Pressure canners?

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by ruthcatrin, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. ruthcatrin

    ruthcatrin Well-Known Member

    I have an old Mirro 16qt (the 0406 model) thats as old as I am. It worked fine last time I used it, this time it won't hold a seal, which means its not holding pressure properly, and I have no clue why. I tried oiling the seal, replacing the seal, oiling the replacement seal.....

    I know we don't have a ton of canners on here.....

    I tried contacting the company that owns Mirro, and they said that if I'd replaced the seal then there wasn't anything else to be tried, but they DID send me a mail in rebate for use on a replacement purchase of one of their canners. I thought that was cool, and settled in to look.....the old canner uses a weight to maintain pressure, it jiggles as it releases steam to keep the pressure from going to high. When its jiggling at a rate of 3 or so times a minute its holding pressure properly, though the noise of the jiggling can be annoying it has the benefit of allowing me to listen to it anywhere in the house and be sure that the canner is maintaining properly......the new Mirro canners don't jiggle, instead they just "puff" steam 3 times a minute when at can't listen for a "puff", at least not in my house. Arg.

    The more I look the more it looks like I don't have an option, its a choice Mirro's puffing weight (less than $100, Presto's dial gauge (which also requires constant checking, less than $100), or spending $200 on an All American canner with both a jiggle weight and a gauge. I'm less than thrilled about this to put it mildly.

    I don't suppose anyone on here has a pressure canner they can recommend?
  2. Smokeycat

    Smokeycat Well-Known Member

    Hope someone who knows answers this as I have been considering getting one.
  3. ruthcatrin

    ruthcatrin Well-Known Member

    The more research I do the less I want a new Mirro. Reviews from people who are replacing an old one show alot of them are very unhappy with the quality of the new Mirro/Wearever pressure canners, and not just because of the lack of jiggling weight. Now, if I can find another used old Mirro canner I'd snap it up in a heart beat.....

    Presto has a good rep, but you have to be willing to keep checking the pressure dial on a regular basis (most folks set a timer for every 10minutes or so), and you may need to periodically have the dial recalibrated. They do require a rubber gasket to seal properly (the Mirro's do too), which requires occasional replacement, though in general they can last for years.

    All American is considered high end and quality. Most people who've used them love them. They have a jiggle weight, so you don't have to worry about calibrating the dial (though its recommended), and they don't require a rubber gasket to seal.
  4. broccolini

    broccolini Well-Known Member

    I've never been impressed with any of the new stuff Mirro makes.

    Also, I don't know anything about pressure cookers except that they sound dangerous enough that I wouldn't skimp on quality. Do you have any Goodwill or Value Village type stores in your area? Old pressure cookers sound like something that most people wouln't place much value on.
  5. ruthcatrin

    ruthcatrin Well-Known Member

    A variety of private consignment shops and a Salvation Army store. Next time I'm in Syracuse I do intend to hit up the SA store to see if I might get lucky.

    "newer" pressure canners (which generally means stuff as old as me and some older) have safety pressure releases to keep them from turning into pressure bombs, so as long as you're carefull to follow directions they're safe.

    The biggest issue is that if you get enough dings around the rims they stop sealing correctly, which means a lack of pressure, which means that things don't get cooked and canned properly, which means a botulism risk for low acid foods like meat. So buying used is always a risk (risk that they won't work right and you won't know till you try, its pretty easy to tell that its not holding pressure and thus that the food you're canning won't be safe to store outside of a fridge or freezer, every modern case of botulism involves serious stupidity on the part of the person doing the canning.....). On the other hand, you're right, used 20+yr old canners don't generally go for alot, so I'm still hoping I'll get lucky. Been stopping at yard sales etc keeping an eye out....
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014
  6. ruthcatrin

    ruthcatrin Well-Known Member

    No luck at SA or similer stores, and none at any of the yard-sales I've hit.

    I'm currently trying to keep an eye out for sales on All American pressure canners. $200 isn't cheap, but after some discussion with my husband we think we're going to be using it enough to make it worth spending the money on.
  7. ruthcatrin

    ruthcatrin Well-Known Member

    New canner arrived today, and I promptly jarred up the majority of the left over smoked pork from this weekend. The All American 921 is larger than my old Mirro, at least in capacity, so its not surprising that its heavier, but it also flat out feels sturdier. And I like the closing system better. There were some reviews that some women found it hard to open after the pressure was released, but I had no issues with it.

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