Best canning pot

Pressure & Slow Cookers

Water bath canning is a great way to safely preserve large batches of high-acid foods for a long time. You’ll need a large canning pot to get started.

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Which canning pots are best?

In the dead of winter, few things are more heartening than cracking open a jar of last year’s fresh garden tomatoes. Home canning is a preservation technique that requires an abundance of food to preserve, the proper canning jars and lids, and a really big pot.

The best canning pots are versatile pieces of equipment that can not only properly preserve your food but also double as a cooking vessel. The Cooks Standard Standard Professional Grade Stainless Steel Stockpot can cook up a big batch of Sunday gravy and then easily can it up with a water bath.

What to know before you buy a canning pot

Canning pots are a critical piece of home preservation equipment. There are some things to keep in mind as you look for the best canning pot for you.

Capacity

The larger the canning pot, the more jars you will be able to process and seal at a time. This may not seem like a big deal, but when you are preserving bushels of tomatoes in the heat of August, keeping boiling water on the stove for longer than you absolutely have to is hard. 

High-quality materials

Because you will use large quantities of water to can, you’ll need a canning pot that’s built from high-quality stainless steel that won’t rust. Some of the better-quality pots also feature an aluminized bottom that heats evenly and holds heat longer. This means you’ll get boiling water faster.

Versatility

Canning pots need to be large to do their job. Because they take up so much space, you’ll want a canning pot that can double as a cooking vessel, too. 

What to look for in a quality canning pot

Well-fitted lid

The lid for your canning pot should be well-fitted without creating any type of vacuum. The lids themselves can be made from stainless steel, but they might also be made of tempered glass. Tempered glass is a good option if you like to be able to see what’s going on in your canning pot, but they do run the risk of cracking or breaking.

Canning rack

A canning rack is helpful to keep jars from rattling along the bottom of the canning pot as it boils. This can also be used as a steamer rack.

Temperature gauge

Some canning pots have a temperature gauge built into the lid. This is helpful to gauge the temperature of the steam, but it’s not strictly necessary for traditional water bath canning.

How much you can expect to spend on a canning pot

A canning pot is a big initial investment, but it makes cooking and preserving large quantities of food so much easier. Expect to spend between $50-$100 on a high-quality canning pot.

Canning pot FAQ

How do you use a canning pot to water bath can?

A. Start with cleaning and sterilizing your jars. Wash your canning jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Place the rack in the bottom of the canning pot, and bring water to a boil. Submerge jars and lids in the water for 5 minutes to sterilize them. Remove the jars and immediately add whatever hot food you are canning (e.g. tomato sauce). 

Place the lids on the jars, and just barely tighten. Place your jars on the rack, making sure that there is at least one inch of boiling water above the top of the jar. 

Boil as directed by the USDA guide to canning. Carefully remove the jars and place on a kitchen towel in a quiet corner to cool and seal.

Listen carefully for the tell-tale pop of the jar lid sealing. You will know your jars are properly sealed when the center of the jar does not move up and down when you press on it. This can take up to 24 hours. If the jar does not seal, you can try again with a clean jar and a fresh lid. 

How long does home-canned food last?

A. To be safe, consume home-canned food within one year of canning. That said, many people swear that properly canned food can last much longer — up to five years or more.  

What are the best canning pots to buy?

Top canning pot

Cooks Standard Standard Professional Grade Stainless Steel Stockpot

Cooks Standard Standard Professional Grade Stainless Steel Stockpot

What you need to know: This 30-quart stockpot is durable and large enough for all of your canning needs.

What you’ll love: It’s made of durable 8/10 stainless steel that won’t rust. The bottom of the stockpot is aluminized, which makes for even heating. The lid fits exactly, and the stockpot can be used to make large batch soups and stews, too.

What you should consider: This canning pot does not include a canning rack.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top canning pot for the money

Cook N Home Stainless Steel Stockpot

Cook N Home Stainless Steel Stockpot

What you need to know: This is a good beginning stockpot.

What you’ll love: This pot is made from 8/10 stainless steel and holds 20 quarts. It has a glass lid with a steam vent that can be used when cooking. The aluminized bottom distributes and holds heat well.

What you should consider: The glass lid is nice for viewing, but it may not last as long as a metal lid.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kitchen Crop VKP Brands Canner

Kitchen Crop VKP Brands Canner

What you need to know: The flat bottom on this pot allows you to use it on any type of stove without having issues with even heating.

What you’ll love: This 20-quart pot is stainless steel with an aluminized bottom and a glass lid. It comes with a canning rack which means you can either steam or water bath can. The lid has a built-in temperature gauge.

What you should consider: The included wire rack is too large for canning with half-pint jars — they tip over.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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