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Are Mirro pressure canner worth it?

The Mirro pressure canner is a kitchen appliance designed for safe and efficient home canning and food preservation. It’s a versatile tool that allows you to process and seal jars of fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods using the power of steam pressure. Mirro, a well-known brand in the world of pressure canners, offers a range of models with various capacities and features to meet different canning needs.

Mirro pressure canners are typically constructed from durable aluminum or stainless steel materials, ensuring longevity and even heat distribution during the canning process. They feature a secure locking mechanism, a pressure gauge or weight to regulate pressure, and a safety release valve to prevent over-pressurization.

Using a Mirro pressure canner, you can safely store homemade jams, jellies, pickles, and other preserved foods for extended periods, helping to reduce food waste and enjoy the flavors of your garden or kitchen year-round. These canners are favored by home canning enthusiasts for their reliability and ease of use, making them an essential tool for anyone interested in preserving their own foods.

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Last updated on September 24, 2023 1:35 pm

What are Mirro pressure canners made of?

Mirro pressure canners are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel, depending on the specific model. Here’s a bit more detail about each material:

  1. Aluminum: Many Mirro pressure canners are constructed from aluminum. Aluminum is known for its excellent heat conductivity, which allows for even heating and faster pressure build-up during the canning process. Aluminum canners are also generally more affordable than stainless steel models. However, some people have concerns about the potential for aluminum to react with certain acidic foods, so it’s important to follow manufacturer guidelines and recommendations for safe canning practices.
  2. Stainless Steel: Some Mirro pressure canners are made from stainless steel. Stainless steel is a durable and corrosion-resistant material that is less likely to react with acidic foods compared to aluminum. It’s also easier to clean and maintain. Stainless steel pressure canners are often considered a premium option and are prized for their longevity and overall sturdiness.

The choice between aluminum and stainless steel often comes down to personal preference, budget, and specific canning needs. Both materials can effectively perform the task of pressure canning, but it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines to ensure safe and successful food preservation. Additionally, the design and features of Mirro pressure canners may vary between models, so it’s a good idea to review product specifications when making a purchase decision.

What is the pressure on a Mirro pressure canner?

The pressure on a Mirro pressure canner, like most pressure canners, can be adjusted based on the altitude at which you are using it. The pressure is typically measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). For safe and effective home canning, you should adjust the pressure according to your altitude to ensure that the internal temperature of the canner reaches the necessary level for food preservation.

The standard pressure settings for most pressure canners are as follows:

  1. 10 PSI: This is the standard pressure setting for most low-altitude areas (up to 1,000 feet or 305 meters above sea level).
  2. 15 PSI: This higher pressure setting is required for canning at higher altitudes. You would use 15 PSI if you are canning at altitudes above 1,000 feet (305 meters) to 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) above sea level.

It’s important to consult the instructions provided with your specific Mirro pressure canner model to determine the exact pressure settings and altitude adjustments recommended for safe canning in your area. Altitude can affect the boiling point of water and, therefore, the temperature inside the canner, so adjusting the pressure is crucial to ensure that your canned foods are processed safely and effectively.

What can you cook in a Mirro pressure canner?

A Mirro pressure canner is primarily designed for canning and preserving foods rather than cooking them. Its main purpose is to create a sealed, high-pressure environment that allows you to safely preserve various foods in jars for long-term storage. However, while its primary function is canning, there are some cooking tasks you can perform with a pressure canner:

  • Boiling Water Bath Canning: While not exactly cooking, you can use a pressure canner as a large pot for a boiling water bath canning process. This method is suitable for preserving high-acid foods like jams, jellies, pickles, and some fruits. The canner can hold multiple jars, making it convenient for batch canning.
  • Blanching Vegetables: You can use the pressure canner to blanch vegetables quickly before freezing them. Blanching helps preserve the color, texture, and flavor of vegetables before freezing.
  • Cooking Large Batches of Food: Some people use pressure canners as oversized stockpots for cooking large batches of soups, stews, or chili, although this is not their primary purpose. The pressure canner’s size and durability make it suitable for cooking large quantities of food.
  • Sterilizing Equipment: Before canning, it’s essential to sterilize jars, lids, and utensils. You can use the pressure canner for this purpose by filling it with water, placing the equipment inside, and bringing the water to a boil.
  • Preparing Canning Syrups or Brines: When canning fruits or pickles, you may need to prepare sugar syrups or brines. The pressure canner can be used to heat and dissolve the ingredients, making it convenient for this step.

Remember that while these are some alternative uses for a pressure canner, it’s primarily designed for canning and food preservation. Follow proper safety guidelines and manufacturer instructions when using a pressure canner for any purpose to ensure safe and successful results.

What are the competitors of Mirro pressure canner?

Mirro pressure canners have several competitors in the market, as there are various brands and models of pressure canners available to consumers. Here are some notable competitors of Mirro pressure canners:

  1. Presto: Presto is a well-known brand that offers a range of pressure canners and cookers. They are popular for their affordability and quality. Presto pressure canners come in various sizes and materials, similar to Mirro.
  2. All-American: All-American pressure canners are known for their durability and reliability. They are made of heavy-duty cast aluminum or stainless steel and are often considered a premium choice among home canners.
  3. Granite Ware: Granite Ware offers enamel-coated steel pressure canners, which are known for their even heating and affordability. They are available in different sizes to meet canning needs.
  4. T-fal: T-fal is another brand that produces pressure cookers and canners. Their products often feature safety features and versatility for both pressure cooking and canning.
  5. Nesco: Nesco offers electric pressure canners and cookers that are user-friendly and suitable for various cooking tasks, including canning. They are often chosen for their convenience.
  6. Ball: Ball is a popular brand known for its canning jars and accessories, but they also offer electric water bath canners for water bath canning.
  7. Prestige: Prestige is a brand known for its pressure cookers and canners. They are often chosen for their safety features and ease of use.

When choosing a pressure canner, it’s important to consider factors such as size, material, safety features, price, and brand reputation. The right choice for you will depend on your specific canning needs and personal preferences. Researching different models and reading user reviews can help you make an informed decision. Additionally, always follow safe canning practices, regardless of the brand of pressure canner you choose.

Factors when choosing the best Mirro pressure canner

When choosing the best Mirro pressure canner for your needs, there are several important factors to consider. Here’s a list of key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

  • Canning Capacity: Determine how much food you plan to can at once. Mirro offers pressure canners in various sizes, so choose one that can accommodate your canning needs. Smaller models typically hold fewer jars, while larger ones can handle more.
  • Material: Decide whether you prefer an aluminum or stainless steel canner. Aluminum is a good conductor of heat and is often more affordable, but it may react with acidic foods. Stainless steel is durable and resistant to corrosion, making it a premium choice.
  • Pressure Settings: Check the pressure settings on the canner. Mirro pressure canners often offer both 10 PSI and 15 PSI settings to accommodate different altitudes. Ensure that it meets the pressure requirements for your location and canning recipes.
  • Safety Features: Look for safety features like a secure locking mechanism, a safety release valve, and a pressure gauge or weight to monitor and control pressure. These features are crucial for safe canning.
  • Ease of Use: Consider the ease of use, including the ease of sealing and locking the canner, as well as the clarity of pressure and temperature indicators. An easy-to-read pressure gauge or weight is essential for maintaining the correct pressure throughout the canning process.
  • Compatibility with Stove Type: Ensure that the Mirro pressure canner you choose is compatible with your type of stove. Some models are designed for use on gas stoves, electric stoves, or induction cooktops.
  • Durability: Assess the build quality and durability of the canner. A well-constructed canner with sturdy handles and a tight-sealing lid is likely to last longer and provide reliable performance.
  • Brand Reputation and Reviews: Read reviews from other users and consider Mirro’s reputation for quality and customer support. Positive reviews and a trusted brand can give you confidence in your purchase.
  • Price and Budget: Set a budget for your pressure canner and find a model that offers the features you need within your budget. Mirro pressure canners are often considered affordable, but prices can vary depending on the model and materials used.
  • Warranty: Check if the Mirro pressure canner comes with a warranty. A warranty can provide peace of mind in case of manufacturing defects or issues.
  • Accessories: Consider what accessories are included with the canner or what additional accessories you may need, such as racks, canning jars, or canning utensils.
  • User Manual and Recipes: Review the included user manual for clear instructions on canning processes and safety guidelines. Some models may also include canning recipes and tips.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose the best Mirro pressure canner that suits your specific canning needs and preferences, ensuring safe and successful food preservation.

Are Mirro pressure canner worth it?

Whether a Mirro pressure canner is worth it for you depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are some factors to consider when determining if a Mirro pressure canner is a worthwhile investment:

  • Canning Enthusiasm: If you are passionate about home canning and preserving foods, a pressure canner can be a valuable tool. It allows you to safely store homemade jams, jellies, pickles, vegetables, and meats, helping you reduce food waste and enjoy the flavors of your garden or kitchen year-round.
  • Frequency of Use: Consider how often you plan to use a pressure canner. If you anticipate canning frequently, it may be worth the investment. However, if you only plan to can occasionally, you might explore borrowing or renting one instead.
  • Food Preservation Goals: If you aim to store large quantities of canned foods for long-term use or want to take advantage of seasonal produce, a pressure canner is essential. It can help you create a well-stocked pantry of preserved foods.
  • Space and Storage: Make sure you have enough storage space for a pressure canner when it’s not in use. They can be relatively large and may not be suitable for small kitchens with limited storage space.
  • Budget: Mirro pressure canners are often more budget-friendly compared to some other brands, making them an attractive option for those looking for affordability without compromising on quality. However, you should balance your budget with your canning needs.
  • Materials and Features: Consider whether you prefer an aluminum or stainless steel canner and whether you need any specific features, such as a particular size or pressure settings. Mirro offers various models to choose from, so you can find one that suits your requirements.
  • Safety and Reliability: Mirro pressure canners are known for their reliability, but ensure that you follow safety guidelines and instructions carefully to ensure safe canning practices.

In summary, if you are enthusiastic about home canning and preserving food, and you have the space and budget for it, a Mirro pressure canner can be a worthwhile investment. It can help you enjoy the benefits of homemade, preserved foods and reduce food waste. Just be sure to choose the right model for your needs and use it safely and effectively.

What is the best size Mirro pressure canner?

The best size Mirro pressure canner for you depends on your individual canning needs and how much food you plan to preserve at a time. Mirro offers pressure canners in various sizes to accommodate different batch sizes. Here are some considerations to help you determine the best size for your needs:

  • Family Size: Consider the size of your household and how much canned food you typically consume. If you have a larger family or plan to can large quantities of food, you may prefer a larger canner.
  • Garden or Harvest Size: If you have a productive garden or access to a significant quantity of fresh produce, a larger canner can help you process and preserve your harvest efficiently.
  • Batch Size: Think about the batch size you want to can at once. Smaller canners are suitable for smaller batches, while larger ones can handle more jars at a time.
  • Storage Space: Ensure that you have adequate storage space for the canner when it’s not in use. Larger canners may require more storage space.
  • Frequency of Use: If you plan to can frequently or in large quantities, a larger canner can save you time and effort by allowing you to process more jars in a single batch.
  • Budget: Keep your budget in mind. Larger canners are typically more expensive than smaller ones due to their size and capacity. Choose a size that fits your budget.

Common sizes of Mirro pressure canners include 16 quarts, 22 quarts, and 22.5 quarts, among others. The 22-quart canner is a popular choice for many home canners because it offers a good balance between capacity and versatility. However, if you have limited storage space or prefer to can smaller batches, a 16-quart canner may be more suitable.

Ultimately, the best size Mirro pressure canner is the one that aligns with your canning goals and fits your household’s needs. Consider your specific circumstances and preferences when making your selection to ensure you have a positive and efficient canning experience.

How do you use a Mirro pressure canner?

Using a Mirro pressure canner involves several steps to safely and effectively preserve food. Here’s a general overview of how to use a Mirro pressure canner:

Note: Always refer to the user manual provided with your specific Mirro pressure canner model for detailed instructions, as some steps may vary depending on the model.

Step 1: Prepare Your Equipment

  • Ensure that your Mirro pressure canner is clean and in good working condition.
  • Gather all necessary canning equipment, including jars, lids, bands, a jar lifter, a canning funnel, and a timer.
  • Check that your canning jars are clean, sterilized, and free of cracks or defects.
  • Inspect the canning lids to ensure they are undamaged and the sealing compound is intact.

Step 2: Prepare Your Recipe

  • Choose the food you want to can and prepare it according to a trusted canning recipe. Follow recommended guidelines for ingredient preparation, processing times, and proper packing of jars.

Step 3: Fill Jars

  • Use a canning funnel to fill the sterilized jars with your prepared food, leaving the recommended headspace as specified in your recipe.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to ensure a proper seal.
  • Place the sterilized canning lids on the jars, followed by the bands. Screw the bands on until they are fingertip-tight (not too tight).

Step 4: Prepare the Canner

  • Add a specified amount of water to the bottom of your Mirro pressure canner. Consult your user manual for the recommended water level, as it can vary depending on your canner’s size.
  • Place the filled canning jars on the canning rack or a trivet inside the canner. Use a jar lifter to lower the jars gently onto the rack.

Step 5: Seal the Canner

  • Make sure the canner’s sealing ring is properly seated and in good condition.
  • Close and lock the lid securely according to your Mirro canner’s instructions.

Step 6: Heat and Vent

  • Place the canner on your stove’s burner and turn on the heat to begin heating the water inside.
  • Allow steam to vent from the canner’s vent pipe for a specified period (usually 10 minutes) to ensure there is no trapped air inside the canner.

Step 7: Reach and Maintain Pressure

  • Close the vent pipe using the appropriate method for your Mirro canner (consult your manual).
  • Monitor the canner as it reaches the desired pressure, usually 10 PSI for most low-altitude areas. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady pressure.
  • Start your processing time once the canner reaches the desired pressure. Consult your canning recipe for the recommended processing time.

Step 8: Cooling and Release

  • After the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool naturally. Do not force-cool it.
  • Once the pressure indicator (weight or gauge) drops to zero and it’s safe to open, unlock and remove the canner lid carefully, following your user manual’s guidelines.

Step 9: Remove Jars

  • Using a jar lifter, carefully lift the hot jars from the canner and place them on a clean, dry towel or cooling rack.
  • Allow the jars to cool completely. As they cool, you should hear the distinctive “ping” of the lids sealing. This indicates a successful seal.

Step 10: Test Seals and Store

  • After cooling, test the seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. If it doesn’t flex, the jar is properly sealed. If it does flex, the jar did not seal, and you should refrigerate or reprocess the contents.
  • Label the sealed jars with the contents and date and store them in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Remember that the specific steps and processing times may vary depending on the food you’re canning and your altitude, so always follow a trusted canning recipe and your Mirro pressure canner’s user manual for precise instructions. Safety is paramount when using a pressure canner, so follow all safety guidelines to ensure safe and successful canning.

How to clean Mirro pressure canner

Cleaning your Mirro pressure canner after each use is essential to maintain its performance and ensure safe food preservation. Here are steps to clean your Mirro pressure canner:

Note: Make sure the canner has cooled down completely before starting the cleaning process.

  1. Disassemble the Canner: Begin by carefully removing and disassembling all the parts of the pressure canner. This typically includes the following components:
  2. Lid: Separate the lid from the pot.
  3. Sealing Ring: Remove the sealing ring from the lid.
  4. Pressure Weight or Gauge: If applicable, remove the pressure weight or gauge from the vent pipe.
  5. Rinse and Remove Residue: Rinse the pot, lid, sealing ring, and any other removable parts with warm water to remove any leftover food residue or canning liquid.
  6. Soak Removable Parts: Fill your sink or a basin with warm, soapy water. Submerge the removable parts, such as the lid, sealing ring, and pressure weight or gauge, in the soapy water. Allow them to soak for several minutes.
  7. Scrub and Clean: Use a soft cloth, sponge, or a non-abrasive scrubbing pad to gently scrub the interior and exterior surfaces of the pot and lid. Pay close attention to any areas with stubborn residue. Avoid using harsh abrasive cleaners that could damage the pot’s finish.
  8. Clean the Sealing Ring: Clean the sealing ring separately with warm, soapy water. Check it for any food particles or residue that may have collected in the grooves. Rinse thoroughly.
  9. Rinse and Dry: Rinse all parts thoroughly with clean, warm water to remove any soap residue. Ensure that all soap is completely washed away. Allow the parts to air-dry or use a clean, dry towel to dry them thoroughly.
  10. Clean the Vent Pipe: If your Mirro pressure canner has a vent pipe, inspect it for any clogs or debris. Clean it using a pipe cleaner or a soft brush if necessary to ensure proper venting during future use.
  11. Reassemble: Once all the parts are clean and dry, reassemble the pressure canner. Place the sealing ring back onto the lid, ensuring it is properly seated.
  12. Store Properly: Store your Mirro pressure canner with the lid slightly ajar to allow air circulation and prevent odors or mold growth. Keep it in a cool, dry place.

Regular cleaning and proper maintenance will help extend the life of your Mirro pressure canner and ensure safe and effective food preservation. Additionally, always refer to your specific model’s user manual for any manufacturer-specific cleaning instructions or tips.

How to maintain Mirro pressure canner properly

Proper maintenance of your Mirro pressure canner is essential to ensure its longevity, safety, and reliable performance. Here are some maintenance tips to help you care for your pressure canner:

  1. Regular Cleaning: After each use, clean your pressure canner thoroughly, as described in the previous response. This prevents the buildup of food residue and odors.
  2. Inspect Sealing Ring: Regularly inspect the sealing ring for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice cracks, tears, or other defects, replace it with a new sealing ring to maintain a proper seal.
  3. Check Pressure Gauge or Weight: If your canner has a pressure gauge or weight, ensure it is functioning correctly. The gauge should be accurate, and the weight should move freely. If there are issues, consult the user manual or consider having it serviced or calibrated.
  4. Lubricate Gasket: If your Mirro pressure canner has a gasket (rubber or silicone), apply a thin layer of food-grade lubricant or vegetable oil to it periodically to keep it supple and prevent it from drying out or cracking.
  5. Clean Vent Pipe: If your canner has a vent pipe, ensure it is free of obstructions. Use a pipe cleaner or a soft brush to clean it as needed.
  6. Check Safety Features: Verify that all safety features, such as the locking mechanism and safety release valve, are in good working condition. They should move freely and engage as designed.
  7. Inspect Handles and Fasteners: Check the handles, fasteners, and other hardware for tightness and security. Make sure all screws and bolts are properly tightened to maintain the structural integrity of the canner.
  8. Store Properly: When not in use, store your pressure canner with the lid slightly ajar to allow air circulation and prevent odors or mold growth. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  9. Replace Worn Parts: If you notice any components that are damaged, worn, or no longer functioning correctly, replace them promptly. This includes gaskets, pressure relief plugs, and other replaceable parts.
  10. Follow Manufacturer Recommendations: Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and guidelines provided in the user manual for maintenance, care, and servicing of your specific Mirro pressure canner model.
  11. Pressure Gauge Calibration: If your pressure canner has a gauge, consider having it calibrated periodically by a qualified technician to ensure accuracy.
  12. Stay Informed: Stay updated on any recalls or safety notices related to your pressure canner model. Manufacturers occasionally issue recalls or provide maintenance recommendations.

Proper maintenance and care of your Mirro pressure canner will help ensure safe and successful canning experiences for years to come. Regular inspections and proactive maintenance are key to keeping your canner in top working condition and preserving food safely.

Troubleshooting about Mirro pressure canner

Troubleshooting common issues with a Mirro pressure canner can help you resolve problems and ensure safe and successful canning. Here are some common issues and their potential solutions:

  1. Jars Not Sealing Properly:

    • Issue: Jars do not seal after processing.
    • Solution:
      • Check for food residue on jar rims. Wipe the rims clean before placing lids.
      • Ensure the sealing ring is properly seated on the lid.
      • Make sure the jars are filled to the recommended headspace as per your recipe.
      • Check that the lids are not damaged or dented. Replace any damaged lids.
      • Tighten the bands only fingertip-tight before processing.
  2. Steam Leaking Around Lid:

    • Issue: Steam is escaping from the sides of the lid.
    • Solution:
      • Ensure the sealing ring is clean and free of damage.
      • Confirm that the lid is locked securely in place.
      • Check for foreign debris on the sealing surface of the pot or lid and clean if necessary.
      • Examine the gasket for wear and replace it if needed.
  3. Pressure Doesn’t Build Up:

    • Issue: The canner is not reaching the desired pressure.
    • Solution:
      • Check if the vent pipe is clear of obstructions.
      • Ensure the lid is properly sealed and locked in place.
      • Confirm that the sealing ring is in good condition and properly positioned.
      • Adjust the heat source to achieve the correct pressure setting.
  4. Excessive Pressure Fluctuation:

    • Issue: Pressure fluctuates significantly during processing.
    • Solution:
      • Maintain a steady heat source. Avoid rapid temperature changes.
      • Check the heat source for stability. Gas stoves should maintain a consistent flame.
      • Monitor and adjust the heat to maintain the recommended pressure level.
  5. Pressure Release Valve Doesn’t Pop Up:

    • Issue: The pressure release valve (weight) does not pop up during processing.
    • Solution:
      • Ensure the vent pipe is clear of debris.
      • Verify that the heat source is adequate to reach the desired pressure.
      • Check the gauge or weight for any damage or malfunction and replace if necessary.
  6. Pressure Gauge Reading Inaccurate:

    • Issue: The pressure gauge does not provide an accurate reading.
    • Solution:
      • Consult your canner’s user manual for calibration instructions.
      • Have the gauge professionally calibrated if needed.
  7. Rattling or Excessive Noise:

    • Issue: The canner makes rattling or loud noises during processing.
    • Solution:
      • Reduce heat slightly to minimize excessive pressure buildup.
      • Ensure there is enough liquid inside the canner to prevent overheating.
  8. Steam Continuously Escapes from Vent Pipe:

    • Issue: Steam escapes continuously from the vent pipe during processing.
    • Solution:
      • Check if the vent pipe is clear of obstructions.
      • Confirm that the vent pipe is properly closed and sealed.

If you encounter persistent issues with your Mirro pressure canner that you cannot resolve through troubleshooting, consider contacting the manufacturer’s customer support or seeking assistance from a qualified technician. Safety should always be a top priority when using pressure canners, so it’s essential to address and resolve any problems promptly.


In conclusion, the Mirro pressure canner is a valuable kitchen tool for home canning and food preservation. It offers a reliable and efficient way to safely store homemade jams, jellies, pickles, vegetables, meats, and more for long-term use. Here are some key points to remember about Mirro pressure canners:

  • Variety of Sizes: Mirro offers pressure canners in various sizes to accommodate different canning needs, from small batches to larger quantities.
  • Materials: Mirro pressure canners are typically made of aluminum or stainless steel, providing options for different preferences and budgets.
  • Safety Features: These canners come equipped with important safety features such as secure locking mechanisms, pressure gauges or weights, and safety release valves to ensure safe canning practices.
  • Maintenance: Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial to the longevity and performance of your Mirro pressure canner. Regularly inspect and clean the canner, replace worn parts, and follow manufacturer recommendations.
  • Troubleshooting: Common issues with Mirro pressure canners, such as sealing problems, pressure fluctuations, or steam leaks, can often be resolved through troubleshooting steps.
  • Canning Tips: Follow trusted canning recipes and guidelines, adjusting processing times and pressure settings based on your altitude, to achieve safe and successful food preservation.
  • Storage: When not in use, store your Mirro pressure canner in a cool, dry place with the lid slightly ajar to prevent odors and mold growth.

Overall, a Mirro pressure canner can be a worthwhile investment for those who are enthusiastic about home canning and preserving foods. By following safety guidelines, maintaining your canner properly, and troubleshooting any issues that may arise, you can enjoy the benefits of homemade, preserved foods and reduce food waste. Always consult the user manual for your specific Mirro pressure canner model and stay informed about best practices for safe and successful canning.

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