Fruitsaver (Kitchen Crop VKP Brands) Steam Canner Calibration and Review

Fruitsaver (Kitchen Crop VKP Brands) Steam Canner Calibration and Review

Buy it at Amazon: Fruitsaver (Kitchen Crop VKP Brands) Steam Canner [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Easy to use, fast, safe canning that saves you time and water with every batch.

You’ll receive a removable rack, steam canner base, steam canner dome lid, temperature gauge, plastic knob, metal ring insert, metal knob skirt, and an instruction manual. The temperature indicator has three color coded rings for different zones depending on your altitude, from 0 to 9000 ft above sea level in 3000 ft increments. Instructions printed underneath say to start your canning timer only after the red needle has reached the green area for your zone to ensure proper sterilization and safety.

You'll need to assemble the gauge and knob to the lid, which is simple and straightforward. Assembly instructions are clearly described and illustrated in the manual . Just ensure that the text on the gauge and logo are oriented the same way so you can read them. This is important because the hole for venting the steam needs to be placed in the rear for safe operation. The height of the dome lid is 6.5” (8.0"" including the handle) with a 12.5” diameter. The base is slightly wider with a 13” diameter and is 16.5” including the handles with rubber grips on them. The height of the base is 3”. The jar rack is made from thin sheet metal with holes stamped out to let steam pass through and the feet keep the rack 1-1/8” above the bottom of the pan. It is sized to fit in the base with about a ¼ - ½” clearance all around.

Before first use, be sure to clean the inside of the steamer and the rack with mild soapy water and calibrate your gauge before you can start canning food safely. To do so, you'll perform the same steps as canning but use 4 one-quart jars of plain water without lids. It will take 20-40 minutes for the canner to come up to temperature. You’ll be looking for the red needle in the gauge to reach the green area of the range for your zone and stop rising. I’ll be using the outer most ring, the blue Zone 1 ring. If you notice steam or water sputtering from around the lid or it starts to lift up, slowly turn down the temperature until it stops. When the needle has stopped moving, you’ll want to record its position as the max point, which I’ve done here with a black marker. In order to ensure safe canning of your food, you’ll need to wait until the needle hits this mark before counting down processing time and calibration should be performed at the start of each canning season to ensure accuracy.

Since the canner is already pre-heated, I’m going to go ahead and can several pints of homemade tomato sauce warm packed into clean jars and fitted with finger-tight lids and rings. The canner can process up to 8 pints jars or 7 quart jars at a time, and I try to spread them out as evenly as possible on the rack. You’ll want to follow the same recommended processing time from the USDA as traditional water bath canning, which for tomatoes is 35-40 minutes. Pre-sterilization is only necessary if the processing time is less than 10 minutes, and be sure not to open the lid until processing is complete. Once the processing time is finished, you can turn the heat off, but it’s important that you let it stand for another 5 minutes before opening the lid, otherwise you’ll have to start all over again.

After 5 minutes, careful open the lid, tilting it away from you to let the steam out the back. Then remove the jars from the rack and allow them to cool for 12-24 hours. When the jars are cool, check the seal by pressing on the center of the lid to ensure it does not pop back up. After several uses, you may find that the inside of your steam canner is slightly discolored, either a chalky white or a dark dull gray. This discoloration doesn’t affect the performance of the canner and actually forms a protective layer preventing further corrosion and oxidation, so there’s no need to remove it.

Overall, this steam canner works well for preserving and canning acidic foods like tomatoes, jams and jellies, and pickle products. It saves a bit of time and energy since you only have to heat up a quart and a half of water to process up to 7 quarts of food versus a traditional water bath which may need several gallons. However, it can’t be used to low acid foods like vegetables or meat and must be calibrated each year.

Buy it at Amazon: Fruitsaver (Kitchen Crop VKP Brands) Steam Canner [Affiliate Link]


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