How Much Water Should I Put in a Pressure Canner?

How Much Water Should I Put in a Pressure Canner.

To can your food, a pressure canner requires water that will be turned into steam when heated. It is the combination of heat and pressure that will get your food canned. So, one of the questions that new users ask frequently is the quantity of water a pressure canner requires for canning.

We will explain it in this article. Just sit back and continue reading it. You’re likely to find the answer to the question in the user manual of your pressure canner, but nevertheless, we’ll explain it here.

How Much Water Does a Pressure Canner Need for Canning?

One of the factors that determine the result of your canning is knowing the right quantity of water to put in your pressure canner while canning your food items. Even if you’re using the best pressure canner, if you don’t put the right quantity of water in it, you may not get great results. To prevent such mistakes, we came up with this article. It answers some frequently asked questions about the right quantity of water for canning.

The quantity of water needed depends on the capacity of the pressure canner. The higher the capacity, the more the water. The number of jars matters too. The higher the number of jars, the lower the quantity of water needed if the capacity of the pressure canner remains the same.

Also, there’s no stipulated amount of water needed. You need to pour enough water that will reach half or two-thirds of the height of the jars.

Remember that the water level will reduce when it starts boiling. Some of it will be converted to steam. At the same time, the jars should never be completely submerged in water.

What happens if you put too much water in a pressure canner? 

If you put too much water in your pressure canner, nothing much will happen. Your food or veggies will still get canned but it may take a longer time to get canned. First off, it will take a longer time for your pressure canner to vent off the steam. And it will take more time for pressure to build up in the canner. A canning session that should have taken only 25 minutes may end up taking 40 minutes.

Well, it is better to put too much water than putting insufficient water. It is better to err on the safer side. All the same, we don’t advise you to guess the amount of water. Follow every canning recipe to the letter, and you won’t make any mistakes. As a rule of thumb, the water should stop at one-third level of the inner wall of the pressure canner.

How much water should be in the bottom of a pressure cooker? 

As explained above, you need to put about one-third of the container. However, every canning recipe may be slightly different. So, before you can any fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, or soups, keep an eye on the water level. Once you add the right quantity of water into your pressure canner, you won’t get it wrong.

Kindly note that water bath canners take more water than pressure canners. Don’t use the quantity of water for both pressure canners and water bath canners. 

Do jars have to be fully submerged when canning? 

No, Jars do not have to be fully submerged in water. Of course, if your jars are watertight, water cannot and will not get into them. However, by the time the water level rises to the extent of covering the jars, the quantity of the water may be too much. There are a few recipes that allow the canning jars to be fully submerged.

How much water do you put in a 7-quart pressure canner?

As explained above, the water level should be at a one-third level of the pressure canner. This rule applies to all sizes of pressure canners.  So, the first thing to do is to pour water into your pressure canner gradually. Make sure you watch as you pour the water. When it gets to the desired level, you can stop.

How much water do you put in a 22-quart canner?

The same one-third rule applies to this size of a pressure canner. It may be a good idea to mark the inner wall of the pressure canner. Mark the one-third level. Once you do that, you can pour water into the pressure canner slowly, while your eyes should be fixed on the mark. Stop the water when it reaches the level.

Final Word

The amount of water needed is determined by the capacity of your pressure canner and the number of jars you want to can. More importantly, follow the instructions on the user manual.

You’re good as long as the water level is not too low and the jars are not completely covered by the water. The water is necessary because it will turn to steam and heat up the food in the jars.

June Brandt
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