Pressure Canning can be a very scary task for many of you. And thanks to the power of the Internet and unqualified canning groups on social media, navigating these waters can be even more scary.

I received a question via email this week. I believe the question and answer were worth sharing with everyone seeing this very question comes up often in my canning group on Facebook; Canning, Dehydrating and Long-Term Food Storage.  The Question was:

I have a Nesco 9 quart Smart Canner because I have a glass top on my stove. My issue is I cannot locate recipes specific to the Nesco Smart Canner. Can I use regular canning recipes? If so, do I have to adjust the time? Nesco is absolutely no help and I am ready to ship it back I am that frustrated.

Thankfully, Nesco publishes their user guide and manual online so I was able to research and understand a bit more about their canner, seeing I do not personally own a Nesco Smart Canner.

Within the Nesco guide, I was happy to see Nesco includes standard (10 psi) and high altitude (15 psi) valves, so you may simply follow any pressure canning recipe and adjust the psi according to your elevation. Click here to find your elevation and learn your altitude.

Canners do not need to follow a recipe specific to their brand of canner because the manufacture creates a canner with standard pressure canning principals (the same science and math used for centuries) in mind.


Any of my recipes from my cookbook, The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning, will work with your Nesco Smart Canner. You simply need to know your altitude so you know which psi to place your digital canner setting, then create your recipe and follow your canner’s operating guide to preserve the food in jars.

So you have a successful canning experience with a Nesco Smart Canner, here are the 5 Best Tips to lend a hand:

  1. Understand the difference between, and when to use, their Steaming Rack versus the Flat Canning Rack. When canning, the flat canning rack should be used every time!
  2. The Nesco Smart Canner will pressure can as well as water bath. It is not just for pressure canning low acid foods. Nesco does NOT recommend water bathing recipes in quarts with their canner.
  3. It is a small batch canner. You may safely cut standard canning recipes in half to meet the needs of your digital canner. The 9 quart model fits 4 wide mouth quarts, 5 wide mouth pints and 16 4-ounce jelly jars.
  4. Like most digital canners, you almost fully alleviate the dreaded siphoning, or liquid loss, issues. Because the digital canner maintains temperature electronically, it is far more accurate than any stove top.
  5. Keep your digital canner handy as you would any small appliance. Use it nightly when creating large meals for your family and simply preserve the leftovers in a jar. You will have a fully stocked pantry in no time!

So you gain a thorough understanding of how to safely pressure can ANY recipe using ANY canner whether it be stove top or digital, be sure to tune-into my podcast channel Canning with The Diva! or tune-in on my website each week!