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any reccomendations on a pressure canner?

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by jash, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    Hi Guys
    We would like to get a new pressure canner, does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks much.
  2. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I was just looking at them on EvilBay just a couple days ago, you can get some good ones pretty cheap there. I can't say what brand is better than the other, but one way is to watch them on eBay, notice which one people are bidding some serious money on and you will probably figure it out pretty quick.
    Sometimes, garage sales or estate sales of old folks is a good place to find the good old fashioned ones.
  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    IF you want a canner that will last a lifetime, buy an American brand canner ( that's the name of the company )....they use a metal to metal seal instead of the rubber seal all other brands I know of use. The rubber seals have to be replaced from time to time due to the heat of the canner dryrotting the seal.

    I have an OLD Mirror, which was a good, heavy metal canner, and a newer, cheaper made Presto, and also a 941 American. ( we can in a fairly big way ). The American is the best, bar none.....but like any good tool, you will pay for it.....the 941 runs about 350 FRNS. But it also holds 19 quarts ( I can get 20 of some jar brands in it ) and 30+ pints at one run. IF you plan to can, that is a handy feature.

    I would also avoid buying something used unless it came with the book, and you could make DANG sure it had the internal rack ( got to have it to keep the jars off the bottom), the pressure weight, etc. Any of that stuff missing, and you have a hunk of scrap metal if you can't get a replacement.
  4. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    On the American brand with the metal seal-do they ever rust or corrode? Can you replace the metal if it does corrode? What kind of metal are we talking?

    Thanks guys-this is the place to get good info!
  5. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    The "seal" is really just the top mating to the bottom......both are aluminum, and don't rust, or corrode, unless you store it in the ocean I guess.......there is nothing to replace as such......

    You put the lid on, turn it to lock, then flip the screw down deals you see around the lid and snug 'em down. As the canner heats up, some steam will escape around the lid until it expands and seals.....THAT is the seal.

    Don't go 'over thinking' this thing.....buy a canner and get busy. :D

    From their website:

    And set up in my kitchen:

    ( I use a turkey cooker burner to run this big boy )

  6. misty

    misty Monkey+++

    Make sure you can get parts for it! I had a horrible time getting a gasket for my old hand-me-down Mirro. When I get a new canner I'm going to buy an extra gasket to have on hand.
  7. weapons_762

    weapons_762 Monkey+++

    buy more than one, those gaskets are sometimes very hard to find, when you find them i would buy at least three spares
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Be careful about storing the spares, some materials don't like (for example) ozone, some not too tolerant of hydro carbon vapors.

    In way back times, my mother canned using a baby bottle sterilizer, seemed to work well. Thoughts? Seems safer than pressure pots.
  9. annie

    annie Monkey+++

    Ok TnAndy, got another question for ya. With the american being aluminum, 1. how high does the internal temperature get ? automatic aluminum in the canned food ?
    I absolutely hate half truths, especially in marketing, that is to say if aluminum doesn't leach till 450 degrees, pretty sure I'm safe in cook pans, but not the oven.

    I have a 6 qt Presto aluminum and was on the verge of throwing it out cause of the aluminum factor. Got a new Stainless Steel, also a Presto.

    On the american, is the pressure variable ? When canning meats, what keeps the meat from becoming mush with such long pressurized times ? I would really like to have 10 lbs pressure option, instead of 15 no choice. annie
  10. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Gaskets.....buying an extra is ok until you get it out 5-10 years later and find out the rubber dry rotted and is now useless.

    The internal temperature ? Not over 230-250 degrees....or the pressure would rise to the point it would blow the safety plug out....or rock the weight off.....

    As to meat turning to mush, 90 minutes on a quart is what's recommended and I've never had any turn to "mush".....it IS well cooked and tender ( you can do meat raw pack if you want....and eat it straight out of the jar ). But I've been read don't flour your meat with beef stew ( like I do when I make it normal ) and I do, and it works just fine.


    That baby food jar deal is just a water bath canner.....doesn't get the food up to enough temps to safely can unless you have a high acid food like SOME tomatoes.

    Pressure canning is not hard, and much safer, bacteria wise.
  11. <exile>

    <exile> Padawan Learner

    The All American pressure canners are top notch. We used them at a resturant I used to manage and they were very abused (imagine teenagers handling them daily) and the only parts I remember replacing were the plastic nuts that held the lid on and gauges when people would drop the lid or smack them into our stainless steel tables. They are definitely the Timex of pressure canners, takes a licking ...well you get the point.
  12. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    If you want one to last a lifetime and never have to buy another part I would say go for the American and pick up 2 or 3 extra pressure/saftey plugs. You SHOULDNT ever need to replace one but if you dont pay attention to it and the heat gets to high thats the part that keeps if from becoming a bomb (old steamers sayin of 'theres a stick of dynamite in every pint of water' is true when it becomes traped steam) because it creates a weak point so well before the pot would explode the plug blows and lets the pressure off. When it happens, depending partly on the type of plug, the odds are it will not work to just put the old one back in and on top of that you likely wont find it. So pick up a couple of extras and as long as you keep track of them you should neer have to buy another part for it so long as you take reasonable cae of it.

    I can also say these are the only ones they sell at the Amish stores around here and those folks generaly dont have refridgerators so everything gets canned. I figure if the folks who use it every day go for them and it works for them it says something for the product.

    Just my .02 cents worth.
  13. jash

    jash Monkey+++

    The American look great-I live near Lehmans and they have one like it under their brand for a very reasonable price. We are going to go look at one. Thanks guys for all the info. Ours is my parents and fairly old. My great grandmother died from an exploding pressure canner so we are all a little leary of these.

    Once again thanks for the info-this site is the best.
  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    MOST LIKELY the canners you have would have a saftey on them. Look at the lid and there should be a rubber piece in it most likely with a metal pin in it, that is the piece that blows out and keeps is safer (scaulding water/steam still sprays out) but if it is solid then yeah you probably want to replace it and/or be REAL careful with it/them.
  15. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Every modern canner I've ever seen has the rubber "blow out" plug in them....should you ignore the jiggle weight trying to hop off the release, AND the pressure gauge, at some point, the safety plug would blow out like a champaign cork.

    I can't imagine being able to blow one up.......the stories of this must have involved older canners that didn't have these features built in.
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, thats why they started putting the saftey plugs in them. The OLD ones didnt have one and if the guage screwed up or was ignored or something for some reason then they could blow up.
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