Processing garden produce
fowlers Vacola bottling method
fowlers Vacola electric units
Fowlers make two different electric units.  While both  models work in the same way they have their relative advantages and disadvantages.   Below is a comparison of the two units.

fowlers  simple Natural Preserving Unit
  • Photo of a Fowlers simple natural preserving unit.
    Fowlers Simple Natural Preserving Unit.
    19 litre capacity - can accommodate up to 8 x No 20 or 5 x No 31 bottles
  • Plastic construction with 1800 watt, 240 volt electric element
  • Comes with three No 31 (1 litre) bottles each complete with rings, lids and clips.
  • 40 page Recipe & Instruction book: 'Secrets of Successful Preserving' .
  • 12 month warranty on electric appliance.
  • Retails for around $165 Australian.


This is the cheaper of the two units, being smaller, made of plastic and without a thermostat.  It is the unit I use as it's smaller size means is better suited to processing small batches of home grown produce.  I tend to only bottle what I grow myself. 

As they do not come with thermostat control you have to be very careful that you don't cook the bottles longer than the recommended time, though I have generally found this not to be a problem.



fowlers Professional Stainless Steel Preserving unit

  • Photo of an older version of a Fowlers stainless steel processing unit.
    Older version of the of the Fowlers
    stainless steel processing unit.
    34 litre capacity - can accommodate up to 12 x No 20 or 7 x No 31 bottles
  • Stainless steel construction.
  • Thermostat control.
  • Comes with three No 31 bottles (1 litre) and three No 20 bottles (600 ml), each complete with rings, lids and clips.
  • 40 page Recipe & Instruction book: 'Secrets of Successful Preserving' .
  • 12 month warranty.
  • Retails for around $650 Australian.

The main advantage of this unit is it will last you a lifetime.  I have known people with forty year old stainless steel units that are still going strong.  The in built thermostat also gives you greater temperature control. 

The big disadvantage with these stainless steel units is that they are very expensive to buy new, though sometimes they can be picked up second hand at a cheaper price.  Also their larger size isn't suited to processing small batches of produce. 

Unless you can pick up one second hand I wouldn't recommend buying this unit if you are just starting out.  Over the years I have processed hundreds of batches  using the smaller Fowlers Simple Natural Preserving unit and I find it just fine for my needs.