Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System

November 7, 2013(updated on March 31, 2022)
Official product image for the Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System

Sometime yesterday, Jarden Home Brands added a new Ball branded appliance to the Fresh Preserving online store. Called the Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System, this device takes the place of a traditional water bath in the processing of jars for shelf stability. A couple weeks ago, I went up to New York for a media event at which the FreshTECH Automatic Canner was demonstrated and was intrigued by its potential (though just to be clear, I also have a number of reservations about it. We’ll get to those later).

Instead of submerging the jars in a pot of water, it works with just a few inches of water. The device uses that water to create steam and a small amount of pressure to ensure safely processed and sterilized jars. For those of you who are made nervous by the talk of pressure, know that this canner doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of pressure that your average pressure cooker or canner reaches. It goes to just 3 psi, in order to get the temperature to between 215 and 218 degrees F.

Ball Automatic Home Canning System in the box at a press event in New York City.

The capacity of this canner is three quart jars, four pint jars, or six regular mouth half pints. They don’t recommend stacking jars inside the canner, so if you were to use wide mouth half pints, it would only be able to hold four.

The way it works is that you put your full, closed jars of product in the canner and punch in a code that corresponds with the recipe you’ve used. It will slowly heat and build pressure. Once it has reached the appropriate temperature and pressure setting, it sings a little tune and the processing period begins.

When the time is up, the canner then cools and depressurizes. The period the jars are in the canner are often longer overall than in a traditional canning, because of the necessary heating and cooling. However, it’s all hands-off time. You don’t have to tend a canning pot or check to ensure that it’s maintaining the proper boil.

Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson demonstrating the FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System
Southern chef Hugh Acheson demonstrated the FreshTECH canner at the media event. I was amused by the fact that he cracked some of the same canning jokes that I typically make in my classes. Canning geeks, unite!

I haven’t had my hands one of these FreshTECH Canners yet, but am expecting a review unit in the next week or so (I’ll follow up with first-hand thoughts after I’ve had a chance to use it). But from observation, here are some of my initial thoughts.

It could be a great device to get nervous beginners acclimated to canning. It may also be a boon for people who want to can but have small kids or work responsibilities that makes it hard to tend a canning pot. You put the jars in, set the machine and it processes them without another thought. You just have to stay close enough to open it and remove the jars once the time is up.

One thing that gives me major pause is the fact that the manufacturers currently recommend that you only use this device with their recipes and they have no plans to offer instruction as to how you can adapt it for use with your favorite recipes. I can understand that they don’t want to be responsible for preserving projects gone awry, but to my mind, if a recipe is safe for boiling water bath canning, it should be safe for use in the FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System. The fact that it seems like they’re trying to create a closed system of recipes and products makes me hesitant.

Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System

The other thing that concerns me is what the FreshTECH communicates to the canning uncertain. I spend a goodly portion of my life calming the fears of beginning preservers and so am well acquainted with the level of anxiety that canning carries. Because this device uses a small amount of pressure to elevate the temperature a few degrees over the boiling point, I worry that some will interpret that to mean that the boiling water bath (the gold standard of high acid canning) is no longer good enough and that an elevated temperature is necessary for all products.

All that said, I am still curious about it and am looking forward to seeing first-hand how it works. My best case scenario is that it becomes a useful appliance in a home canner’s toolbox (though at $299.95, it will be a pricy tool).

What do you all think? Is this something you’d use?

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192 thoughts on "Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System"

      1. I have had several discussions with new canners that think this is a safe canner for low acid food ,it needs to have a warning that this is not safe to can low acid foods unless pickled it is just a very expensive time consuming waterbath

  • I would not buy a product for canning where I had to ONLY use the company’s recipes and not be able to use other people’s recipes for canning or I couldn’t even use my own recipes either. I think that is a major flaw. I would not buy it. Maybe after a few years they will revise it and change it to accommodate various recipes other than their own, but as for now, I’ll just stick to my own water bath canner and pressure canner. 🙂

  • I would use this, largely because it would encourage me to can more often using smaller batch recipes. Currently when I can it seems to be a major affair because I’m working on a huge cooking project.

  • My first reaction was ‘this is really sweet’. Then I read what it does and its a glorfied pan of boiling water. Disapointment reigned. Because I was thinking I had a new toy!
    I loved the concept, but I thought it was a pressure canner at first glance. I even showed my hubby his words were “buy one”. I believe if they could make it a pressure canner they have a market!.

  • I don’t see replacing my $5 water-bath canner (thanks Goodwill!) with a $300 appliance that has limited uses and much more limited space. Also, I think it’s important for people to learn the ins and outs of canning for themselves rather than automating the process. There are much more options for recipes if you know even a little of the science behind canning. If you don’t how something really works you also won’t know when something goes wrong.

  • I can a lot of things. I think I would use this for small batch canning. I would still use my massive canning pot that can hold 8 qts for regular canning.

  • Maybe if it was given as a gift 😉 As someone who does a lot of canning, I can actually see where it could be beneficial for some. For example, I have one of those stoves (came with the house) that is glass-top and cycles on and off. That can make it *incredibly* difficult to keep the water at a boil sometimes, and the glass top alone is a concern for my bigger pot when I’m canning quarts. Right above my stove is a very inefficient microwave/fan combo that had some serious issues a couple of years ago, probably due to the amount of steam all of my canning caused.

    The other issue that this solves is water. I *hate* using so much water to can. It feels at times like I’m wasting in order to help not waste…you know? And as water bills get higher and higher and water becomes more and more scarce in some places, this could be a good thing.

    That’s not to say that I don’t share your reservations – I do. The cost, the specific recipes…I don’t know if this will go anywhere. But it might be a good start?

  • I can a lot and I think this is not a practical product. You cannot get as much done at a time, it takes way more time to process and the price is prohibitive. I suppose if you can for a hobby and to show off then this might be just the ticket but I believe most folks who can are doing it to keep their kitchens supplied with food they can trust. This canner is a waste of time and money in my humble opinion.

  • OR you could just use your pressure canner. Any high acid food can be canned in a pressure canner, uses less water, doesn’t heat up the kitchen as much. I have been doing that for year.

    However, I would still like to see a canner developed that would process just a few jars without resorting to putting in “dummy” jars to fill the void, something that has a smaller footprint, too.

  • I have successfully completed the program for certification as a Master Food Preserver from Cornell Cooperative Extension. During the class on equipment for safe canning all different models of canners were examined, uses and proper handling along with proper techniques for each. Steam canners are not recommended for home canning.

    Quoting from Cornell Cooperative Extension New York State Master Food Preserver Manual:

    “The USDA research has found that:
    1. Atmospheric steam canners result in significantly lower product temperatures at the beginning and end of the scheduled process when compared to boiling water canning. During heating and cooling, many bacteria are killed.
    2. Use of steam canners as instructed by the manufacturer would result in less killing power of bacteria, under processing, and costly spoilage.

    Steam in these canners is at atmospheric pressure and can only reach 212 degrees F. at sea level. At higher elevations the temperature is lower, therefore, it is extremely dangerous to can low acid foods. The steam canner is NOT a pressure canner and cannot reach the higher temperature necessary to kill the bacteria and their spores.”

    That being said, I read that this is Ball’s Automatic Home Canning System which is a steam and pressure apparatus, that uses just a few inches of water. The jars would not be submerged. If a part of the system leaks, or fails in any way will the product be safe? How would you know? From the temp’s listed it cannot be used as a pressure canner in any way. Does this device work in higher elevations? If you can only use “exact recipes as directed” by Ball for this specific product, will that allow for the massive amount of recipes for water bath canning as published in Ball’s “The Complete Book of Home Preserving”?

    The Ball recipe book ( 1994 or later publishing date) is considered the gold standard and is 100 percent safe if you follow the instructions, and recipes exactly. The other recommended book is “So Easy to Preserve, from the Cooperative Extension , The University of Georgia.

    A lot more information is needed. I look forward to seeing what the USDA says about this device.

    1. Lynne! Take it easy. You’re freaking out for nothing. This machine makes adjustments automatically for altitude and raises internal temperature accordingly. Do a little more research before you start spreading fear and rumors about a new product. I for one am excited about this machine, because I can preserve while doing other things and not worry that my daughter will burn herself in the kitchen, as with traditional canning. Both methods have their value, but for me this one is great for a dad on the go! Happy canning O:-)

    2. It isn’t a pressure canner in the traditional sense, nor is it a traditional steam system. It is able to build up SOME pressure, because it’s a closed system. It has a sensor (probably a barometer) to detect altitude (or lower atmospheric pressure in general. If you happen to be canning during a thunderstorm, the air pressure is lower, simulating a higher altitude) and the canner automatically adjusts temperature (via pressure, by allowing less steam to vent), time, or both to ensure proper cooking is done.

  • I, too, have mixed feelings.
    On the one hand: as a novice canner, I think an appliance like this might increase my canning activities – making it seem easier than my traditional boiling water bath canner. I also think that this would require a bit less time overall, since it takes SO long for my stove to heat up my canning water to the proper temp. Finally, I have read in several places that canning on my type of stovetop will eventually ruin my burners – it already scorches my stovetop, unless I remember to put foil down under the canner. So, an appliance like this might be nice in order to save my stove.

    On the other hand: I am patently against purchasing single-use appliances, especially at $300. I simply don’t can enough to justify that price tag. If this were a true pressure canner, I might jump all over it since that is a piece of equipment that just can’t be replaced by something else. I already own a boiling water bath canner, so I don’t see the point in buying this. Especially since the only parts about boiling water bath canning that I find tedious/scary is sterilizing the jars before hand – which I assumed you’d have to do anyway.

    As one of the other commenters said – if I received it as a gift, I’d happily use it. But, I don’t think I’d EVER buy this for myself.

  • I think I’ll wait to see some reviews on this by people who actually purchase it–before I stick “my foot in the water.” I used my mother’s old water bath canner for years, finally switched to a brand new one this year. I canned over 100 jars and have only had one jar break (and that was while in the water bath).

    I think their jelly maker is kind of a joke, I find jam/jellies to be the easiest thing to make—

    I’ve wanted to try pressure canning and probably will give it a go next summer 🙂

  • Gotta say, this looks pretty absurd to me. It’s taking something that is super-simple and time-tested, and making it seem like it’s way more complicated and high-tech than it really is. I’m not anti-gadget — they’ll have to pry my food processor out of my cold, dead hands 🙂 — but over-complicating kitchen stuff is one of my big pet peeves. People are already intimidated enough by cooking / canning without making it seem like you need some fancy machine. I also have a different worry than you — I worry that this will confuse less-experienced canners, who might think that it’s safe to process low-acid foods in this, because it looks like a pressure canner.

    1. Since they say to only use their recipes that are included with the machine, the recipes almost all call for something that is made by Ball, whether it’s their brand of pectin, or salsa seasoning mix, or pickle spice, but the recipes that need acid call for either vinegar or their brand of citric acid. I guess that the citric acid in the recipe is supposed to be the solution to the acid problem.

  • At first I got excited about this, then upon further reading realized it doesn’t do pressure canning. The stock pot I use for my water bath processing has a larger capacity than this, and couple this up with the fact it’s not cost effective, I’m disappointed.

    Now if only my Nesco pressure cooker/slow cooker were able to do pressure canning, I’d be in heaven.

  • This will be my first year at trying to preserve foods, and I would also like the easiest and best way to try it, without wasting money. I haven’t read this article yet, but I did see where someone said she wouldn’t buy a product that would only use their recipe, and I think that is a very good point. I will read the article later, but I am interested in preserving, so if yoiu could help me in any way, I would appreciate it, thenks, arlene buono

  • I love canning, and I water bathe alot of stuff. I can’t justify the cost of that canner, I can take that amount and get an awesome pressure canner to replace my Walmart Presto. not worth the price tag for me.

  • I think that if I could afford it I would try it and the recipes that come with it. If I liked it and it does what it’s supposed to, I would like to add it to my canning tools.

    I would still use boiling and pressure systems for all my large batch items and favorite recipes.

    But, if I find small batch recipes I like in their machines recipes and had food that would be a small batch either way, I would use it so that I could get all my small and large batch stuff done at once.

    I’d be able to concentrate on the large batch. It would save stove space for just the large batch items. The small batch could be canning away in an unused bit of counter or table space and once it’s in the machine I could basically not worry about it, devote all my time to the big stuff but still get both big and small batch stuff done.

    Like some said I’d rather wait till they came up with more recipes and the cost comes down some but I think in the end it could be a good tool to add to the canning supplies not replace them.

  • There’s no way I’d spend that much money for something that does only one thing when that thing is something I can do with a stockpot and a rack. Also, I share your concern about what the marketing of this could communicate to newbies in the canning community. (It also risks validating the claims of people who prefer the outdated methods, who claim that newer methods are just a way for canning supply companies to make more money.)

  • I’d be all over this for 100bucks, since I am one of those with little ones. I’m finding it harder and harder to find time to can and love that this is fix it and let it do its thing

  • I would buy this – as a well-considered splurge item. If it keeps the kitchen cool on the hottest of canning days, I would use it for small batches. Believe me adventurous canners will find a way to adapt their favorite recipes to this steam pressurized canner.

  • Hmmmm. The only use I would have for such a gadget would be on mass canning days, for those last few jars that did not fit in the other canners taking up every burner in the house and in the yard. It might be nice to have a stand alone canner just for those. Not worth the expense, though.

  • When I get through laughing, NO this is not something I’d buy. How long would it take me to process 100 lbs. of tomatoes? Ball needs to get serious and realize that those who can, do so to feed themselves and their family for the year with Summer’s bounty! This is only an expensive substitute for a water bath canner.

  • I would be interested in knowing the work flow with this appliance. Does it also heat up and sterilize the empty jars in preparation for canning? If so, does it keep the empty jars hot while others are being filled? With such a small capacity, I suppose that might not be an issue. If you need to heat and sterilize your jars separately, then this appliance would offer no real benefit, IMHO. In any event, I have a lot better things to do with $300.

  • For the price, it would have to be more versatile and process a lot more than it does. I have my big water bath canner for the quarts and my little one for the pints (I got fancy this year) and the two of them together cost less than a third of this machine. The only thing that tempts me is the thought that the kitchen would be less hot (I have no air conditioner in my rental so, on the 100 degree days, I have to can at night).

  • I would never buy this product and I do a lot of small batch canning, it’s just my husband and me. Alton Brown would call this a uni-tasker.
    How difficult is it to boil water in a 6+ qt stock pot to can a small batch of something?
    I would also be afraid that the person new to canning would be missing an important learning step in proper canning technique.
    But then I also don’t think cars should park themselves…

  • It seems like a waste of money when I can accomplish the same thing with a boiling water canner and the timer on my oven (which I already have) with just a little more effort. Besides, I am hesitant to commit myself to just their recipes.

  • As the mother of a very busy toddler, and as a blogger/baker/photographer/active-in-the-community person, I could really get excited about this automatic canner. But I am not impressed that it is exclusive about recipes, or about the price tag. If it were open-system, I could be okay with almost $300, but not if I’d have to have a traditional set up too.

  • Nope. Nope. Nope. Not in a million years. Since my 21 quart water bath canner only cost me $20 and my 15 quart All American 915 Pressure Canner only cost me $175.00, I can’t imagine why I would spend $300 for that. Also, why would I be wedded to their recipes? It’s ridiculous.

  • I feel that this product is cost prohibitive for novice canners. As a veteran canner I have no need or interest in this product. I am more likely to advance to a pressure canner than spend even more money for something I can do easily in any old pot

  • I see this as nothing more than an attempt to jump on the bandwagon and try to cash in on the resurgence of interest in home canning. Strikes me as a useless and expensive item

  • It seems like Jarden has spent a great deal of money on research and development
    for a product that limits the home canner to Jarden’s matrix, using only their recipes
    for very very small batch canning. While some might find this convenient, I find the
    price tag rather excessive. So many other things to spend dollars on — that price is
    more than our farmers market fruit budget for the summers’ fruit.

  • I have mixed feelings about this. IF it were adaptable to other recipes, and IF I had a kitchen with ample storage space for an extra (relatively cumbersome) gadget, it would be a very convenient tool. I like the idea of using less water (and possibly a lot less energy, since you don’t have to heat all that water), and some of my batches are small enough that I could process them all even in the limited space. But as the product currently stands, its limited uses would not be worth the space it would take to store it. I could never use it as my exclusive processing method, because I don’t want to restrict myself to Jarden’s recipes or their limit on tiny batches.

    There’s also this: A pot of water will never break down. The gadgetier a gadget is, the more little things that can bust after a year or so. For the price, I can’t imagine investing in this given its current versatility.

  • The only thing I have to say is Why would you pay that kind of money to do three or 4 jars when you can spend that kind of money to get a good pressure cooker and can 14 at one time.

  • This looks like a fancier version of the stream/water bath canner I got from Amazon. It’s made by Victorio. I was looking for stainless steel to use with my induction cooktop. It’s $80 and can also be used as a water bath canner and has an indicator for various altitudes. It’s also big. 8 points or 7 quarts.

  • When the microwave oven was introduced, I’m sure there were plenty of people who poo-pooed it, and complained that it was a lot of extra money to spend, when they could do the same thing with a regular oven…until they found the niche that a microwave fills in the modern kitchen.

    I’m probably the target consumer for this appliance. I work full-time and barely have time on the weekends to clean my house, let alone spend hours canning and creating more mess in my tiny, tiny kitchen.
    However, between my own backyard garden and the produce I get from my CSA membership, I have an abundance of vegetables every week that need to be preserved. Not bushels, mind you, but enough to fill a few quart jars. Freezing and refrigerator pickles can only last so long, and freezing ruins the texture of some vegetables. I’ve been wanting to learn how to can, in order to extend my enjoyment of these foods into the winter months, but the idea is daunting and I don’t have a mentor to walk me through in my own kitchen. Canning was never in my family’s culinary heritage and this is not a venture, I feel, where I can just read a few books and be well-equipped to have at it.

    I’ve read a review that explains that this machine calibrates for altitude, adjusting temperature accordingly–so, that’s apparently an issue for which they’ve accounted.
    My only concern is the fact that I’m married to the manufacturer’s recipes, as I like to experiment. I’d like to see what the recipes are and if I can figure out a way to adapt them.
    Yes, this probably isn’t a useful tool for a veteran canner, retired with a great big farmhouse kitchen and plans to stock shelves full of jars…but it’s intriguing for those of us who are potential small-scale canners living in tight quarters with very little free time on our hands.

  • I am thinking of buying this product because every time I can something, I burn myself. Trying to get jars out of boiling hot water is not very safe, even using pot holders and tongs. If this saves my hands from bad burns, it is worth it.

  • The price of this is ridiculous. For that much money, I can buy a ton of jars and a really really nice HWB canner. Plus it is not more efficient since it takes more time. Plus you are severely limited to the amount you can process at one time. Most recipes make a lot more than 3 quarts.

  • The price of the canning system is to high. Since this only does a few jars at a time, you should be selling this at the same price as your jam and jelly maker at $99, because that machine only does a few jars at a time as well. It’s a great concept but only for someone who does canning in small batches, regardless if it’s vegetables or jellies. I would love to buy this product to try it out but not at this price.

  • The price is steep but it will come down after some time. I also think that whole “recipes” thing will be a non issue. All it’s doing is adjusting the time and temp a bit depending on what number you put it. It will be easy enough to figure out “if I type in A1b it goes for 45 minutes – that’s long enough for XYZ”. It’s not like it’s counting the pickles in the jar or knows what the exact acid level of anything is, the buttons you push are most likely just equating to minor time differences.

  • I love this new tec canner. I think it’s for people that can afford to splurge on themselves. I did and I have all the other canners to! But, now I don’t have to clean up all those messy water spots all over the range top, heat up the kitchen and me when I’m canning on those hot summer days. I love to can. I have for years. Now there is only the two of us and I still enjoy canning small batches. If it’s like the freshtec jam and jelly maker, it’s no problem to make several batches at once, which I have done and adjusted recipes that came with the jelly maker, it’s not that hard to do.

  • I received one for Christmas from my hubby, and I love it! I will still use the old way when I have a lot of canning to do, but for very small batches throughout the year, this is a very wonderful appliance! This is water bath canning only – it is NOT a pressure cooker.

  • Well, I splurged and bought one of these–I had a coupon to get 15% off at You can be sure I am going to be trying my own recipes. As someone said upthead, how is a machine going to know I made Blackberry-Lime jam with Pomona’s pectin vs. their recipe (which has a ton of sugar)? I do a lot of small batch canning and being able to process 6 half pints is fine for me. I’ve never canned a quart of anything in my 35 year canning career! When I get to the time of the year with lots of tomatoes, I will still have my boiling water canner and pressure cooker. I’m willing to give this a try. If it doesn’t work for me, I can return it.

  • Im disabled & would really love this but, sigh, I can’t afford it. My question is, what will happen if you use other recipes besides their’s? How does it know the difference?

  • I am single and live alone. At first I thought this is just what I have been looking for, something quick and easy which does small batches. I thought I could finally stock up on meat when it went on sale and make homemade stews and soups and can my own vegetables. Then I read it only went to 3 psi! If they made a real electric pressure cooker I would buy it in a second. I also have a glass top electric stove and pressure cookers are really not good for those kind of stove.

    1. Never heard they are not good for glass stoves, have not have any problems with our pressure cooker, but maybe it depends on the brand? Thanks for mentioning it, will have to look into it. 🙂

  • We have a glass top stove, and there is controversy on whether canning is safe on glass tops or not…so this might be a good solution…if only we could make our own recipes…

  • I’m surprised by all of the very negative comments here from people who have never used the FreshTech canner and who claim that they would never even consider using it.

    Yes, the canner IS expensive but it’s also a fabulous time-saver for me, and my time is worth money. I like being able to work with good-quality produce that I’ve selected, that’s organic and chemical free.

    I purchased the FreshTech canner about two months ago and I’ve been very, very pleased with it. I’ve used it to process half a dozen different kinds of jams and jelly. For some of them, I used the recipes from the instruction and recipe book that came with the canner. For a couple of others, I improvised recipes to make red currant jelly and gooseberry jam since Ball didn’t provide anything like that to use with this canner. Prior to going off on my own, I consulted other canning books so that I would come up with acceptably acidic mixtures to process, and they were successful.

    This past weekend, I used the FreshTech canner to process 12 quarts of Kosher dill cucumber pickles (making 3 quarts at a time), using Ball’s recipe and pickle seasoning mixture. After preheating the jars for 12 minutes, the canner processed 3 quarts in 35 minutes. It was wonderful not having to babysit gallons of boiling water on a stove top. Eventually, I will probably try adapting other cucumber pickle recipes to this canner.

    Also this past weekend, I used the FreshTech canner to process 4 pints of pickled beets using Ball’s FreshTech recipe that I found on-line. The recipe, as written, actually produced 5 pints of beets and my extra non-processed pint is stored in my refrigerator for consumption soon.

    The canner is great to work with. I have both of your books (Food in Jars and Preserving by the Pint) and I will probably try processing some of your jam recipes in this canner at some point.

    Incidentally, I also purchased Ball’s Jam and Jelly Maker this summer because I liked the canner so well. I’ve only made one batch of blueberry jam in the Jam and Jelly Maker, following Ball’s reduced sugar recipe, and I got a perfect batch of jam from it. My only negative criticism is that the Jam and Jelly Maker will produce only 4 half-pint amounts in one batch; I wish the capacity was larger and could do 6 half-pints at a time.

  • I just want to do fruit, like it says it will. But doing just plain old fruit like peaches, pears, cherries, apples, no directions to do so. This is unacceptable. Basic canning of fruits should have been a priority for instructions before they decided to do “spiced honey peaches” and applesauce as their ONLY FRUIT recipes that are approved, this is nuts!!!!

  • I just bought this canner a week ago. I processed two 4 pint batches of tomatoes and one 4 pint batch of peaches. Only 3 out of 4 jars in each batch sealed. Has anyone else had this problem?? Any ideas about what could be going on??? Thanks.

  • I’ve had mine since June and LOVE IT!!! Yes, I do use my own recipes…I pick a pre-programmed recipe that closely resembles mine and go for it. I’ve had no problems and like that I can do small batches!

  • Success at last (just finished two 4 pint batches of peaches-every jar sealed) !!!!! Maybe not for canning pros, but this canner is well worth my money.

  • can this canner use 12 0z. jars. would like to know before purchasing one. would treat them like pint jars for timing. please reply

  • I would love to try one of these because I have a ceramic stove top and don’t want to risk breaking it.

    However that said I would also like to can meat when it is on sale. Meat has to be processed at 180 degrees for 90 min to be safe. If it would do that I would want one tomorrow.

    The small capacity is an issue too but I’d settle for doing whatever quantity I could do.

    Ball should know there are people like me interested in canning larger quantities and low acid foods especially with an electric pressure canner.

    1. Meat has to be processed at 250 degrees to be safe. You need to do it in a pressure canner. While this automatic canner uses a small amount of pressure, it is not a pressure canner.

    2. No, low acid foods, such as meat, need a higher temp and psi to about 11-15. This assures the microbes that grow anaerobically a killed. This device seems to only substitutes for the waterbath canning method.

  • hi there;
    just found your blog and really appreciate your safety comments for canning. i love canning but we don’t have the time and also struggle with second guessing the safety, so i love the idea of the Ball machine. i see you were going to do a review on it but don’t see it anywhere in your site…did you ever do the actual review? should love to here about it before we spend that $300..

  • Hello,

    I received the FreshTech Automatic Home Canning System for Christmas of 2014 and as berries are becoming in season, I have finally used it. There are pro’s and con’s but overall I am satisfied. I do agree with you on the recipe monopoly — it seems like the company would appeal to more consumers if they were more flexible. They do have a good website and I have to admit I have “fudged” on some of the recipes and have used other brands of jars. All of my jams have turned out just fine.

    Thanks for your blog, it’s so informative! 😀

  • Hi! I’m late to the auto-canning party, but I’m wondering if it really is dangerous to use it with my own recipes. There are only a handful of jam recipes in the booklet that comes with the appliance…and frankly they don’t sound all that interesting, pina colada jam? What the heck would I even put that on?

    And the promised new/additional recipes don’t appear to have materialized on the website.

    Anyway….what it comes down to is if I can’t use other recipes (that would be safe for water-bath canning), then I’m not sure I have a use for the auto-canner. Thoughts?

  • I have the Fresh Tech Automatic canning system and the Jam maker. I was shocked to find out that the recipes for jam, that came with the automatic canning system, are too much, in volume, for the jam maker. Before I used the auto-canner recipes I called the Ball Company to ask if I could use the canner recipes in my jam maker…they said “Of Course!” NOT!! It will boil your jam maker over—for crying out loud!!
    Also, I think their little rule about only using their recipes is self-centered, on their part. I have used other recipes in the Auto-Canner. They did fine. You just have to use the same volume of ingredients and same jar sizes.
    Their recipes aren’t consistent, either. In the Italian-Style Pasta Sauce recipe it says it produces 4 pints of sauce for canning, with no instructions for making a larger amount. Yet, in the Basic Tomato Sauce recipe you can make 4 pints or 3 quarts?! Why not 3 quarts in the Pasta sauce? To a novice canner they would believe that you could not make 3 quarts with the first recipe. Those recipes need to be corrected.
    And they have not made any new, useful recipes, yet.
    I am still waiting.

  • So my sister picked this up for me last year for $15 at a BJs Outlet sale. I have glass-topped stove, so the only thing I have to use for water bath canning is my tall stockpot, which holds only 2 quart jars or 3 pint jars (I also need the stockpot to cook my apples down). For $15, this electric canner has been extremely helpful. No hot water splashing in my kitchen (I have to fill my stockpot to the top for the quart jars) and with small kids around, it takes a lot of heat and danger out of my kitchen.

    That said, I wouldn’t have paid $300 for it and it is bulky (we store it in the basement in the winter and spring). I wish I could use a pressure cooker or had a stove top conducive to a larger, traditional water bath canner, but this gets the job done and I feel like I’ve canned more the last 2 years with it than I did before I had it (and if I need to do larger batches, I can use the auto canner AND the water bath at the same time).

    The tomato recipe is the one I used anyway and the pickle recipes are the same ones on the Ball Dill Pickling spice jars, which is what I used anyway. Jam was something I have only made with the electric canner, so I can’t compare that. I’m doing applesauce the same way I always have, as the receipe doesn’t really deviate from the electric canner one. Peaches are the only question mark – I’m trying them for the first time this year and the auto canner doesn’t have guidance for regular peaches in syrup, just “honey spiced peaches.”

  • I happen to love the canner. I make small amounts at a time so it is perfect for me. No muss no fuss and no scalding water. My only complaint is the limited number of recipes.

  • To the person who was concerned about it having a warning about not cooking low-acid foods — it has one, up front, loud and clear.

    I love this canner. I only want to do small-batch canning and high acid foods are fine with me. I just wish I could find new recipes for it. I do use some “tried and true” analogs for various recipes, but I’d love to see more. People claim that Ball has posted new ones online, but I’ve never found them.

  • I want to consider buying a Fresh tech machine but dont know where to get it. I live in Southern Ontario Canada

  • I would like to can blueberry syrup using fresh blueberries. Which fresh tech recipe would work Jams & Jellies or Fruits? Will use blueberries, agave syrup, lemon juice ( no pectin used)

    1. I’m so sorry, but I can’t advise on the FreshTECH! I just don’t know enough about it.

  • I started canning, waterbath, due to the garden overload and not wanting to waiste hard earned vegis. That said, I keep a small garden and thus do not get a large yield at once. This canner comes with a small recipe book with quantity canning. I like this very much. Still getting use to it. They really need to put out a larger recipe book for these smaller batches though. It is very limiting and I find that I keep just going to the regular Waterbath for more recipes, when I wanted to use the electric canner. Maybe I should just do a larger garden?? LOL

    1. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are going to create any more recipes for that appliance.

  • I bought one of the REALTech canners. I have used it while waiting for my peaches to come on the tree so I can can them. I need some information from how to can them. But cant find the WEB site where I can hopefully find up to date information about the canner. URRRR!

    1. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be making or supporting that appliance anymore. I’m so sorry!