Q. I have the system that sucks air out of mason jar using a seal-a-meal. Does the water or canning process not only take the air out but sterilize the product? What I am asking is why can't you use just the seal a meal product that goes on mason jars and suck the air out?
A. Vacuum packaging or sealing and canning cannot be considered the same. Both the preservation methods involve the sealing of food in a container, but in canning the food that is sealed is heat-sterilized, which kills microorganisms. This is why there is no need to store canned food in the fridge. In the case of vacuum packaging, the food present inside the container is not sterile and microorganisms in the food are still present. But due to the removal of air from the storage container, the vacuum packaged food will stay fresh for a longer time in the fridge or freezer.
Q. What’s the difference between a pressure cooker and a pressure canner?
A. According to USDA, a pressure canner must be able to hold at least 4 quart jars, and have a gauge or weight to allow you to measure 5, 10, and 15 lbs. pressure. A pressure cooker is usually smaller and only has one pressure weight built in. You can cook in a pressure canner as well as can… but you can’t can in a pressure cooker.