This is a great canner- I was undecided about getting this size or the larger, but I'm glad I chose this- any larger & I would have had trouble lifting it. When the jars are loaded along with the water plus the weight of the canner, some serious muscle is required to lift this off the stove- and you MUST lift it off the burner after processing is finished. Also, it is HOT (duh!) so you can't rely on leaning it against your body to help take some of the weight off your arms/hands - the handles are large & stay nice & cool so you have plenty to hold on to. So if you are thinking about the larger size, keep the weight in mind as you might really be sorry about being able to add those extra jars when it comes time to remove this from the stovetop.
Drawback to the smaller size of course is having to process smaller batches, but I'd rather do this than have an accident with a hot canner I can't lift. My plan is to buy another of the 16 Quart size for doing larger batches- the canner takes appx. 30 min. to cool down before you can open it- rather than sitting around waiting on it I would like to be able to keep going & get done with those larger jobs....by having 2 smaller units, one could be being filled/processed while the other cooled & this cycle repeated which would make large jobs go a LOT faster.
One other thing- instructions say canner can fit 10 pint jars at a time- now I don't know who came up with that estimate but they must have smashed 2 of the jars to get them inside...the MAX pint jars that will fit in this is 8 - anymore & you will need to fit them inside in pieces!
Overall, this is a well made canner that should last many years with proper care. Instructions are well-written & easy to understand, & have processing times for MANY different fruits & veggies (as well as meats) in the back of the book. If you are new to canning, you will find that this canner is easy to set up & use by following the instruction book. If you are a seasoned pro. you will love this canner!
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