Here's Why You Should Never Use Some Instant Pots For Canning

There are countless reasons to use an Instant Pot, which is basically a modern rendition of a pressure cooker, according to Vertical Wise. They are versatile enough to make pot roasts, pancakes, chili, and boiled eggs, and they are quicker than other cooking methods, slicing cook times by 70%. There's no need for defrosting when using instant pots, and they can be used to slow cook, keeping your food warm until you return home from work.

Celebrity chefs have also jumped onboard the Instant Pot trend. In an interview with Refinery29, cookbook author Carla Hall shared her love for the kitchen tool. "I love it, because it produces big flavor in less time," she said, adding that it's great for cooking holiday meals. Goldenrod Pastries' owner Angela Garbacz loves the speed and simplicity of the Instant Pot. "I think Instant Pots are great — anything that gets people into the kitchen, making something that nourishes them is amazing," she said. As great as Instant Pots are, they aren't magic, so there are some things you shouldn't use them for.

They can't kill harmful bacteria

Instant Pots, or at least some variations of them, aren't good choices for canning. Why? Simply because older models don't reach high enough temperatures, so they aren't able to kill off dangerous bacteria (via All Recipes). According to Instant Pot's website, the Instant Pot Pro Plus and the Instant Pot Max are suitable for canning, likely due to their updated settings.

Attainable Sustainable explains that pressure canners are designed to remain at 240 degrees Fahrenheit without fluctuation, making them the only safe method for killing bacteria. According to a graph from Instant Pot itself, temperatures in the appliance move between 239 and 242 degrees Fahrenheit, so if they drop below 240 degrees Fahrenheit, it could increase the risk of food-borne illness. Furthermore, canning buttons on your pressure cooker aren't to be trusted, as they are only accounting for pressure rather than temperature, per the National Center for Home Food Preservation. If you're interested in canning, a pressure canner is a much safer method overall than an Instant Pot.