How to use the NESCO Electric Pressure Canner

nesco electric pressure canner

Easy Steps on how to use the NESCO Electric Pressure Canner

  • Place jars in the canner on top of the rack.
  • Pour in 8 cups of water.
  • Line a jar under the pressure gauge.
  • Close the Lid and turn counter clockwise.
  • Make sure the pressure valve is set to exhaust, pointing to the right.
  • Push High.
  • Push Time and then the plus sign to desired time.
  • The light will have a circle going around.
  • It will hit E10 and countdown to E01.
  • The time will start (Sometimes the E10 countdown does not happen, and it will go straight to time; sometimes the circle will start going around again and eventually start counting down again).
  • Turn pressure valve to Airtight – straight down.
  • When the countdown is complete, it will show OFF.
  • Unplug the canner and let sit for 1 hour before opening.
  • Take jars out carefully, with jar lifter.
  • Do not disturb jars for 24 hours.

About NESCO Electric Pressure Canners

This article will show you how to use the NESCO Electric Pressure Canner and how easy it is! A lot of people buy the electric canners and then are afraid to get started. They are afraid of the concept of high pressure. Even after reading the user guide, it is still confusing. I started pressure canning with my NESCO smart canner in the Fall of 2021. I did not want to pressure can on my glass top stove and a regular pressure canner seemed kind of complicated, so I started looking into electric canners. I determined for the price and ease of use the NESCO Smart Electric Pressure Canner also referred to as Nesco NPC-9 are the best electric pressure canners for me.

One of the best selling points is that it is also used for water bath canning. I bought my first NESCO on Amazon for around $106. Now a good price seems to be around $150. Sometimes they are priced much higher, but you can find deals. I purchased a second pressure canner in July 2022 from Kohls’s for around $140. They have the best deal on them if you pay attention. One thing to know is that the Carey Smart Electric Canner (Carey dpc-9ss), is the same as the NESCO. They have had those recently on Amazon for around $110.

Many Different Ways to Use the Canner!

Other advantages to the NESCO electric pressure canner are that it is designed for pressure canning, pressure cooking, steam cooking, and slow cooking. It can replace your electric pressure cookers or instant pots! It has multiple built-in safety features and a multi-functional digital display with a timer. It features a removable 9.5 gt. non-stick aluminum inner pot, canning rack, steam rack, safety lock lid, and removable condensation catcher.

The NESCO smart canner and cooker creates a perfect balance between safety, performance, and versatility and is designed to eliminate some of the common mistakes of pressure canning because it is so easy to use. My blog focuses on canning, so that is the aspect of this appliance that I am going to describe.

I have found the NESCO nine quart pressure canner, very easy to use. I have canned around 400 jars in my electric canners. The things I have pressure canned include chicken, chicken soup, turkey, roasts, pot roasts, Mississippi pot roast, beef stew, pulled pork, pork loin, taco meat, pork sausage, Mexican soup, white chicken chili, French onion soup, corned beef with cabbage and potatoes, green beans, chili beans, black beans, pinto beans, northern beans, potatoes, corn, carrots, chili, chili sauce, onions, tomato soup, bone broth, mushrooms, grapes. It has helped me gain a lot as far as food preservation and there are so many health benefits to canning your own food! Canned food has a great shelf life also.

I plan to include some additional basics of canning and many of the recipes that I used on my website in the future.

Process to Use the NESCO Electric Pressure Canner

The following are the detailed steps to use the NESCO electric pressure canner:

Place the prepared jars into the inner pot of the canner on top of the canning rack. I will go over the overall canning process in other articles. The canner holds 4-quart jars, 5-pint jars, or 16 jelly jars at a time. Pour 8 cups of water into the canner. Do not add too much water.

For best results, I usually use hot content in my jars and use hot water. You can also use cold contents and cold water. Another good tip is to add about 1-2 TBSP of white vinegar to prevent a white film on the outside of your jars. Line up one of the jars under the pressure valve, close the lid and turn it counterclockwise. This ensures that a lid is not under the pressure valve during canning, which can interfere with the process. The NESCO electric pressure canner has many safety features including the safety lock lid.

Jars in canner lined up under pressure gauge how to use the NESCO electric pressure canner
Jars placed in Canner under the Pressure Valve.

After shutting the lid, make sure the pressure valve is turned to exhaust, which is pointing to the right.

canner valve turned to exhaust
Pressure valve turned to exhaust

Push the button on front that says “High”.

pushing high button on NESCO canner
Press the “High” Button

Then push the Time Button and press the + button, until you get to the desired time then press START. It makes a high-pitched noise when adding the time.

Pushing the time button on the NESCO Canner and then START

The light will circle around while the canner is coming to pressure.

Light circling

The light will eventually turn to E10.

Canner light to E10
Canner light to E10

The light will count down from E10 to E01 and then start the time. In this case will read 45. When it starts the count down, turn the pressure valve to airtight, which is straight down.

It is good to know that sometimes the count skips the E10 process and just goes to the countdown, this is because the canner has come to the correct pressure without the E10 countdown and it is fine. Also sometimes, it will be counting down from E10 and then start going around again, this is fine. Be patient and it will eventually start counting down as needed. When the time is complete the light will have “OFF”

Canner Light OFF
Canning complete, light “OFF”

When the light turns to “OFF” unplug the machine. Let it sit for at least an hour in the closed lid position before opening the canner. After opening, take the jars out carefully with a jar lifter. Set the jars on a towel on the counter and do not disturb the jars for one hour.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you would rather watch a video of how to use the canner, a good one is from Hopefully Homestead from this link. I watched a couple of videos before I used my NESCO digital canner.

Another good video is from RoseRed Homestead, which shows her testing the NESCO Canner. Electric pressure canners are relatively new and there were some doubts regarding the safety of the NESCO and Carey canners. She did detailed tests and produced data that shows that the canners are safe. She also discusses the use of the canner.

For more posts with canning recipes go to website at

Some of my canning recipes and information are as follows:

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2 thoughts on “How to use the NESCO Electric Pressure Canner

  1. I am a first time canner using the Nesco electric. After it turns off and I unplug, it takes 2 hours to release pressure. Is this normal?

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