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bubba (Bubba)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 12:41 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

which is what i feel ive been doing all day long. i just got a pc and i dont think the thing is working the way it is supposed to. at no point did the weight " shake vigorously" as the instructions suggest. in fact, that shit didnt shake at all. so i havent the slightest clue if my pc ever reached 15psi, if it did how long it maintained 15 psi or if my friggin jars are even sterilized. i need some help with this one folks. tomorrow im going to innoculate all these jars and i hope im not just wasting more time. any insight would be greatly appreciated because right now im not appreciating the fact that i blew 100$ on some shit that i dont know if it even works. this sucks
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joey ramone (Joey99652)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 12:51 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i just go by the pressure gauge on the lid, my weight very rarely if ever shakes. but this is going by the notion that u have a pressure gauge. if you do not then im afraid i wont be much help on this one
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steveoi812 (Ustabcidhead)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 12:56 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

bub you finally got a pc and look what happened. Im sorry to hear that. What I did was put only 1 or 2 inches of water in my pc. I heated it on high until I saw the water start to boil(jars were already in it). I turned it down to low and it continued to boil.I put on my lid and weight. It took about 15 or so minutes to build up pressure and thats when I started my clock. Ya sure you locked it down good? I hope your jars are ok man. Did it have a safety plug with it? How big of a pc was it?
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Imok Urok2 (Imok)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 01:05 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You can always play with it using just water to get it right.
Check the instructions (I know, don't need no dang instructions )
and see if there is a lever or something to completely seal it.
What type and brand is it
Maybe someone here has one and can give you a ez guide to its use.
You can always re-pc the jars when you figure it out (or remake them).
Hope this helps :)
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bov bov (Boven)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 01:52 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

the pressure cooker we got is a Mirro 22qt. if that could help....
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Imok Urok2 (Imok)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 04:05 am:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Was using Google, looking for your model/brand, and found the following:
Psychedelic Affiliate
Posts: 70
Registered: APR 2000
posted 05-07-2000 12:01 PM

k i just got a little pressure cooker its a mirro holds 3 1/2 pint jars,got it at the thrift store came with no directions,for those of you out there who do use pressure cookers i heard that mine is not as hard to use as a big pressure canner,so with that please tell me a few do's and dont's and please tell me a quick step by step on using this little cooker...
ive read up on the pressure cooker thing just want to make shure i got it down....
thanks all-peace

Psychedelic Affiliate
Posts: 69
Registered: APR 2000
posted 05-07-2000 12:33 PM

Use it a bunch of times before you do any jars. See the link in my similiar post. I've searched through all I could find here and the Shroomery but this Faq covered about everything. Don't put too much water in when you do the jars. Mine is big, took 45 minutes to even get going. Scary as shit. Lid was next to impossible to get off. Mirro's number is 1-800-527-7727. See if you can get a manual, I'd be fucked without mine. Good luck.

Posts: 591
Registered: MAR 2000
posted 05-07-2000 12:53 PM

The most important thing to remember when using a pressure cooker is to check and see if the steam vent is blocked. Some times shit will built up so make sure it is spotless. Other then that, just read the directions that come w/it. One more thing, never use soap to clean the seal. It will cause it to break down quickly and you will have to replace it.


Psychedelic Affiliate
Posts: 70
Registered: APR 2000
posted 05-07-2000 01:09 PM

k thank you all

Psychedelic Affiliate
Posts: 69
Registered: APR 2000
posted 05-07-2000 01:16 PM

Well, I finally figured out how to get this info here. Never had so much trouble with cut and paste, I feel like an idiot. Here goes:


11.1.3 [What do I need to know about gauges and weights ?]

Dial gauges must be tested *every* year before canning season
[Hey! Maybe near the time of daylight saving; you're changing your
clock and checking your smoke alarm anyway.--LEB], and sometime
throughout the canning season, depending on the amount of use. This
gauge should also be tested/retested if the lid was dropped, because
a sharp jolt can cause a dial gauge to lose its calibration.

Even if you buy a brand-spanking-new dial gauge pressure canner, you
*must still* test the gauge. I've found that nearly 50% of new dial gauges
have gross errors on the minus scale (i.e. inside doesn't get as hot as the
dial gauge would lead you to believe).

[ Dial gauge are required at elevation in excess of 10,000 ft.as the weight
of a deadweight canner is insufficient to generate the pressure needed to
achieve 240F.

Weights are considered foolproof. A few folks have reported seepage from
jars when using dead-weight type canner. Jars lids must be clean and tightened
properly before processing. REDUCE the heat to the minimun required to keep
the weight rocking gently. Any more heat than this and the jars will be
over-pressurized in relation to the pressure inside the pot - seepage will
result. Opening a canner or inducing a sudden temperature drop will cause
a pressure drop - seepage will result.

Do not over-pressure ANY canner, NEVER douse a canner with cold water, and
allow the canner to cool to 0 pressure before opening the canner. There should
be no seepage - period. Seepage is a sign of an imperfect seal caused by
improper procedure or faulty equipment. --ED]

From: [email protected] (Gary Phillips x397)
>Yes I bet...I would love to find one at a garage sale. BTW if I ever do,
>do you know what to look for to make sure it is still operating safely?

Sure. Check the rim of both pan and lid to make sure there are no nicks or
damage to the interlocking tabs. Make sure the safety pressure release
(usually a rivet-like rubber plug) is still present and soft and moving
freely in its slightly oversized hole. Check the gasket that goes between
pan and lid for cracks or hardening. Make sure the pressure vent is clean
and open, and that the seat for the pressure release weight is smooth and
fits well. If there is a pressure gauge, it MUST be recalibrated.
Contact the manufacturer for information about that. It would probably be a
good idea to order a new gasket and a safety release at the same time. (And
an instruction manual if you didn't get one with the canner.)

When you are satisfied that everything is present and working, run a test
with just water in the pan. Raise pressure to 5 psi and hold it for 15 or
20 minutes, watching carefully for leaks or drips that might indicate
problems. If there is a safety interlock to prevent opening while pressure
is present examine it to determine whether it has activated. Allow
pressure to drop and make sure the interlock doesn't release (not by trying
toopen the pan under pressure, but by visual examination) until pressure is
gone and you can remove the release weight without any steam escaping.

[ For deadweight canners the checks and tests are similar with the sole
exception of calibration which is never needed. Be sure you get the three
weights which create the 5,10 and 15 lb pressures when used
additively. --ED ]
(Mine has one weight with three holes)

Care Of Pressure Canning Equipment

To preserve low-acid foods which are safe, good tasting and nutritious, you
need to correctly use equipment which is well-maintained and in good operating

Safety Vents or Petcocks:

- Be sure the vent is clear and unobstructed. Use Q-tip or cotton
string to clean.
- Be sure vent tubes are screwed tightly into lid.
- If it is a model with vent under the handle, be sure the lever is
moving freely.
- If it is a model with a petcock, be sure it opens and closes
freely, either by screwing or flipping the lever up and down.
- If there is a film from hard water on the petcock, and it can be
unscrewed from the lid, soak the parts in vinegar, then wash and
- A ball and socket type petcock can be cleaned with silver polish.

Safety Overpressure Plugs:

- If it is a metal alloy or composition metal plug that screws into
the lid, do not try to remove it.
- If it is a rubber plug, use the thumbnail test to see if the
rubber is still pliable enough. If pressure with thumbnail leaves
a permanent dent in the rubber it is too brittle for safe use and
should be replaced.
- If either type of plug has been blown out by overpressure in the
canner, it must be replaced by a new plug. Do not try to reuse
the plug that blew out.


- Soak gasket in hot water for an hour to soften before the first
use of the season.
- Insert gasket into its groove in lid. If it is either too
shrunken to fit to the edge, or too stretched to lie smoothly in
the lid, it must be replaced.
- Use thumbnail test - if pressure with thumbnail leaves a permanent
dent in rubber, it is too brittle and should be replaced. Rubber
safety plug should be replaced at the same time, since it will
probably be too brittle also.

Presto suggests coating the rubber gasket with vegetable oil before use. I
concur and further suggest a rubber gasket be given a little smear of oil
{ use a brush to avoid injury to the finger} when putting it on the pot. Dry
rubber can tear very easily due to friction against the metal. -ED]

Pressure Gauge:

- Have dial and pop-up gauges tested every year before canning season
at your local Cooperative Extension Office. If it is inaccurate it
must be replaced.
- Check entrance port and carefully remove any debris that may have
- Be sure gauge is screwed firmly into lid. If it attaches with a
nut on the underside of the lid, be sure the nut is tight.

Weighted Pressure Regulators:

- Have no moving parts so there is no need to have them tested for
- Be sure they are clean, with no debris or food residue encrusted
especially in the sockets where the weight fits over its vent.
- Be sure the entrance port and vent pipe are open and unobstructed.
- Be sure there are no nicks or damage to the weight or to the tip
of the vent pipe where the weight fits.

[ especially the vent pipe which supports the weight. Damage here will affect
the proper action of the weight. Improper results may result. Note: a test run
which shows the 5lb weight rocks evenly when manually revolved around the vent
pipe shows a vent that is in good condition -ED]
Canner Lids:

- Be sure handles are securely attached.
- Be sure gasket fits smoothly into its groove in the lid.
- Set lid on canner and turn to lock it into place. It should turn
on smoothly and easily.
- If it does not turn on easily, check to be sure gasket is properly
seated in its groove. Adjust if necessary.
- If the gasket is properly seated, check the lid. If the lid is
warped or bent, it might be replaceable. Contact the manufacturer.
If it is an old model or no longer manufactured, there may be no
way to continue using it as a pressure canner. It may be used as
a regular pot for cooking. If this is the case, remove the gasket,
and if possible open or remove the gauge and overpressure plugs or
petcocks, to avoid the possibility of pressure buildup.
- If there is no visible problem but the lid continues to be tight, a
small amount of petroleum jelly or cooking oil may be applied to
the gasket to lubricate it.


- Be sure there is a rack in the canner.
- Check the bottom for flatness. Older model canners may warp if
overheated. If the bottom is not flat or the canner will not sit
flat on the heating element or burner of the stove, it should not
be used for canning. Warped canners may be used for cooking.
Once warped, the damage *can not* be reversed.
- Put 1 inch of water in the canner, close the lid, heat the water
and pressurize the canner. Check to see if steam is escaping at
any point other than the petcock or safety vent.
- If steam is escaping around the gasket and it seems to be properly
in place, a *small* amount of petroleum jelly or cooking oil may
be rubbed around the gasket.

- With weighted gauge canners, if the weight only hisses continuously
and does not rock or jiggle intermittently as the manufacturers'
directions specify, check to see if the stove is level. This type
of weight must hang in a centered position on a vertical vent. If
the stove is not level the weight will not hang properly and steam
will escape in a continuous stream from the side, so the pressure
will not build up properly.

[ This will also happen if the pot is not properly exhausted before placing the
weights. The resulting condition is food that is not propely processed. A
similar end result happens when using dail gauges if the pot is not
exhausted. -- PFB via ED]

- If steam is escaping around the base of any of the vents (dial
gauge, weight vent, safety vent, petcock) where they screw into
the lid, and if you can screw them out of the lid, the threads can
be wrapped with plumber's tape to seal them. Plumber's tape is a
stretchy, non-sticky silicon tape used to seal threads. It is
available in small rolls from a hardware store. Be sure to wrap
the tape in the right direction, so that when you screw the vent
back into the lid, the direction of the turning does not unwrap
the tape.

Canner Use

- Follow manufacturers' directions for use of your particular model.
- Use canner on the appropriately sized burner. A canner should not
hang over the edge of the burner by more than 2 inches on either
- Be sure to center the canner on the burner. Some ranges do not
allow enough space to center a large canner on rear burners.

[N.B. Those newfangled smooth-top induction burners are a *poor* idea for
either a waterbath or pressure canner, both appliances are too heavy, and
the burner can't take it.--Diane Hamilton?]

- Be sure lid is securely locked on (turned on, or screwed down).
- If your canner has six or eight large screws and wing nuts to
close it, screw them down in opposite pairs. If there are six,
screw numbers 1 and 4 down part way, then 2 and 5, then 3 and 6,
then return to the first pair to finish tightening continuing
around the lid.

VERY IMPORTANT for Pressure Canning: Exhaust the pot.

- For all models, be sure to vent the canner for 10 minutes on high
heat with a full stream of steam escaping. This is necessary to
remove air from the canner. Air remaining inside will lower the
maximum temperature achievable, and may cause underprocessing of
the food. After the 10 min. venting, close the petcock, or place
the safety weight or weighted pressure regulator on the vent.
Allow the pressure to build to 10 psig, or to 5 or 15 psig if you
are processing at those pressures. (psig means Pounds per Square
Inch by Gauge, the measure of pressure.) Be sure that you use the
proper time for the pressure level that you are using. Check the
new USDA Home Canning Guide for safe recommendations.

- When canner reaches the specified pressure, begin counting the
processing time.
- Reduce heat gradually to maintain the pressure without
over-pressurizing. With a weighted pressure regulator, leaving
the heat on too high will not increase the pressure, but will
cause excess steam loss from the canner, since steam will be escaping
continuously. Surpassing the specified pressure in a dial gauge
canner will result in soft, mushy or darkened food, and excessive
vitamin loss.
- If the pressure drops below its proper level during processing,
increase the heat to bring the pressure back up, then begin the
timing over again from zero, for the full specified time.
- Never run cold water over a canner to cool it. In addition,
excessively rapid cooling may cause jars in the canner to crack
or explode as the pressure in the canner drops more rapidly
than the pressure in the jars.

[ More commonly this produces a serious seepage problem as the jars with
high intermnal pressure are no longer restrained by an equal or greater
pressure in the pot. Seepage means a seal that is compromised - depending
on what is canned it can be a quite serious problem. Seepage means food is
present in the lid gum-to jar lips junction. Seal failure will occur
eventually and you know what that means --ED]

- When the pressure has dropped to zero, wait another 1 minute before
opening the canner. On some models the pressure drop will be
visible when the overpressure plug drops back into the lid, the
rubber plug is no longer bulged, or the dial gauge will read zero.
Smaller canners will take at least 30 minutes to cool, larger ones
may take over an hour.
- Open the petcock or remove the safety weight carefully and wait
until any rush of steam has stopped. Then open the lid and tilt
the back edge up first, so that it directs the steam away from
your face. [and arms. Ouch!]
- Remove the jars immediately. Do not leave jars sitting in a hot
canner overnight, spoilage may result.
Burpee, Health, National Victory and Dixie canners are no longer
manufactured, and no parts or service are available for these canners.
Parts and service are available for Presto, Mirro and All American, and for
some models of National Presto, Kwik Kook, Steamliner and Maid of Honor. If
you need further assistance or have other problems, contact your local
Cooperative Extension Office.

If you are thinking of buying a canner at a garage sale, check to be sure
you can open and close the petcocks. Look for stains or drips down the
sides or on the lid near the vents, they may indicate that the lid does not
seal or leaks steam all the time. Check that the lid twists on and off
easily. Check the condition of the gasket. Check that the base is flat.
A rounded base indicates that the canner is warped. Check that there is a rack.

Buying any of the models listed above as having parts and service available
is a much better bet than one of the older ones. [I.e. Presto, Mirro, and

Prepared by Mary A. Keith, Foods and Nutrition, August, 1991
Revised by M. Susan Brewer, Foods and Nutrition, June, 1992

11.1.5 [ Weight "jiggle" questions ]

The instructions say the appropriate pressure is being maintained
when the weight jiggles about 4 times a minute. When I have the weight set
to 15 pounds, I cannot get this to happen. It is either jiggling almost all
the time or only 1-2 times a minute.

Two answers from two rec.food.preservers.

From John Taylor :
Jiggling once or twice a minute is fine. It indicates that you have full
pressure in the canner, which means it's at the desired temperature. If
this is happening at a constant heat setting, it also indicates that the
temperature is not falling and then rising again (which you wouldn't want).
Sounds like you've got an appropriate setting for the flame.

From Richard Nielsen :
I've had similar problems with a Mirro 12 qt. I finally decided to let
jiggle most of the time. I add an extra cup or two of water and I've never
had it even come close to boiling dry in a 90 min process time.

11.1.6 [cleaning my pressure canner..]

Compiled by Tracy L. Carter :
Here is a summary of the response I got for cleaning out my nasty looking
pressure canner when I forgot to add vinegar.

1. Put in water and cream of tartar. Bring up to pressure for a certain
number of minutes and let come back to room pressure naturally before re-
moving lid. If you want the exact instructions, let me know, and I will go
into my other account for them.

2. Scrub with a brillo pad. Thought about that, but didn't know if I should
scratch the inside of it or not.

3. Cook a batch of tomatoes/tomato juice in the pressure cooker.

11.1.7 [Where can I find canning equipment parts?]



Liquid Jar Gauge Parts Repair
capacity capacity type avail- service
quarts quarts pints able

Mirro 12, 22 4 10 weight yes no
(4,6,8 cookers) 7 20

Presto 13,17,22 4 8 dial yes yes
7 16 weight

Wisconsin Alumin. 7,10,15 4 4 dial yes yes

"All-American" 21,25,30 yes no

Dixie Canner (sells the All-American line)

Canners previously made, with no available parts or service:
National Victory Health
Burpee Dixie

Note: replacements and testing also available Presto for spring-type
"pop-up" pressure regulator.

Presto also services and carries parts for:
Maid of Honor, Model 620
Kook Kwik, Models "Best Made" and "Merit"

Jar capacity
Volume capacity quarts pints

Mirro 21 7 9

General Housewares 12, 21 7 8

Glashaus - Weck 8 11
(electric self-contained heating unit)

JARS AND LIDS jar sizes

jelly, 0.5, 1, 1.5 pint, quart, 0.5 gallon regular mouth
1, 1.5 pint, quart, 0.5 gallon wide mouth

Golden Harvest
0.5 pint, pint, quart regular mouth
0.5 pint, pint, quart in wide mouth

jelly, 0.5, 1, 1.5 pint, quart regular mouth
1, 1.5 pint, quart wide mouth

Addresses for sources:

Mirro Aluminum Corp./P.O. Box 409/Manitowoc, WI, 54220-0409/(414) 684-4421.
** also sells Foley, Earthgrown brands

National Presto Industries Inc./3925 N. Hastings Way/Eau Claire, WI 54703/
(715) 839-2209. [correction thanks to Lois Grassl

Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Co./P.O. Box 246/Manitowoc, WI 54221-0246/
(414) 682-8627

Dixie Canner Equipment Co./Box 1348/Athens, GA 30603/ (404) 549-1914

General Housewares/P.O. Box 4066/Terre Haute, IN 47804/ (812) 232-1000

Ball Corp./345 S. High St./Muncie, IN 47302/ (317) 284-8441

Kerr Glass Manufacturing Corp./2444 West 16th St./Chicago, IL 60608/

(312) 226-1700 or (800) 331-2609. [BTW, as of March 1996, Kerr was bought
out by Ball.--phone research by the folks at r.f.p.]

Anchor Glass Container Corp./ One Anchor Plaza/4343 Anchor Plaza Parkway/
Tampa, FL 33634/ (813) 884-0000. Golden Harvest jars.

Glashaus Inc./Crystal Lake, IL / (815) 356-8440. Distributes Weck Products.

Hope this is of help. From faqs.org

Psychedelic Affiliate
Posts: 635
Registered: MAR 2000
posted 05-07-2000 03:10 PM

if you go to presto's website they have a whole tutorial on how to use pressure cookers
And that was from the donkey's archive at The Forest Floor

archive material
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Hippie3 (Admin)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 02:20 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

turn up the fire
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james (Zippo)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 02:35 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bubba ,I have a Mirro model PC as well.
Heat a seperate pot of water to boiling,hold at boiling atleast 5 min.Add boiling water to pc and seal lid ,remove jiggler, use full heat until steam runs steady from jiggler vent(steady not kinda steady)replace jiggler and start timer countdown.If your using your oven a setting of 3-4 should keep the jiggler rocking 2-5 times per min.
BTW DO NOT use 22-24 quart PC on Ceran top stoves.
Mine just cost me 485.00 for replacement top
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bubba (Bubba)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 06:29 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thank you to all of you who have responded. i think i might have found the problem. first i think my stove is a little off-level. 2nd, i think i just was not giving it enough time to heat up before i put the weight on. i just gave it another test run and let the steam vent a little longer. for the most part the stream was constant except for a couple of blank spaces here and there. when i put the weight on it began to shake so atleast i think ive made some progress. im figuring if i let it heat up and vent a little longer then i will get that vigorious shaking the instructions speak of. i guess i was just worried about boiling out all of the water inside so thats why i was quick to put the weight on. after i lowered the temp, the weight shook consistently, not every 15-30 seconds like i read in the archives, is this ok if i keep it like this? i just want some sterile jars without ruining them. tank you all
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bubba (Bubba)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 06:32 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

oh and one more thing. this might be a stupid question but not nearly as stupid as throwing money down the drain. is steam supposed to shoot out of the weight or should it all be trapped inside. mine shoots out spurts when it is on and im not sure if this is kosher. thanks yall.
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steveoi812 (Ustabcidhead)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 07:46 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yea bub this is what ya want man, though it sounds like your heat it a lil high.Nan or hip told me that the weight should only jiggle twice or so every minute. I think the reason is that if your heat it too high it can cook the brown rice flour. You know I'm no pro though I just know what I did and I know that it worked without losing any jars. I hope everything is going good for ya man...OHIATEONETOO...
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Hippie3 (Admin)
Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2002 - 10:07 pm:Edit Post Quote Text Delete Post Print Post Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yes, you definitly want to have both a good head of steam coming out before placing on the weight, it should be audible whistling steam coming out in a jet.
and once the weight is on, you do still want to see a little steam escaping from it now and then, it's supposed to do that as it rocks to keep the pressure inside steady.

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