Steam Canning

You can watch on YouTube here

We LOVE steam canning in our Carey/Nesco canner. While steam canning was not actually part of the design of the Carey, we have adapted a method that uses the functions of the Carey to produce an all steam environment for steam canning. Watch our video to see it in action! We’ll also provide the written instructions below.

We get many questions about steam canning. What is it? What can we can using this method? Is it safe? How is it done? We’ll provide answer and instructions here. Please feel free to ask additional questions in the comments.

What is steam canning?

Atmospheric steam canning is a tested and approved method of preserving high acid (ph<4.6) food items. The University of Wisconsin conducted thermal testing to ensure that heat distribution was sufficient in an all steam environment to equate to boiling waterbath canning.

Is it safe?

YES! According to the research done by the University of Wisconsin steam canning is safe as a direct substitute for waterbath canning. One note here: The university only conducted testing on 2 specific canners, however, it is our position that the scientific process would support that since pressure canners are also based on creating a steam environment they can also be used without adding weight for this process.

What foods can be safely canned in a steam canner?

Steam canning can be used a direct substitute for boiling waterbath canning. You can use any safe tested recipe that calls for waterbath and steam can for the same amount of time.

Steam Canning in the Carey/Nesco

  1. Prepare your jars according to the waterbath instructions in your recipe.
  2. Place the jars in the canner. It is perfectly acceptable to stack smaller jars.
  3. Add 4-6 cups of water depending on the processing time needed. 4 is plenty for shorter processes like jams and jellies.
  4. Close and seal the lid, leaving the weight set to exhaust. Press the WB/Steam button then set the time and push Start. The display will show the rotating pixels while the unit heats up.
  5. Once a steady stream of steam is reached, press the Start button again to start the timer.
  6. When the timer completes the unit will go to ‘off’ automatically. Allow it to cool until steam stops then carefully open and remove your jars.


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