When I spoke to my friends about a canning machine they all asked if I was brewing my own beer!  Now I know we have done a couple of articles recently about fermenting wine, but I am not ready just yet to make beer at home.

So, what is this “canning machine” I was talking about?  Another term commonly used is a can seamer and you can read more in Reviews Of The Best Can Seamer For Food.   

When we talk about canning food at home, most home food preservers use a water-bath or pressure canner.  However, for truly long-term storage, a canning machine will store food in a steel or aluminium can.  Food preserved and stored this way will last for years, if not decades!!

Let’s dive a bit deeper into these nifty pieces of home preserving equipment!

Canning machines for food are popular with survivalists (better known as preppers).  However, homesteaders and serious home food preservers know that these are a very useful piece of home preserving equipment.  The only method that allows food to be safely stored for years, is to use a proper canning machine. 

They come in two different forms: 

  • The basic model is the manual can seamer which are quite reasonably priced.  They include a manually operated crank and two canning hoppers.
  • Top models will be electric and fully automatic.  Models found on popular sales sites are best for aluminium cans or glass jars.  These have become popular due to the rise of equipment allowing you to make “soda” at home.  To find a proper home canning machine our experts suggest researching wider sites.

How Does A Canning Machine Work?

Before we get started looking at individual machines, let’s find out how it works. 

This machine uses pressure to seal lids onto cans, or in some cases glass jars. 

Also, they create a hermetic seal by heating the metal lid of the can and then pressing it onto the base or body.  This seal prevents oxygen and other contaminants from entering the can, which can cause the food to spoil. 

A canning machine can also be used to seal cans with a vacuum.  This means that all the air has been evacuated before it is sealed. This creates a negative pressure inside the can, which helps to preserve the food. 

If you are looking to buy your first canning machine, you may be wondering if a manual or automatic is right for you.  Here are the differences and some pros and cons of each type of  machine to help you make your decision.

A Manual Canning Machine

Manual canning machines are operated by hand.

To use a manual can seamer: 

  • First, make sure that the utensil is clean and dry. 
  • Next, attach the canning lid to the machine. 
  • Then, place the machine with lid over the can. 
  • Finally, turn the handle of the machine to seal the can.

They are typically less expensive than automatic. Manual canning machines can also be more durable since they have fewer moving parts.
They can be slower and more labor-intensive to use than an automatic.

An Automatic Canning Machine

An automatic canning machine seals cans using electricity. It is faster and more efficient than a manual one, and it typically requires less labor to use. However, automatic is also more expensive than manual.

To use an automatic, 

  • First, make sure that the machine is clean and dry. 
  • Then, place the canning lid on the machine. 
  • Next, insert the can into the machine. 
  • Finally, turn on the power switch to seal the can.

These are top machines for making your own soda and storing it at home.  Also perfect for storing juices using excess fruit & canning at home, or maybe making smoothies and canning them to take with you when you are “on the go”!

They are faster and more efficient than manual
They can be more expensive than manual. Additionally, they require electricity to operate, so you’ll need to have a power source nearby.

Things to Consider Before Using Canning Machine

  1. Make sure that your canning machine is in good working condition. Check the cord for damage, and make sure that all of the attachments are in place.
  2. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using.
  3. Wash your hands thoroughly before using it.
  4. Prepare your machine for use.  This usually involves running a can through the machine without any product in it, just to make sure that everything is working properly.
  5. When filling your cans, make sure to leave some space at the top.  This allows for expansion over time and will reduce problems later on.


Q: How long does the canning process take?

A: The canning process is very quick and usually takes only a few minutes. However, this can vary depending on the type of canning machine you’re using.  This is, of course, using prepared foods and does not include preparation time.

Q: Do I need to sterilize my cans before canning?

A: Yes, you will need to sterilize your cans. This can be done by boiling them for a few minutes.

Q: What type of product can I use?

A: You can use any type of food or drink.  However, some products may require special canning procedures.  For example, products that are high in acid will need to be processed in a pressure canner

Q: Can I use a canning machine for home canning?

A: Yes, you can use it for canning food at home.  However, you will need to purchase a machine that is specifically designed for home canning. These can be found at most kitchen supply stores. 

Q: Can I use it for commercial canning?

A: Yes, you can use it for commercial canning.  However, you will need a highly specialized machine and they are very expensive. 

Q: What are the benefits of using it?

A: It can save you time and effort when compared to traditional canning methods. They are also great for canning large batches of products at one time. 

Q: Are there any disadvantages to using these machines?

A: They can be expensive, so may not be within everyone’s budget.  Additionally, these machines can be large and bulky, so they may not be suitable for everyone’s kitchen. 



 Hopefully you now understand what a canning machine is and how to use it.  We believe they are a useful piece of home preserving equipment.  Especially if you are looking to store food for longer time periods.

If you have any questions about using a canning machine, feel free to leave them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Happy canning!