You Guys!! I busted out of my comfort zone and bought something super awesome.
Let me preface this with: I researched pressure canners heavily and in my opinion the All American Canner was the best on the market. This is NOT a compensated review in any way - I purchased this vintage canner second hand and am absolutely in love with it.
Kevin and I have made some large strides in our quest to be more self sufficient and feed ourselves and our kids healthier foods. He has been bugging me for years to have a garden - unfortunately, I was not into it - I've never had a garden before, and was quite scared of failing, also, the landscaping hadn't been completed and there was no garden plot. This year, all that changed, my sister, Kate, always has a great garden at her place, and this year my mom planted a huge garden - it's gorgeous and bountiful. I am now on board with the garden. Next season we will definitely be planting a garden, and Kevin has already prepared the plot!
That brought me to a new problem, what would we do with all the fruit and vegetables? Even with a back up fridge and freezer, we'd never have the space. I turned to the old stand by - canning.
Through my research I discovered there are 2 types of canning, and one canner can do both, while the other style of canner can only do one. Pressure canners can be used as both pressure canners AND water bath canners, and standard water bath canners can only be used as water bath canners. Both canners are important and useful for different foods.Can you see the date on this bad boy? Price list effective April 1st, 1980
Pressure canning is specifically for low acid foods: most vegetables, meat, and if you're brave, dairy products.
Water bath canning is perfect for high acid foods: most fruits, jams, jellies, tomatoes, sauces, pickles.
I looked around online and read reviews, and how-tos, and tutorial videos. There are quite a few pressure canners available, but I chose the All American Canner. Having used it several times, I now know that this is the right canner for me. This canner is heavy - like really heavy!
Here's what I love about my canner:
- It's heavy duty - and I know it withstood years of canning before I got it. Check out the pictures and see for yourself!
- The wing nut locking mechanism is really easy to use and creates a solid seal along the whole lid
- I can use it for both water bath and pressure canning - I've already done both
- The metal to metal seal on the lid makes for no replaceable parts
- It's HUGE!
- Works great on both my glass top (gasp! use at your own risk) and on my outside BBQ burner
- Holds pressure extremely well
- We know it will last forever! (Mine is from AT least 1980)
Here's the downsides:
- It's flipping heavy - it's quite hard to carry when full, please be careful
- It takes quite a while to return to 0 pressure after processing - due to the heavy duty aluminum walls and metal to metal seal
So here's the story about my antique cooker!
I was looking around for a 21qt All American Pressure Canner, but because the Canadian dollar is so weak, prices were around $400. I am generally pretty good at convincing myself to spend money haha, but this time, I hopped on Kijiji (Canada's Craigslist) and searched "All American". I found a 25 qt one. In Edmonton, no less. I was beside myself!A vintage, handwritten sauerkraut recipe was tucked into one of the instruction manuals!
A grandma was done canning - she had canned some shit in her day and was done with it. It felt like a passing of the torch. Kevin's parents picked up the canner and scored me some amazing vintage canning jars. The woman who owned this canner also had all the original manuals and a canning manual from the Alberta Government in the 1980s. I am so lucky !!
You have to see this thing, it's so vintage. I am absolutely in love with it. I love using it so much, knowing it's already been used extensively to feed families healthy foods and that I'm continuing the tradition. There's just something about it, I just love it.
This is a VERY old Blue Flame Cookbook. The Blue Flame Kitchen has been producing cookbooks for years, and still does!
If you're curious to find out more about Blue Flame Kitchen, check this out:
ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen
CBC - ATCO's Blue Flame Kitchen
The Blue Flame Kitchen was started in the 1930s to help homemakers adjust to cooking with natural gas, as this is the time natural gas appliances were introduced in Alberta. Today, the Blue Flame Kitchen is the only home service department based out of a utility company left in all of North America.