digital Multi-Cookers or Digital Pressure Cookers can safely be used for canning. I am writing a canning cook book and I try to keep up with the very latest information. The USDA's verdict is Here: Even if the manufacturer claims that the cooker can reach 15 psi, they are still unsafe because of their small size and because there are no tests that prove that they sustain heat and pressure for the full processing time. It is very foolhardy and dangerous for anyone to use a Digital Pressure Cooker or Multi Cooker for canning.

12/6/2019 12:23:51 PM

Sure, why not, you're only messing around with the potential of Salmonella. Let us know how that works out for you.

12/6/2019 8:39:26 AM

Carey makes a multi-use pot (a la Instant Pot) that is also rated for pressure canning. It only holds four quarts but it is an excellent tool for those of use that cannot pressure can on our stoves (such as glass top stoves). It also does the usual "pot" thing of pressure cooking, browning, steaming, slow cooking. The ability to pressure can with it is exactly why I chose my Carey brand over the Instant Pot.

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