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Comparing Presto and All American pressure canners

Updated on September 11, 2012

Comparing pressure canners

Presto or All american? If you are looking for a good pressure canner then you will probably end up deciding between the Presto and All American pressure canner. They are both great pressure canners, still there are certain differences between the two. In this article we will compare the Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner/Cooker and the All American 921 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner. They are the most popular pressure canners on the market. So let’s start.

Gasket or no gasket

One of the main differences between the Presto and the All American lies in the gasket. The Presto canner has a sealing ring gasket while the All American has no gasket but a special “metal-to-metal” sealing system. This special system consists in a couple of sturdy screws that are used to to seal the lid to the pot and make a steam-tight seal.

While with the Presto you will need to replaced the gasket once in a while (usually when you start noticing the steam coming out between the lid and the canner) with the All American there is no gasket and therefore no gasket replacement . The cost of a new Presto gasket is really not that high. Still, if you don't want to bother with gaskets get an All Amercan canner.

Dial or weight gauge

Pressure canners can have a dial or weighted gauge. Dial gauges need to be tested on annual basis for accuracy because if the gauge is off a few pounds your food won't be processed safely. This is especially important when canning low-acid food (like meat and seafood). If your dial gauge is not right you will process foods with the wrong amount of pressure resulting in food that is unsafe for consumption (botulism is the last thing you need). With the dial gauge you will have to keep an eye on it, making sure that the right amount of pressure is reached. The Presto canner can be converted to a weighted canner by getting the Presto pressure regulator.

The All American pressure canner has both a dial and a weight gauge. The weighted gauge needs no testing and it's much easier to use. The All American weigh gauges make a a frequent jiggling noise indicating that the correct pressure is maintained. You just need to listen to the jiggling noise and then begin your timing.


Both canners are made from aluminum. But the All American is heavier with a shipping weight of 24 pounds (compared to the Presto's 12 pounds shipping weight). The heavy gauge aluminum that Presto uses for the canners is not always top quality. It can occasionally stain your hands. Furthermore Presto manufactures their canners in China. The All American canner is made of hand-cast aluminum in the USA by the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry. Their material is of the highest quality and it's extremly durable.

So as far as durability is concerned the All American is the absolute winner. This canner will last for decades without a problem. A lot of people still use their mother's and grandmother's canners made by All American 50 and more years ago. The all American virtually requires no maintenance.

Comparing the cost

The Presto canner costs around $75-100. The price of the All American is higher (it amounts around $200-300). Still, with the Presto canner you will need to replace the rubber gasket and the emergency plug once in a while. If you want to convert it to a weighted gauge canner you will need to buy an additional pressure regulator. So, you must add these costs to the original price. The All American usually needs no maintenance (no hidden costs here). And overall the All American will cetainly last longer than the Presto.

The outcome: Both these canners are great. Still, I would give a few more points to the All American because of the outstanding construction and durability.

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