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Pressure Canner Safety Reminder


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#21 shiftingshadows

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 02:32 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.

....

 

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.

 

 

Another item some may not realize are potential deadly bombs, 

are of course SCUBA tanks,

And like wise welding tanks,

Or any tanks of highly compressed gas.

 

They should never be dropped;

Or used without first, having been trained in safety procedures.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 26 March 2022 - 02:34 PM.

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#22 Juthro

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Posted 26 March 2022 - 03:51 PM

Absolutely, any type of vessel that is holding high pressure can be dangerous if it fails.   I saw the aftermath of an air compressor tank that exploded in a mechanic shop that a friend of mine worked at.   Luckily no one was in the compressor room when it blew, as it would likely have killed them.  It blew the door to the room off of its hinges, and blasted part of the wall out.  It looked like a bomb had gone off, and essentially that's what happened.

 


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#23 BuckarooBanzai

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Posted 27 March 2022 - 09:32 PM

It doesn't take much built up pressure to do damage if a container fails catostrophically. 

 

Even if there is no shrapnel thrown our ears and eyes are quite sensitive to significant pressure changes.

 

TVCasualty makes a very important point. Buy OEM replacement parts for your PC! Don't go cheap when refitting things that can explode.

 

 

 


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#24 Mycomaniac2007

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 10:12 PM

This is why I liked my all American so much with the screw down heavy aluminum. It was a beast but saying that, it would be a BEAST if you let it pressurize and blow but the release valve would have to be severely fucked.. anyway, I never felt comfortable around the cheap ones.
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#25 Juthro

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 10:35 PM

I hear you, I have much more trust for my AA then I do for cheaper, and thinner canners.   Though I do like the smaller style pressure cookers for fuel efficient cooking off grid.   I go with stainless for that though, as I feel stainless holds up better over camp stoves, and open fire type use.  Though aluminum is more efficient at transferring heat, and lighter if you've got to pack it...

 

Sorry, I'm getting off topic :) 


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#26 shiftingshadows

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 09:23 AM

the Presto 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker Canner,

gives the benefit of both a rocker weight (for safety),

and a gauge which makes it a 'canner'.

 

The disadvantage is that it does not have stop cock,

to ensure a vacuum upon cooling.

 

But if safety is the main concern,

(and less weight than the 23 quart presto)

then the rocker weight, ensures a limit on pressure build up.

 

https://www.amazon.c...,aps,200&sr=8-5

 

and if weight of a full canner is not an issue, but safety of a weight is an issue:

 

https://www.amazon.c...0000BYCFU&psc=1

 

https://www.amazon.c...07PYLD742&psc=1

 

10.5 pounds when empty vs 12 pounds cooker weight; but 7 quarts vs 18 quarts, when full of jars, is the big difference in weight

 

of course if weight, & money are not concerns, and you are the conscientious type, many prefer the All Americans


Edited by shiftingshadows, 14 May 2022 - 10:29 AM.

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#27 Severian

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 10:11 AM

Just to chime in here with a bit of personal stupidity

 

 

I live in a place where 'chop wood carry water' is a reality; well, or at least 'carry 20kg propane tank and water' 

 

Meaning, to do dishes, I generally fill up my pressure cooker with water from the outside tap and carry it in to heat/boil

 

It's been a while since I've actually used it for its 'intended' purpose (ie mushrooms), so i've gotten familiar with it more as the pot I boil water in...

 

Normally I don't let it pressurize to do so- 

 

Well, one day I was in a hurry and accidently left it longer than I normally do, and it pressurized- I turned off the heat and decided I could just rush the process a bit and open the lid before the pressure seal had fully depressed..... 

 

 

Yeah, dont do that. Ever. 

 

 

Super hot water gushing out of the top of the PC. Lucky I waited for as long as I did.... and that I'm a fucking ninja and I've been intentionally cultivating my reflexes and max speed of limb-movement. 

 

Eeeee. 


Edited by Severian, 14 May 2022 - 10:14 AM.

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#28 Juthro

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 10:24 AM

I do like the gauge for a reference for when the pressure has equalized, but it is not a necessity to be able to can.  My brother runs a Mirro canner that only runs a weight, and doesn't have a gauge, and it works fine.   I wouldn't trade it for my All American, but back when I got it for my brother, it was about 1/5 the price of a new AA921.    They both do the same job, and hold the same maximum number of jars.

 

I dont like canners that rely only on a gauge, as gauges have a finite life span.  Their accuracy will drift over the span of their life, a weight isn't going to change the pressure it holds unless you physically damage it, or the surface it mates with.


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#29 shiftingshadows

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 10:41 AM

A mirro like my mom had back in the day. It provided 3 different weights/pressure just by rotating the weight.

 

Screen Shot 2022-05-14 at 9.33.32 AM.png

 

https://duckduckgo.c...80-original.jpg

 

https://duckduckgo.c...zZYk/s-l400.jpg



#30 Juthro

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:08 PM

Yeah, that one has got a three holed round weight like the All American's use, and it is the style of weight I prefer.   The Mirro I got my brother is a 22qt canner, and it came with three separate weights, one for 5, 10, and 15 psi.  They work fine, but it's just more stuff to store, and potentially loose.   


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#31 shiftingshadows

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:24 PM

Back in the day, all All American canners came with a stopcock

now they call it a  "All American Sterilizer 65 Control Valve"

and it only comes on the Sterlizers, which cost much more.

It is necessary to go over 15lbs pressure;

and also

to hold a vacuum till the canner is in front of the flowhood.

https://www.allameri...lizer-Parts.htm

https://www.allameri...-Sterilizer.htm

The canner now can't go over 15lbs unless a control valve is also purchased and installed.

https://www.allameri...ure-Canners.htm


Edited by shiftingshadows, 14 May 2022 - 06:27 PM.


#32 Juthro

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 07:59 PM

I remember back in the day (80's) a good friend of mine had a job as a veterinary phlebotomist, and one of his jobs was sterilizing collection vials.  They used  All American sterilizers for the job.  They had a couple of stove top units, and a couple of electric ones.   Anyway they all had the petcock valves on them, like you said.   

 

Weighted pressure regulators were designed for the home market, as a way to make things safer and easier for the average Joe.  The beauty of the weighted pressure release is you don't have to pay the same level of attention to the pressure vessel,  you set it for slightly more input heat then it needs to maintain the pressure you want, and the weight will release excess pressure to keep you in the sweet spot.  You don't have to be looking at the gauge all the time, you can just listen for the jingle of the weight bouncing while doing other chores.  The petcock styles need you to pay pretty good attention to the gauge (that needs to regularly calibrated), and you have to adjust the input heat up or down to keep the pressure where you need it to be.  You let it drop too low and you have to start your cycle timer over, let it get to high and you risk blowing the safety plug.

 

Personally I don't ever need to run anything over 15psi, and for canning food I only run 10psi (I live under 100' above sea level), and that's 90% or better of what my canner does.  That is why I prefer the weighted regulators over just a gauge.

 



#33 TVCasualty

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 12:11 PM

 

The canner now can't go over 15lbs unless a control valve is also purchased and installed.

https://www.allameri...ure-Canners.htm

 

If you're adventurous you get get a few more PSI out of it by taping a quarter to the weight.



#34 bezevo

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 05:19 PM

i have two Vintage All American  PC ..Thrift store finds  ....ones 15 quart , one  is 18 quart size . they both have pressure gauges .. over pressure plugs and no  jiggler weight they came with stopcock i was going to convert to jiggler weight but was advised if i was responsible  enough to monitor them closely that the stopcock wa superior to hold a vacuum till the canner is in front of the flowhood.  . so i set a cpl timers. one for total time one to remind me to check frequently . i have AADD  and tend to not  always focused . so far .i been  safe no OH SHIT OOPS Moments .

 

i did replace one of the gauges and i have a cpl  extra parts like lid screw down handles  over pressure plugs ect .

 

BEZ


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#35 Nichrome

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Posted 18 May 2022 - 07:59 PM

I mushroomed out a cheap one once. Puffed up like a balloon. It said it was rated for 15 psi but that was obviously a lie. Glad to still have my eyeballs.






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