All American 10.5-Quart Pressure Canner Review
Small pressure cookers aren’t up to the task of canning, which makes the All American 10.5-Quart Pressure Canner a gem. It’s designed specifically for pressure canning, with pressure cooking as a bonus use, and holds just enough jars to make canning a fun project instead of a drawn-out chore, but sticker shock made me question whether it’s worth the cost. I spent a couple of weeks testing the All American 10.5-Quart Pressure Canner to see just how it handled processing and cooking. Here’s what I found.
Design: Sturdy, dual-use pot
Even though it’s small, this canner fits the safety recommendations of the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Four quart-size jars rest comfortably on the canning rack, and you can squeeze in up to seven pint-sized jars or eight half-pints. All American recommends this model for gas, electric, and flat-top ranges, although it does advise not dropping it onto a flat cooktop.
This canner could be as at home in a laboratory as it is in a kitchen.
The canner does double duty as a pressure cooker, but it’s still a little larger than ideal for small-family meals. The canner’s instruction manual also emphasizes processing meats and vegetables in tin cans, a technique that remains popular in Alaska and Canada’s colder regions. All American has stopped recommending the unit for water-bath canning, saying the canner’s cover can stick and build up unwanted pressure. The company is designing a separate water-bath cover, but does not yet have a release date.
Setup Process: No assembly and minimal prep
This pressure canner comes fully assembled, but some features are worth learning about before you start playing with it. It comes out of the box with the wing nuts holding the cover in place; loosen these by turning counterclockwise until you can flip down the bolts, and then turn the cover counterclockwise until you can lift it free of the base.
After washing and drying the canner by hand, lightly rub the pot’s beveled edge with a little olive oil. This keeps the metal-to-metal seal opening and closing smoothly. Then, sit down with the canner’s instruction manual. It gives clear, easy-to-follow steps for correctly putting on the cover, caring for the canner, and using it. Resist the urge to peel away the large orange warning stickers; the manufacturer thinks those labels are so crucial that if they fall off, they will send you replacements for free.
Features: Unique components mean minimal maintenance
Even across the kitchen, All American’s products stand out with their bulky black wing nuts and top handle. When you flip the cover over, there’s no rubber gasket. Instead of one gauge, the cover bristles with two: a dial and a weight. These features are part of what makes these canners so popular.
Rubber gaskets typically should be replaced each canning season; here, you never even need a gasket. The rubber overpressure plug can wear out, but at least you’re only buying one part. The dual gauges also mean less maintenance. Canners that solely use a dial gauge need regular recalibration, but here the regulator weight is in control. The dial is just for reference, which is particularly helpful in high-altitude kitchens. You should swap out the dial gauge if it’s way off the mark, but All American says it never needs to be sent off for testing.
Performance: Easy to close and use
All American pressure canners are known for their sturdiness, reliability, and weight. The 10.5-quart model sat solidly on my gas stovetop’s midsize burner, where it was easy to control the pressure. At 13 pounds, it’s heavier than many larger canners when empty, but was easy to lift when full.
The moment you pull the canner from its box, you’ll notice its unique design features. This canner could be as at home in a laboratory as it is in a kitchen. Features like its metal-to-metal seal and dual gauges aren’t just for looks—they make the canner easy to pressurize and monitor. In testing, the gauge started to move within seconds of placing the regulator weight, always a reassuring sign of a good seal. Getting the jiggle of the regulator just right takes a little practice and varies from stove to stove. All American’s website has a short video clip that shows the perfect jiggle.
The All American 10.5-Quart Pressure Canner is top of its class and well-sized for today’s home canners. It’s pricy, but built to last with minimal care.