Pressure Canning and Bottling

Presto 23 Quart Pressure Canner 01781
£319.00 each
Pressure Canner 01781 Starter Kit
£389.00 each
Pressure Canner 01784 Starter Kit - Induction Base
£409.00 each
Presto Canning Rack 85707
£32.00 each
Presto Sealing Ring 09985
£37.00 each
Presto Steam Gauge 85772
£47.00 each
Presto Pressure Regulator 09978
£26.00 each
Jar Lifting Tongs
£9.90 each
Canning Tools - 6 Piece Premium Kit
£16.90 each
Le Parfait Ring Puller
£9.90 each
Electric Boiling Hob Single Plate 2kw
£229.90 each
Tom Press Electric Steriliser 27 litre
£179.70 each
Canning - or bottling - as we know it in UK has been around since Jeremy Clarkson's ancestors produced the famous Kilner Jar to preserve the harvest safely. The whole process involves sterilisation and driving out the air in the jar by heating and then immediately sealing the jar which essentially vacuum packs the contents. Done properly this process ensures the contents will keep for at least one year, probably 3-5, possibly much longer than that.

The processing is known as water-bathing and is fine for most fruits either in water, or a syrup, even with added alcohol. It is easy to achieve as long as you have a big enough pan and don't mind a sauna now and again. It can be done by an oven-processing method but personally I don't like lifting heavy pans with boiling water in and out of a hot oven.

I use the Tom Press steriliser which is quite like the old Burco boiler, for those of a certain age. This is a brilliant piece of kit, has a large chamber to stack jars or tall bottles, and a thermostat and timer. It is very, very good and you can even use it to sterilise 'loose' fruit juice and then use the tap to fill sterilised bottles.

If you would like to expand your repertoire to include soups, stews, low acid foods like vegetables then you will need the services of a pressure canner. It works on the same principles as a pressure cooker - the pressure increases the heat and destroys bacteria - something that water-bathing method cannot achieve.

The fact that the canner is much taller than a domestic pressure cooker means that lots of jars can be processed stacked on top of each other which makes the job very efficient.

You need robust jars to withstand the pressure and we would recommend the Le Parfait jars in Europe - made in the same way for the last three hundred years they are much heavier and stronger than the modern Kilner jar. If you are in the US then naturally the Mason or Ball jars are prolific and cost effective.

Follow the instructions and start with realistic goals and you will soon be enjoying the renaissance in this preserving skill. There are lots of things that are better suited to bottling than freezing or other means of preservation.