Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System

November 7, 2013(updated on March 31, 2022)

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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190 thoughts on "Ball FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System"

  • No, just another gadget to make people spend $$. What’s wrong with a $20 canning pot? For the short 10-20 minutes that the jars are usually in there it’s not like I have to stand over the pot watching it. Plus if I am doing all the prep work (say for salsa or applesauce), I want to be able to fill all my jars at once and process them, not to do only 4 pints at a time. Canning can be a lot of work but most of it is in the prepping NOT in the final water-bath processing.

    1. Cheaper to boil water, then spend on electricity and the whole unit (canner) that doesn’t hold nearly as much as a water bath………….

  • UGH. I am a fairly recent canning recruit (2 years in) and if people would only watch the process once they would see that the processing portion of canning is really pretty simple. And only requires a $10 pot, a rack or something as a buffer if your pot didn’t come with, and tap water. A $300 product is an insane substitute for something so affordable, especially when the results are the same.

  • Only doing three quart jars at a time is a huge disadvantage for me. I do bushels of green beans at a time. And stewed tomatoes. This would take forever. If you only had a few quarts to do it would be fine but the cost of this wouldn’t be worth it for me.

  • This is not something that I would be interested in. For $300 I’ll go ahead and keep an eye on my water bather! And yeah I’m with you, I’m not thrilled with being locked into their recipes.

  • Seems like a total waste of money to me. $300?!!? When you can buy a $20 canning pot. And it’s easy enough to process four jars in a canning pot if you want to do a small batch of something. Seems like another “one-use gadget” that would gather dust on a shelf. I already have enough of those, LOL!

  • I don’t see myself using it. So far, I’m only interested in water canning so it’s something I don’t need. Having said that, I would love to have the Freshtech jam maker. I’m too lazy to stir constantly. lol!

    1. I have a Freshtech jam maker that I havent even taken out of the box yet, for the price I paid and shipping, you can have it!!

  • I agree with the others. In my opinion, this is just another silly toy. My money would be better spent on lids. Think about how many lids that would buy!

  • Very interesting. I am so on board with your fears about accidental fear-mongering. Though I’m in the fermentation realm and not the canning realm, I think the fears that people have about our processes are similar. Lately, there has been a spate of people with audiences discussing the proper way to ferment so that it’s safe, implying or outright stating that any other way is unsafe. Many of the things they say you MUST do are things I’ve absolutely never done and I know lots and lots of other fermenters who haven’t done them either.

    This kinda thing really gets under my skin, because frequently those people are either clearly stirring up controversy for more hits, or selling a product that helps one to avoid the “problem.” It’s counterproductive and dishonest.

    Of course that doesn’t sound like the issue with this! This does sound like a cool product and I look forward to reading your review in a few weeks! Just weighing in on my hatred for fear-mongering in our fields!

  • Wow…fancy, but unnecessary. It is just something that I would not use. I like my water bath canner so that I can do small and medium jars at the same time, pulling out the small ones before the larger are done. Also, the fact that they are only good for the manufacturer’s recipes doesn’t make me happy.

    I need to get a pressure canner so I can branch out, I’m now comfy with water bath canning and want to do more things!

  • No I wouldn’t purchase it. At first I thought yes until read the quantity of jars it holds. As far as recipes. Seriously who follows a recipe to the T? I know I don’t. For the price & it takes up as much space as a regular canner. I water bath can outside during nice weather because I’m on propane & it can get expensive. I wouldn’t purchase it

  • I will echo the previous comments and say i would not buy this product, even if the price came way down. This item is wildly unnecessary and would extend my time in the kitchen because it can only handle 3 quart jars at a time. Canning is a process through which we can feel connected to our mothers and grandmothers, and we don’t need a 21st century gadget to get the job done.

    1. I too feel we would lose the “connection” to our ancestors by using so many of these gadgets! I use the water bath method and my pressure canner. Doing only 4 jars at a time, no thanks! I make my own bread and love the feel of kneading, watching it rise and the wonderful smell of 4 loaves of baking bread and oh so yummy hot with real butter and my homemade grape jelly!! I think we use way too many gadgets in our homes…………..

  • I would never use it. My husband was trying to convince me to get one until I showed him the 4 pt limit (we always can at least 7-9 pts at a time) and the cost compared to my 2nd hand store purchases of perfectly good used canners.
    Besides, I clean something in the kitchen while the bwb is doing its work, so it’s not like I have to babysit the canner and contents. A gimmick for sure, but I could see a single person or parent getting use out of it.

  • I am a total newbie canner, I only did salsa, applesauce & pickles this year, and I wouldn’t waste my money on this. Like someone said above, the processing part is not that long! Most of the work (especially with salsa!) is in the prep. Once I get them in the water bath, the hard part is done, IMO.

  • Hmmm. With that price tag, probably not.

    I definitely share your concerns on the closed system, although I’m sure some of us more experienced canners could find a way to work around that. The word ‘pressure’ scares a good number of people and I know some very experience canners who don’t touch a pressure canner with a 10 foot pole. (I only got over my hesitation when I was asked to teach it and found myself saying yes I could.)

    At the same time, I can see where a beginning canner who is unsure about the process could feel comforted that by following a recipe and pushing a few buttons, they are assured success.

    Although that price….that is not an entry level toy price. I’m curious as to how you like it when you get your hands on one.

  • I might use it if it worked for pressure canning instead of just water bath canning. I don’t mind pressure canning, but it does take a long time, is noisy and kind of messy sometimes. Would be great to have it automated. But it doesn’t pressure can, so oh well.

    It’s silly to take such a simple process and make it “techy.” A clear case of creating a “need” and then filling it.

  • For $300, I would purchase the electric water bath canner already in the marketplace that a commpdates 7 quart jars.

  • Standing over a steaming pot in August, I could see myself wistfully wanting one of these. The set-it-and-forget-it aspect is really appealing.

    But the price tag is crazy! At $300, why wouldn’t I just buy preserves from the farmer’s market and call it a day? The small capacity isn’t appealing either. I like using my big, flat cake cooling rack which lets me do a mix of small jars (for gifts and swapping) and large jars (for eating!)

  • It just seems like an expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. I get that with lots of food gadgets though. But I agree with you that I hate when people make activities seem harder than they are (like canning) just to sell a product, I think it does more harm than the good of attracting people to canning.

  • The price point is enough to turn me off of it…and guaranteed it will cost more in Canada! I’m on my 2nd pressure canner (had to switch to a flat bottom when I got a new ceramic top stove) and 3rd boiling water canner (I keep upsizing), and I’ve spent just a bit more than $300 combined!! How long could this unit possibly last? I kill a crock-pot every 5-7 years…about the same for coffee makers and kettles. That’s a lot of money to spend on an appliance that won’t last forever and that is only useful for one task! The only plus I could see from this is that (I’m assuming) the unit doesn’t put off quite as much heat as a pot boiling on the stove. That might be nice in an un-airconditioned kitchen.

    Can’t wait to hear what you have to say after using it!

  • Okay, I am going on the other side. While I would not spend this kind of money on it, I might like this. I have been using a stockpot for canning, because my ceramic top stove (bought before I began canning) doesn’t like bigger pans. It’s hard to regulate the boiling process, and I can only use the front burners, which makes it hard to have sterilization, heating of product and canning going all at once. I don’t do large batches, but do lots of small ones. So I could see this as being useful. BUT that price point is WAY too high to justify the purchase.

  • I like that there would probably be less heat/steam in the kitchen. I also like that you use less water and that there isn’t a heavy canning pot full of water to dump out at the end. However, the price seems ridiculously high when I could just use my old canning pot. Plus, there aren’t any techie parts on my canning pot that will break in 1-2 years.

  • I am fairly new to canning, I have just done jams and pickles the last couple years, but when we do can we like to make enough to fill our pantry and share with our friends, so to do only a few jars at a time wouldnt work. I think it may be good for the hobby canner, but not someone serious about filling their pantry which is what I am working towards.
    As for cost, water bath canning is fairly inexpensive to buy the pot, or buy like we did after the season and score a half price deal. 🙂

  • I like the idea of a non-stove based canner for crazy canning days when you want multiple canners going and need multiple burners to heat up the next batch but I think if I was going to spend $$ I would do an electric water bath canner that can do a full load of 7 quarts

  • Another uni-tasking gadget to sit next to abandoned pasta makers and bread bakers at Goodwill. I’ll stick with the big stock pot I use for small batches. Also, couldn’t I achieve the same results by using my pressure cooker? Which, you know, actually cooks food too?

  • I have a ceramic cooktop that does not get my water bath canner to a full consistent boil so this device seems like it could be a good fit! I agree that the price is crazy though. I’d spend $100 on it….but only if I could use other recipes (like from the Food in Jars cookbook!).

    I’ll be a late adopter so they can work all the kinks out. 🙂

  • If it was capable of doing true pressure canning I might be interested. Although only if the capacity was larger. A walk away pressure canner would be worth it, but a walk away water-bath canner? Why bother?

    The only advantage for me would be if it were full capacity, I would love to have the extra burner space for prepping the next batch.

  • At that price, absolutely not interested. However, I see it as what would be a useful tool for someone like me. I have 2 small children and a glass-top stove with only one working large burner that doesn’t really fit the big pot. Heating the food itself and the pot with the jars is a switcheroo dance that I hate, and I’d rather do a bunch of jars serially like this than fight that battle all day while trying to watch my boys. Of course, at $300 dollars, I’ll just do the dance. Yikes.

  • Even if this were $30, I wouldn’t buy it. Being locked into their products and their recipes is not at all appealing. Still less appealing is the idea of only doing four pints at a time. I just got done processing 80 pounds of apples. If I had to do that four pints at a time, the apples would have grown into new trees before I was done.

  • I would love to start canning, at this time I do not have any supplies, would this be something that would be something that I would need? Would this be a cheaper solution?

  • The price alone seems insane to me! I think most canners do so to save $. That sort of defeats the purpose in my opinion.

    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

  • One of the great things about canning is how simple the tools are, and how flexible they can be. You can can on a wood stove, gas stove, electric stove, open fire, barbecue–just about anywhere.

    Or you can use this big, pricy can-of-junk-of-the-future…until the power goes out.

    And seriously. Remember how you used to be able to fix your own car, and then they computerized everything? Now one little chip burns out and you can’t get out of the shop for less than $1000. It is idiocy to computerize a boiling water bath.

  • I’d probably use it if I had it, but I’d never spend that kind of money for it. Actually, if you can only use their recipes with it, it isn’t that useful at all since I have some recipes I make year after year and I’m not about to give those up. It might be more useful to someone just starting to get into canning, but what a large investment for them to have to make. Then, if they branch out and want to try other recipes, they have to invest in different equipment.

  • If I was given one I would try it but I love the art of canning and joy it brings me. It’s like a tie to me past family members who I miss and love. They gave me recipes I still use today and have also passed on to continue the family transition.

  • No way. I’d rather take the $300 and buy a new pressure cooker. I am completely comfortable with water bath canning and my cobbled together system can hold way more than that…

    As other commenters said, they are creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.

  • I am still trying to wrap my head around why this product was even created. I can understand a bread maker, but since when can we not boil water? And the price point is insane.

  • That would be a big HECK NO from me. I have everything I need for water bath canning. If I had $300 to blow – I would buy a decent pressure canner (12 quart) and the rest of the money would be spent on YARN and other cool stuff. Besides the price, the inability to use recipes from cool blogs and books like yours is a HUGE turn off. Nope, none for me thanks

  • As a newbie canner, I dont want to be locked into using only the recipes Ball deems appropriate for the technology and because I am a newbie, adjusting recipes is difficult for me. The other thing I have discovered is that if I am going to spend forever in the peeling, chopping dicing category, I want more than 3 pints to show for the tedium I have just endured! Then there is the money issue; I am a federal employee…nuff said!

    1. I have to agree with Cheryl. Three issues are evident right away:

      1) Adapting recipes to Ball technology is out of the question as a newbie
      2) Only 3 pints to show for all your hard work at a time is disheartening – who has that much time? The point is to do large batches when going through all the tedious preparation.
      3) The $300 price tag is way too expensive! Most of us were hit pretty hard with companies downsizing and people getting laid off. No thank you!

  • I agree with most of the above comments…I usually do large enough batches that it would take me forever to finish! I don’t have enough hours in my days as they are. Also, the fact that it would be hard to know how to adapt recipes other than the ones that come with it…that’s a big turn off for me!

  • I will use my canner just like I have been and my mom has. Three hundred dollars is a little pricey for a new gadget, that I probably wouldn’t use.

  • Having reviewed all responses…

    Sometimes these new gadgets are a necessity for those of us w/disabilities unable to fully do the “old” methods. It’s the closest some of us can get keeping in line w/how our ancestors did it & STILL provide home harvested healthy foods to our families. The price will come down.

  • I see this gadget to canning what a bread machine is to bread making: it’s a nifty gadget, but it doesn’t teach you how to do it. I think its market is those who are afraid to try canning, so they’ll spend money on a gadget to do all the uncertain work for them. And it’s too bad. It may do the job just fine, but like with a bread machine, it would appear that you’re limited towhat you can make, and sadly, you never learn the process. But if that’s what you’re looking for, and you have $300 laying around gathering dust, I say go for it.

  • That is a LOT of money for something that an inexpensive stock pot can do. I understand the convenience factor. Good for them to appealing to that market. But for that price, you can buy a lot of farmer’s market produce and jars. The fear of beginning canners is easily overcome by finding a class. I took a class with a friend at a pricey kitchen store. Worth the money to know I was learning solid skills.

  • For $299 and you use their recipes? No, not interesting at all. Even if you could use your own recipes, the price puts it in the ‘for 1 tool, you are dreaming’ category.

  • I can 3-400 jars a year and if I only canned 3 at a time, I would never get done. I would not expect anyone who only needs 3 jars of anything to purchase this. It can’t be used for anything else but my waterbath/canner can be used for multiple things and is a tiny fraction of the cost. It seems to be about as useful as that tiny, expensive counter top dishwasher that washes one sinkful at a time. A waste of money and space to store it. It also seems to be attempting to streamline home canning as if to make it less time consuming, Not going to happen, Two thumbs down for this idea.

  • I would be a definite no for lots of reasons (price, flexibility, it’s size). It’s sort of reinventing the wheel. But I was always intrigued when I heard about the European electric canners, mainly because it seemed quieter, and sometimes “set it and forget it” is golden. I think that having it programmed to Ball recipes is weird and draconian. Who thought of that? Only evil empires do that! ; )

  • if it becomes a popular wedding gift I might be able to get a used-once one at yard sale prices in a couple of years 🙂 So for $10 it might be useful for small batch type of stuff.

  • $300! That is way to steep for me to justify. With a toddler at home, I do like the aspect of being able to just leave it to do its thing. He always wants my attention when I’m filling jars and the canner is boiling away! 🙂 But there is no way I would pay that much money for another appliance to store. And I don’t see beginner canners investing that much money in a hobby. I’d be interested to see who ends up buying this product.

  • I have never canned before in my life , I am terrified of something going wrong and getting very ill or causing someone to become very ill with something I’ve canned. I would love to be able to expand my summer garden fully to the winter months. I am going to keep my eye on this product for a while and if the price is reasonable, this is something that I just get .

  • I would not use this. Why would I want to be dependent on some techno-gadget when I can trust the always trustworthy natural laws (water boils at 212 degrees [at sea level]) and the pretty trusty clock hanging on my wall. Me and techno have an anxiety-riddled relationship at best. I see NO advantage and a lot of disadvantage. Who would sucker into this thing? Maybe someone whose stove top is too small to accommodate even a ‘stockpot’ size canner? Or, whose burners are so slow that it takes forever to bring their pot to boil–or can’t even maintain a boil? The $300 would be much better invested in a good stove. My Aunt bought a single hotplate that she puts out on the porch that brings a full-size canner to boil in about 10-15 minutes. Even though my stove has no trouble with the canner, I’ve considered the advantage of keeping all that heat out of the kitchen.

  • As a fairly new canner, I feel like I am still trying to perfect my canning routine and don’t want anything to take away from that. I like the process of boiling my jars, and seeing that steamy pot on my stove and waiting for the timer, etc. I wouldn’t take any short cuts now, because I want to make sure that I continue to learn the proper, old-fashioned way. I also want to teach my kids and maybe grandkids how to do this, and using a machine such as this new one won’t help me accomplish that. I don’t usually do small batches either, so I don’t think the FreshTech is for me.

  • To me, this is a unitasker, and I’m not a fan of unitaskers in my kitchen – not enough room in there! If this was something that could do full on pressure canning as well as water bath, I might consider it. But it just cannot beat my pressure canner that can also be used as a water bath.

    Interesting development though. Maybe they have a pressure canning one in the works.

  • For $300 I want this thing to plant the crop, harvest it, wash it, slice and dice, pack the jars and print the labels ….

    Seriously, from what I read here, I don’t see how this is an improvement on tried and true methods in any way. It actually seems quite limiting and as already mentioned-expensive.

  • Even if it was inexpensive & able to be used with any recipe, I still don’t get the draw. Right now, the “hands on part” is everything BEFORE and AFTER the water bath. I don’t DO anything while it’s IN the water bath. So, it’s not really saving me either time or labor. I still have to put it in and take it out. I have the jam & jelly maker and used it in addition to doing jam the regular way. It was nice to try different recipes with smaller batches, so I didn’t make a ton and nobody liked it. Plus, when one is using one’s own fruit/produce, it’s nice to be able to do smaller batches. I don’t see any redeeming qualities for this offering from Ball at present.

  • I completely agree about the “only use this device with our approved recipes” thing. It creates a bad rep for other canned products, and would prohibit me from using it since I like doing low-sugar stuff and trying out new recipes.

    1. I agree…There are many qualified canning folks who have great recipes that are not in the Ball book. I think it’s important to respect the science of canning, and that this machine may perhaps keep folks from taking the time to understand why they do what they do in the various canning processes.

  • I’d use it if I could use my own/other recipes with it. I like that I’d be able to not baby-sit my pot and could use the stove for other things and set this elsewhere in my tiny kitchen (or not even *in* my kitchen).

    I can’t, however, afford $300 for a small appliance with such a narrow purpose.

  • I wouldn’t use this. I agree with those above who have commented that this is expensive and only has one use. I don’t stand over my HWBC, I just check in on it after i have set the timer, so this seems unhelpful. Then again, I don’t have the jam machine and that you do need to stay close to the pot. I also agree with Marisa’s comment about needing to use certain recipes. Seems to make the whole canning process harder _and more mysterious_. The last point is not to be overlooked. Newbie canners won’t actually understand canning using all these machines. They remove a connection to cooking: even if we don’t complain about rice cookers, people don’t cook rice to experiment, feel good about the product, etc. the connection to making food seems reduced. I imagine this will be a low-use status gadget to sit on counters. Not for those who have been canners or will remain canners and preservers of food, but for the hip status it currently has.

  • I am an empty nester so I like the concept of doing smaller batches of things without having to haul out all my canning supplies. However, that little bit of convenience isn’t worth anything close to $300.

  • I like to create my own recipes. A kettle and water. maybe $25 or a slick machine, their recipe and all day getting a batch through and $300. easy choice.

  • This seems like an expensive uni-tasker that would take up lots of precious kitchen cabinet space.
    At that price I can only think that they are going for the gourmet-wannabe crowd with more money than sense with this and their electric jam-maker. They certainly won’t appeal to the high-volume “prepper” crowd or most gardeners with lots of produce to preserve. For the occasional canner like me, who does jams for holiday gifts, water bath processing is NOT the difficult part of the work of preserving. It might have some utility for those with handicaps or the need to avoid a steamy kitchen, but at a high price.
    As others have observed these will eventually end up next to the breadmakers at garage sales and thrift stores. Might pick up a barely used one for $10 if I could figure out where to store it, but would never spend anywhere near the suggested price.

  • I like the idea of an easy way of canning; however, with the steep price tag and limited recipe base, I wouldn’t use it. If the price dropped to $200 – $250 and they opened it to allow me to use my recipe for mimosa jelly, I’d be all over it.

  • I can’t say I like the idea. I have small kids at home and it is completely possible to tend them and can without a fancy, expensive gadget that takes up space in my kitchen. Honestly, I don’t think I’d get it even if it were a $10 find at a yard sale. I have a perfectly good canning pot that works as long as I have means to heat it up. It will never need to be repaired. I will never need parts for it. It serves more than one purpose in my small kitchen. I can use an recipe I want in it and I can put far more jars in it. If I want to do a small batch I can use my stock pot and it has all the same advantages. I see no benefit to this product for me and I certainly wouldn’t spend a few hundred on it.

  • My husband is diabetic and the traditional recipies have too much sugar. I would not even consider it with limited recipe restrictions. Also when I can I do it big and only being able to can 3 quarts at a time would take me a month of Sunday to get anything done. Canning only 7 jars at a time is slow enough.

  • Interesting but I don’t need the space waste and it would seem that their ‘cool down’ time would just slow me down. I’ll stick to hot water baths, thank you, and if, as a live alone elder, I want to up my production, I’d be just as happy with a pressure canner.

  • Sorry, $300 for a limited task canner is not really practical in my mind, especially if Ball won’t step up and address how to use the thing for more advanced recipes. Wouldn’t let it take up cabinet space…

  • canning jokes? ok let us in on it!

    I would use it if it meant I could let it go overnight. I most likely would not purchase it for that price though.

  • But it’s only good for items that would normally be canned using a water bath method, correct? 95% of my canning is of meats, vegetables, etc. that require using a pressure canner.

  • Yup, what they said. It’s a heck of a lot of kitchen real estate compared to the canning kettles which nestle nicely inside one another to take up a small amount of basement shelf space in the off season. The only benefit I can see is not heating your kitchen to hellhouse temperatures during the two hottest weeks of the year (which, where I live, always ALWAYS fall during Strawberries Week and Tomatoes Week) and really, the capacity of the thing is way too limited to be useful during Tomatoes Week for most people who can.

  • Sounds like they are trying to cash in on the canning revival. Why do we need to replace what has worked for decades with a new, expensive steam device? I wouldn’t be interested, and I just learned to can this summer.

  • I love the idea and I expect it is probably more energy efficient then the stovetop but with the price tag, the fact that it does not also function as a pressure canner and the space it would take to store it, I think I will most likely stick with traditional canning methods.

  • I sorta do this already, but much cheaper. I bought a Presto Pressure Canner/cooker from Walmart…model 01745 $65. Doesn’t have a gauge, but has a 5, 10, and 15 lb regulator weight. The gauge on the models with it look cheap and inaccurate. I said looked inaccurate. I like low tech to the weighted regulator is good enough for me. This 16qt model is not tall enough to water bath qt jars…so I steam them at 5 lbs for the prescribed length of time.

  • Nope. It holds LESS jars, and takes LONGER then a regular boil, so it would take way to long to get through the amount of jars I can. You CAN’T transfer other recipes to its use. It takes away the understanding of the safety basics of canning, which are essentially needed for those learning. It does NOT allow for low acid items, only small amounts of high acid items. Its a “one-trick pony” and at $299 it is too expensive, too space consuming, too limited to belong in my kitchen. As well, I prefer to use methods that do not rely only on electricity in my home, and this would not fit that requirement.

    If perhaps it fit more jars, took less time, and was useable as a pressure canner, then I might reconsider my opinion.

  • I probably wouldn’t ever get one mostly for the size. For goodness sakes, only three quart jars?! We upgraded to a larger water bath canner so that we could fit nine quarts instead of seven, because if you are canning 100 pounds of peaches or asian pears, you want to process as many jars as you can at one time.

    I also don’t like the recipe limitations. While many of the recipes I use do come from the Ball Blue book, I do have many recipes that come from many other sources, including this site. That would be very frustrating.

  • I wouldn’t pay for it. I taught myself to can from reading the Ball Canning Book. That’s it. Between that and the Internet (including your site), I figured it out.

    I can’t rationalize spending $300 for a device that’s not even a pressure canner. I initially got excited because I assumed it was a pressure canner, but not only is it just a regular canner, it also only holds a handful of jars. Some of my recipes yield 10-12 half pint jars. I’d be babysitting that machine all day!

    If someone gave it to me for free, I’d use it. Otherwise, I can find other uses for my $300.

    Do you do any pressure canning? Is it difficult? No one seems to talk much about it.

    1. I do quite a bit of pressure canning and have written a few posts about it over the years. It’s really not difficult at all.

    2. Don’t know where you live, but in Texas our county agricultural agent offers classes, for a small fee. My husband and I both grew up around canning, both grand parents and parents, but we both enjoyed attending the classes offered by our county agent. Yes, it was a pressure canning class, but offer water bath classes. Hope this helps.

  • I don’t see this ever making it into my kitchen. This past summer, I have commandeered my sister-in-law’s huge Amish waterbath canner that holds 18 quarts at a time. Tiny batches that would fit into that thing are pointless in my house with a family of 6! With little ones around, the concept is great, but not for my needs.

  • I could see this would be nice in the summer when the house is too hot. If it let me use my own recipes and cost an awful lot less (under $100), I’d buy it. Otherwise nope.

  • Use it? Oh, yes. There are plenty of times when I have only a small amount and don’t want to freeze to preserve. Buy it? Uh, not so much. Steep price tag and I’d rather have a good pressure canner AND a waterbath canner w/ accesories for that price.

  • My BIG concern is having to plug anything in! What happens in a prepping situation? I can can ( heheheh) over an open fire or on a campstove with my ol’ enamel baby.. and only 3 big jars and no room for 1/2 gall specials? I don’t think I am interested. I think it is easier to can in my old baby!

  • If I had $300 burning a hole in my pocket, I would get an All American pressure canner, that I could use for all my canning needs, with my favorite recipes. That’s money well spent!

  • For that kind of money I’d want it to handle 6 quarts or stacked pints or half-pints, and I would want it to offer a choice of water bath canning or pressure canning, and be totally programmable. Then, and only then, I’d consider forking over something that does what I can already do in my pressure canner. They are on the right track, but this train won’t leave the station.

  • The time-consuming part of canning for me is preparing the food for the jars. Once that is done and the jars are filled, popping them in a hot water bath is easy.Doesn’t seem like this is all that useful and certainly not for the price.

  • Would have to pass on this. I cannot justify that kind of money to take longer and can fewer jars of food. Sure can purchase quite a few jars and lids for $300.00 If it held more jars and could stack them AND do either hot water bath or pressure canning I would be interested for the money. Hope that they can re-figure this appliance to make it work better for the novice and long time caners. Good Luck with it.

  • I wouldn’t want to use it even if it was given to me, I like the ritual of canning. An appliance like this would take that away.

  • Nicolas Appert 1749-1841 is spinning in his grave in France at the idea of this foolish American

  • I an hoping that you will be able to figure out how to use any recipe for that machine and if you do, I would most certainly buy it. I am all for making high quality jam and if this makes good jam, canning easier and bides us more free time to do other things, why not?

  • I would be VERY interested in the high altitude ability of the unit! I live at 8300′ and the extra time in water bathing at high altitude tend to “overcook” things. This may help!!!

  • I agree with many of the comments – this is too expensive for a single-purpose gadget that takes the place of the least labor-intensive part of the canning process. The only possible advantage I see is that this probably would not kick off the amount of heat that a big boiling pot does. Still not worth $300.

    One of the problems that I have with gadgets is that they can remove one from the tactile process of cooking. Yes, the mandoline is handy, but I still prefer chopping and slicing with a knife, and any time spent using one gadget or another is time I am not spending honing my skills. So I’m just generally anti- gadget – with exceptions, of course.

  • I’m a new canner this year (Marisa your book inspired me to finally take the plunge and I will never EVER look back!!!), and I’m also a traditionalist at heart. I don’t like the idea of this. I get the whole ease factor, but to me, canning is the prep, waiting for the water to boil, the rush of getting the product into the jars before everything cools too much, etc etc. I love every part of it and I can’t get enough. So although I understand the idea behind this item, it’s not something I’ll ever use.

  • I have two little ones at home–one who has no regard for the word “hot” and staying away from the stove/oven. So, I was thinking, “Yeah, I might ask for one of these for my birthday.” But, $300???? No way!!! I cold buy 60 jars of my favorite locally-made jam for that. It jus does not make financial sense–especially if I can’t use it with my already beloved recipes. For $50? I’d be ordering it now. For $100? It would go on the birthday list. Any more is just too much, I think.

  • not a good value, for many of reasons already stated above. i use two water baths sitting on two propane burners in the garage. works. great. 14 quarts at a time vs. 3.

  • I have been canning for 50 years and I understand that novices have concerns. That being said, I would not use this machine. If a novice used it and only had access to a few recipes, where would the joy of trying new things be? Give me the old-fashioned water bath.

  • Seems to be a digital steam canner. Good for jelly or jam but little else. If you use a steam canner good for you I’m just not as crazy about them. The idea of a timer to turn it off is great but if you forget it and leave it the product still could overcook…it’s not worth 300 to me to try it.