Canner Operation Question

GeneTheNewGuyJuly 23, 2012

I have a Presto #7, I think it's about as old as me, we're both about old enough to join the aarp. It has an accurate enough gauge and a vent pipe knob thing. Would it help if I posted a picture? It was checked over by the OSU county extension service a few weeks ago, she gave me a written report that said the gauge read 1 pound higher than actual, she said that's ok, she said the gasket was fine and it was in good shape and ready to go, and to be sure to bring it back in next year for another check.

Yesterday I used it for the first time. I was able to keep the gauge between 11 and 14 pounds but it was a constant effort. I had to get a chair and sit right in front of my gas stove and monitor the pressure and adjust the flame.

I've read mention of a wiggle jiggle thing that I can buy to ease this, but I can't seem to find enough info to help me figure it out.

Would this be beneficial to do? Is it a direct drop in thing or do you have to change the vent pipe? If so how to do that, is it hard what is involved?

Should I just sell the old Presto #7 and get an All American 915 or 921?

Thanks in advance for all your help, I really appreciate all the experience and knowledge here and the willingness to help us newcomers.

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GeneTheNewGuy

OK I see there is another thread kind of answering what I am asking, but it mentions what I think is a brand new current model pressure canner. I think mine is around 50 years old. And I guess what I am calling the wiggle jiggle thing is called a pressure regulator? Will that retrofit? Call me terribly confused and wanting to be very very safe. Gene

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:43PM
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GeneTheNewGuy

Ah shoot, I think I may be referring to the weight thing.
I feel like I am in a foreign country and I only speak English and trying to communicate with the locals.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:00PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The weight set will work on the old model National # 7 if it is the 16 qt. model with the hole in the center of the lid (there were 2 different Model 7) with the petcock. But you also have to remove the vent pipe on it and replace it with the new model vent pipe for the weights to work.

So you unscrew and remove the old vent, get the new model wrap it in plumbers tape and screw it in tightly, test for leaks and if ok, use the weights on it.

On a canner that old I would replace the over-pressure plug (auto air vent) as well.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Model 7 parts list

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:06PM
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GeneTheNewGuy

I will enclose some pics. The label says Presto #7 16 quart. If you were to hold the lid in your hands, one hand on each ear or handle, with the gauge nearest you (belly button area), you would see the black plug thing right in the very middle. In the back of the lid, farthest away from you, is what I presume is referred to as the vent pipe. It's a tube with a very narrow hole in it that you can see through and the steam vents out of while venting. Is this old canner retro-fittable with the modern day weight gauge jiggly thing? I would rather fix up this old canner or buy a new All American 915 or 921, as opposed to buying a brand new Presto which I understand is made in china, and I just hate to buy anything from china, for numerous reasons. If Presto was still making these in the USA I'd just buy a new one.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:07PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Gene - which pressure regulator (piece that sits on the vent pipe) do you have? Does it look like this? If not can you put up a pic of it? If so then the 3 piece weight set should work on it.

I don't know that they are made in China. I know some folks claim they are but then some also claim the All Americans are made in China. There is no actual proof about either that I have ever found, just rumors. I do know that Presto has 3 factories, all in the US.

But there are also great used Prestos and used All Americans available without going to the expense of a new AA. I have all 3 brands and each has their strengths and weaknesses but I much prefer my Presto 23 qt. over the others.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:42PM
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GeneTheNewGuy

Here is a pic of the vent thing. I am sorry I just don't know what to properly call it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:55PM
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GeneTheNewGuy

Here is another pic. I have photobucket but I can't seem to upload multiple.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 10:10PM
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GeneTheNewGuy

Another pic

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 10:13PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

That is a counter weight. It only holds pressure in, you adjust the pressure with the heat from the burner.
With a weight set, you use the right combination for your altitude. Here I use 10 lb. They are self venting after you do the initial venting of the canner and the weight is put on. When it comes up to pressure it will rock. It self regulates and vents out. It will rock the whole time on a Presto..
The vent pipe on yours will have to be replaced in order for the weight set to fit. Your vent pipe is too large in diameter.
I have not read that the new Presto canners are made in China. I would have to do some searching to find out.
I also love my 23 qt. size Presto canners.
I use the weight set on mine.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 10:36PM
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GeneTheNewGuy

Thanks Linda Lou! I appreciate.

What I can tell you for a fact is, I was in Walmart and Ace Hardware, picked up the Presto Pressure Canner box and it said "made in china".

I don't know. I am just gunshy about things from china, it seems they are cheap and flimsy and don't work well or long. I know the chinese make good stuff but the American retailerss just want it as cheap as they can get it due to competition and trying to get the lowest possible price point. If I can find a good used American made Presto I will buy it, or a brand new in the box American made Presto.

I'm not trying to turn this into a bash china thread, just stating my concerns.

I will see about getting ahold of Presto and ordering a new vent pipe and weighted regulator thing.

Thanks a bunch,
Gene

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:05PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I will see about getting ahold of Presto and ordering a new vent pipe and weighted regulator thing.

Hi Gene - glad to see Linda Lou jumped in and she covered everything as to what will need replacing

Getting the vent pipe from them is usually no problem but don't try to order the 3 piece weight set from Presto. Others have tried and they get all sorts of grief from Customer Service as they only want to see you parts for your specific model.

You can order both parts online from several sources or you can take the part numbers to Ace and they will order them for you.

Dave

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 8:56AM
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aquilachrysaetos

I am landing on this thread a year late but I wanted to add what scared me off from a new presto canner. I read online that they don't recommend using them on burners rated more than 12,000 BTUs. My front burners are 17,000 and 13,000.

I ended up buying one of these old Nationals. It has the petcock set like the OP's. It's useable but I will eventually swap out the vent pipe and weight.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 1:35AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Just turn your burners down. There is no need to use them at their max levels any time during canning and the majority of the time they are running at half or less.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:03AM
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aquilachrysaetos

But I like how fast it comes up to pressure on a big burner. 7 Minutes to get the air out and 4 To get to 15 psi.

I haven't used it to can yet but I did make a big pot of black bean soup which was eaten up in a hurry.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 1:04PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Venting time is 10 min. not 7 min. You will still have too much air in the canner at 7 min.
Then, are you at a high elevation to use 15 lb. pressure ? We never recommend canning at 15 lb. unless you are at a higher elevation.
I agree, just turn the burner down some.
Also, the time it takes for the canner to come up to pressure and then to cool down is part of the safe processing time. If it is rushed, foods are considered underprocessed. That is part of why you don't use more than 12,000 btu's.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 1:27PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Linda Lou makes several vital points you really need to note. Forced fast heating up to pressure is just as bad as forcing a cool down. Both invalidate the processing time. And proper venting time is indeed 10 min, not 7.

No canner manufacturer recommends more than 12,000 BTU. That is standard in the industry. Just because we may have a burner that powerful sure doesn't mean we have to use all it's BTUs or even should.

I use propane burners for canning that have 30,000 BTU potential. But they also have very nice adjustment control knobs for a reason so I'm sure not going to turn them all the way up when using an aluminum canner on them..

Dave

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 2:09PM
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