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Pressure Canner Safety Reminder


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#1 Juthro

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Posted 06 March 2022 - 07:29 PM

https://sports.yahoo...ing his corneas.

 

Guillermo Rigondeaux reportedly lost approximately 80 percent of his vision when his pressure cooker exploded while he was cooking Cuban black beans at his home in Miami on Thursday. Rigondeaux's manager, Alex Boronte, told ESPN that boiling water splashed into his eyes, severely burning his corneas.

Rigondeaux's chest was also reportedly burned. The 41-year-old Cuban has since had his eyes injected with anesthesia and bandaged before being released from Kendall Regional Medical Center on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps most disturbing is it sounds like nothing out of the ordinary was happening until the explosion, per ESPN:

"He's only done it a million times," Boronte said of one of Rigondeaux's favorite meals to cook. "They make bombs out of [pressure cookers]. If one of those beans clogs up where the steam is going to go out, it's like a bomb. It could have killed him."

The good news is that Rigondeaux has reportedly already recovered enough to be able to see sunlight and shadows, but Boronte said his recovery over next 10 days will "define his fighting career." Corneas tend to begin regenerating in 48 to 72 hours, per ESPN.

Guillermo Rigondeaux is a legend in Cuba
However he recovers, the domestic injury is horrific news for a historic boxing talent. Rigondeaux was a legend as an amateur in Cuba, racking up two Olympic gold medals, two world championships, three world cups and seven Cuban championships as a bantamweight with an overall record of 374-12.

After he defected in 2009, Rigondeaux turned pro. He captured the WBA, WBO and lineal super bantamweight titles over the next few years, and wouldn't lose until facing fellow amateur legend Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2017.

Rigondeaux currently holds a 20-3-1 professional record after dropping his last two fights. We'll have to wait to find out if he can resume his career.


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#2 Myc

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Posted 06 March 2022 - 09:12 PM

I think about that possibility every time I start a pressure cooker run. Especially since I've had the same one since '05 or so.......

 

I know that one of the agricultural offices used to x-ray them back in the day but I'm not sure about "modern" times. As a last resort I could run it over to some welder friends who do certified welds.

I wonder about micro-fractures sometimes - like metal fatigue in aircraft.

 

I realize that his failure was due to blockage of the steam outlet. In which case, my pressure canner has a rubber plug seated in an over-pressure port. Should the steam outlet become blocked, the plug blows out and equalizes pressure quickly. I'm guessing that this is what may have happened to poor fellow - that plug is located in a forward position and is opposite the stop-cock.

A steam-powered rubber bullet (essentially), followed by a jet of super-heated steam...........doesn't sound like a good day.

 

For this reason I do not stand over a pressure canning run. Also do not stand directly in the path of the over-pressure plug. I treat that device with respect for its potential - like any other valuable tool in my toolbox.

 

Hoping this fellow can make a decent recovery.


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#3 Juthro

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Posted 06 March 2022 - 09:39 PM

I hear you Myc, I have a nice All American canner, but I've had it for ten years, and I use it a lot.  It gets used at least once or twice a month to can bone broth, and beans ( just did up a batch of 9 pints of beef broth today).  Some months it gets ran 2 or 3 cycles a day for days on end  (during a good fishing season).   I care for it as best I can, but I also worry about metal fatigue from so many pressure cycles.  I'm at less then a 100' above sea level, so I only run food at 10psi, but still...

 

I feel for the poor guy, but he's a fighter, did you see what his career stats were, two Olympic gold medals, two world championships, three world cups and seven Cuban championships as a bantamweight with an overall record of 374-12.  That was when he was still amateur.  Then he defected to the US, and then went pro, where he has a 20-3-1 record.  That's 410 official fights in his career.  I find that mind boggling. 

 

I wish him nothing but the best, but  just wanted to use this to remind folks of the power that vessel contains when they are sterilizing their projects.


Edited by Juthro, 06 March 2022 - 09:40 PM.

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#4 Coopdog

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 12:03 AM

THIS is why I never bought a pressure cooker for many years. I have seen one explode twice. Once in my Dad's mother's place, on Thanksgiving day. A small miracle, not one person was in the kitchen when it went. The pan lid busted through the top of the wall and ceiling, and scorching hot baked beans went over every inch of the kitchen. Happened to my other Grandmother cooking beans as well. The entire kitchen was trashed, luckily nobody was in there either. I would call that two small miracles that nobody got hurt. I bought a pressure cooker last year, and have yet to use it. Just makes me nervous, and I know they are mostly safe... BUT.


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#5 Juthro

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 12:21 PM

It's worth mentioning that these accidents tend to happen when pressure 'cooking', not when pressure 'caning'.   Generally they happen when the food being cooked foams, and the foam allows a piece of the food to rise to the top of the vessel and block the pressure relief, beans are notorious for this.   When caning you just have closed jars, and water.  You can still have a failure of the vessel, but this is much more rare (thank goodness).

 

I've thought about getting a small pressure cooker for food use for years, they are a great way to cook foods quickly, and use less energy to do so, but so far I've been wary of them for the above stated reasons.


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#6 shiftingshadows

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 01:48 PM

these should be used under bags

 

11-Inch Pressure Cooker Canner Rack (2-Pack) Detachable Legs, or lid rings etc underneath, instead of legs

https://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Rack%EF%BC%882-Pack-%EF%BC%89Detachable-Stainless-Accessories/dp/B078KVXQYC/ref=sr_1_31?crid=SJRW0Q6F2W1Q&keywords=pressure+cooker+inserts+stackable&qid=1646678484&sprefix=pressure+cooker+insert%2Caps%2C176&sr=8-31

 

and especially on top, of the top layer, of bags to keep vents clear

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Pressure+Cooker+Canner+Rack&crid=3BM6I3PY813O4&sprefix=pressure+cooker+canner+rack%2Caps%2C143&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

 

as we probably  already know

 

some use a heavier ceramic plate

 

 

this looks like the best deal

 

https://www.amazon.c...aps,143&sr=8-19

 

both ends of cans can be removed, to create rings--such as tuna fish cans etc. - instead of legs


Edited by shiftingshadows, 07 March 2022 - 01:58 PM.

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#7 Juthro

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 03:25 PM

Good call, bags are also definitely a hazard if proper precaution isn't taken. 


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#8 shiftingshadows

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 03:46 PM

Screen Shot 2022-03-07 at 1.45.01 PM.png



#9 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 March 2022 - 06:18 PM

It would have been really helpful if any of the articles about it had mentioned the brand. I bet it didn't have a gauge on it, or a blowout plug (so not an All American).

 

A gauge would have warned him that the pressure was rising too high, and a blowout plug would have greatly reduced his chances of getting burned if he had a gauge but wasn't watching it.

 

I still have an AA 907 that I bought in the late-90's for mushroom growing and still use it for cooking when I need just a little extra space but I mostly use it as a vacuum chamber now (it only just barely holds a single quart jar and isn't really even supposed to hold any that size). I don't think they make that size anymore (it's adorable).


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#10 FLASHINGROOSTER

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Posted 09 March 2022 - 06:24 PM

There is a Columbian guy I work with and they often used a pressure cooker for meals. They have mostly fallen out of use for that exact reason I think right? That potential for dangerous failure. I think it was his seal that popped on him and ended up burning his daughters arms or hands I can't quite recall it all. Most seal/lid pressure failures will quickly dissipate under normal operating conditions due to the relatively low pressure and large surface area for it to escape, that being said I sure don't want to stand in front of one to test that theory out. Circumstance can be a real bitch sometimes, right in the eyeballs fuck. I do remember reading the instructions and they did note not to cook certain foods in it due to the danger of blocking the vents. The safety manual is there for that 1 in 10,000 failure

 

The blocked vent is the absolute worst thing that can happen, that is how those Boston bombers created their IEDs right?

 

 

edit: FWIW I am a nerd who keeps all the manuals. 

 

Mine mentions not to overfill over 1/3 full when cooking with vegetables that expand to prevent the foam over like Juthro mentioned. As well a list of banned items

 

Applesauce, cranberries, pearl barley, oatmeal and other cereals, split peas, noodles, macaroni, rhubarb or spaghetti can foam, froth, and sputter, and clog the pressure release device. These foods should not be cooked in a pressure cooker

 


Edited by FLASHINGROOSTER, 09 March 2022 - 06:41 PM.

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#11 shiftingshadows

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Posted 09 March 2022 - 08:09 PM

respect goes with PCs as well as, cars. electricity, guns, knives. airplanes. very large drunk men, scorned women, microwaves, icy roads ...

seems respect is usually a good idea......

 

I keep manuals too ... and they may be found online as pdfs too


Edited by shiftingshadows, 09 March 2022 - 08:11 PM.

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#12 TVCasualty

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 02:34 PM

 

 

The blocked vent is the absolute worst thing that can happen, that is how those Boston bombers created their IEDs right?


 

 

That wouldn't be necessary. The vent hole in most cookers is too small to be of much help in the context of someone using a PC as a literal bomb. A secured lid is almost certainly more than adequate to act as tamping and therefore greatly potentiate the resulting explosion. Blocking it would add a negligible increase to the pressure before the cooker itself burst.

 

That said, the vent plug used by AA cookers might be big enough to vent enough of the overpressure to mitigate the resulting explosion somewhat (meaning it would still be a stronger explosion, but not as strong as one in a cooker with a really small vent hole).


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#13 ShortcutSlim

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Posted 13 March 2022 - 05:43 PM

Great thread.

 

I have a healthy respect for PC's no matter the usage. Coops mention of beans reminded me of the warning I have read about  beans in a pressure cooker. I say I have a healthy respect for PC's,but I'm one of those "do as I say, not as I do" types. I've managed to make it to my 70's in spite of some pretty sketchy activities. :biggrin:

 

Didja know that Instant Pot now has a combo PC and Air Fryer? I.am.tempted. LOL


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#14 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 10:27 PM

The overpressure plug doesn't last forever. They harden over time and need to be replaced just like gaskets.

 

Presto says to replace the plug "at least" every 3 years.

 

https://www.gopresto...ructions[4].pdf


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#15 Juthro

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Posted 24 March 2022 - 11:15 PM

If I remember correctly, that is in line with what All American recommends.  They are cheap, and easy to change.  If you run that system you should at least have some on hand somewhere, IMHO :)

 

If you have a lot of money inside your canner, it's worth (IMO) making sure that you don't have a failure during the processing.  A new over pressure plug is cheap compared to a batch of wild caught salmon, or even a batch of brown rice, and verm.


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#16 TVCasualty

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 09:09 AM

The overpressure plug doesn't last forever. They harden over time and need to be replaced just like gaskets.

 

Presto says to replace the plug "at least" every 3 years.

 

https://www.gopresto...ructions[4].pdf

 

 

And like how I assume most owners of such cookers don't, I have never replaced them on my AA's. The oldest one I have I bought in 1994. My "newest" was purchased in '04. Never got the gauges calibrated, either.

 

I'm not concerned about the gauges (one gauge reads 18 PSI when the weight jiggles, one says 12, the others are somewhere in between), but it does seem like it might be time to consider replacing those blowout plugs.

 

I'll probably forget about it in a few minutes and won't think about replacing them again for another 20+ years, though. Or until one actually blows out. It'll probably be the latter, if I'm being honest. I'll just think of it as giving my kitchen ceiling an unscheduled steam-cleaning (if I'm lucky and only steam blows out...).

 

 

One thing I'm leery of is the common phenomenon of discovering that replacing a part that came with a piece of equipment as per the maintenance schedule (even if the part is still otherwise working fine) often results in the replacement part being of significantly lower quality or not working quite right or having some other issue that reminds us yet again that in most cases, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is usually very good advice.

 

That said, not following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule for pressurized steam vessels is usually VERY BAD advice, so if anyone blows off replacing a blowout plug after reading this thread and the plug blows out and paints the kitchen ceiling with agar or whatever then that's entirely on them (so don't blame me for the mess or the resulting divorce!).


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#17 MushLuvR

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Posted 25 March 2022 - 05:27 PM

I've done MANY runs over the last 12 years (Give or take with a few breaks inbetween), but the first time your PC does something different, it will scare the PHUCK out of you.  I had a Unicorn Edible Block run going, and the bag somehow pinched between the metal and the gasket, and when it sealed, just shortly after, it made a loud high pitched whistling sound that was REdiculous.  Good thing it was in the beginning of locking, and I just pulled the Bobber (16qt Presto).  I also realized if you have the rubber blow out plug, point it away from you (Spin the Cooker), I point it toward the wall (make the plug north of you instead of SOUTH) behind the stove instead of the angled direction of my face.  i have also ran the Cooker once that barely finished the cycle and the water was gone.  I didn't find out until I spawned the bags and two of them were brittle from the hot Air only instead of steam.  The best advice that I would give to anyone, is KNOW Thy Device.  When you are comfortable, you can dial it in and walk away, until then, WATCH and keep an eye on the Cycle the entire way.  Good Info on bags too, they take 2 hours or so, watch that heat and slowly dial it down as you lose water over time.  Speaking of Time.... THAT's my Time (Soap Box).  Great Thread and Thank you.

 

MushL


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#18 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 12:02 PM

I've done MANY runs over the last 12 years (Give or take with a few breaks inbetween), but the first time your PC does something different, it will scare the PHUCK out of you. 

 

My moment of shocked terror happened early in my pressure cooking career with that little AA 907 I bought in the mid-90's.

 

It had the old style pop-up vent valve instead of the weight (so no jiggle sound getting louder and more frequent to warn you of rising pressure). IIRC the AA Sterilizer models still use that style since it allows a vacuum to form upon cooling (which the weight does not).

 

That pop-up valve pops up long before the blowout plug blows out (or so I discovered), which is good since it saves us from an explosion while also allowing us to finish whatever we're cooking since we can just close it again once the pressure drops enough to not pop it back open (usually a few seconds so long as the heat is also reduced).

 

But the moment it pops open and starts venting ~18-20 PSIG steam is pretty intense (you really had to be there).

 

It begins with the very startling (and loud) "POP!" sound as the valve opens followed immediately by the loudest roaring hiss you've probably ever heard (it was deafening) as the steam blasts out in four directions (as designed). At least the blast is disbursed enough and the vent holes are small enough to ensure you don't cook any skin off if you're standing close by. Getting hit by the vertical blast from a popped blowout plug would probably end very badly. So watch those gauges!

 

I've never left a cooker with the heat still on alone for more than about 10 minutes ever since, and I'm always within earshot of the weights rattling (I don't use the 907 hardly at all anymore). Having a mini steam explosion in my kitchen while using a cooker really made a lasting impression.


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#19 shiftingshadows

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 02:20 PM

Yes like

 

.... I also realized if you have the rubber blow out plug, point it away from you (Spin the Cooker), I point it toward the wall (make the plug north of you instead of SOUTH) behind the stove instead of the angled direction of my face. ....

 

Very good idea. I will remember it, and use it.


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#20 shiftingshadows

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 02:28 PM

 

 

 

 

...One thing I'm leery of is the common phenomenon of discovering that replacing a part that came with a piece of equipment as per the maintenance schedule (even if the part is still otherwise working fine) often results in the replacement part being of significantly lower quality or not working quite right or having some other issue that reminds us yet again that in most cases, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" is usually very good advice....

 

 

 

indeed -- it's been this way for awhile --- "Why Nothing Works: The Anthropology of Daily Life" , 1987  by Marvin Harris -- he attempts to address the issue, seems some of it is good -- some not so much...


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