Pressure Canner won't open

lakewriterAugust 14, 2008

I have a 22 qt mirro pressure canner. It closes very hard, but once the pressure in the canner has gone down, I can't open it at all. My husband gets a rubber hammer and opens it like that. I have had this canner for over 20 years, and haven't used it in approximately 10 years. But once we ran into this problem, I remember that I had experienced this problem years ago. I remember that it became harder and harder to open the canner. I have replaced the gasket this year but it is still impossible to open. Any suggestions>

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shirleywny5(5)

Try a bit of vegetable on top and bottom of the gasket. Test it first and I'm sure you will notice the ease in opening.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:12AM
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shirleywny5(5)

Vegetable oil, that is.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 10:14AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

My 70's era Mirro 22 qt does the same thing - oiling (just a tiny bit) the gasket works. I rub a bit of oil on the flange parts of the lid and canner top flanges where they would meet the lid when closed tight too....I don't have to repeat when refilling to do a second canner full.

It never did this with the original gray gaskets when those were available, but certainly does with the new replacements. I had to call a friend to come over and release the lid when canning tuna one year - could NOT get the lid off, DH out of town, very frustrating :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 11:31AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

These seals must always have a lubricaton applied. The older gray seals were just a plan rubber that could dry and crack. The newer ones use silicone based rubber. I have even used a non stick cooking spray. The other choice is a metal to metal seal, that requires no gasket. These are a differnet brand, but stll require the seal area to be lubricated

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 1:08PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

If it's really, really stuck, try re-heating the canner (leave the weight off) just until the sides are hot to the touch. Turn off the heat and see if you can twist the lid off.

Carol

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:52PM
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ruafoodie

Hopefully someone will see this, especially since the thread's been dormant a couple of months now. This was helpful I think.
I am right smack in the middle of canning pork and can't get the lid ON, let alone off. Last time I used the pressure canner, about 6 weeks ago I had a devil of a time then too. SO I've removed the jars and taken off the lids since they were all popping and I don't want this low acid dish sealing without processing. I'll stick all of it in the fridge tonight and deal with it tomorrow. It's too late to try again tonight. I washed the lid and applied oil all aorund the seal. I'll go back and reread those intructions carefully again to make sure I've done as recommended. So tomorow morning I shouldn't have any difficulty closing the canner? (I hope) It's one of the old 23 or 26 qt Prestos-can't remember which, bought in about 1976. I don't remember it being so difficult in the past, but then maybe my husband always opened it for me and I've just forgotten. If it doesn't work, then I'm going to just put everything back in the pressure cooker(a different pot than the canner) and cook it to the doneness I'll want for use, and put it in the freezer. I wanted to get some of the excess out of the freezer though so I sure hope this all works. Waaaa

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:34AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Is the gasket still in good shape and not stretched or hardened? If it isn't stretched, oiling it lightly should work - it does for my 70's era canner - those older models are so darned heavy I can't imagine them becoming warped or going 'out of round'. I canned total 4 cases of tuna just a few weeks ago and all was well with positioning and removing the lid after giving some attention to the gasket.

You might try rubbing just a little oil on the flanges of the top of the canner too ...by flanges I mean the parts that extend out and would make contact with the lid when turned into place.

Let us know how you do. I pressure cook a pork chili style dinner that I like, but it wouldn't take the place of jars of meat :)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 3:07AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Will the lid settle down onto the canner ok but just not twist to lock or does it not even set down into place? If it won't even set into place then either the lid or the canner is warped and will have to be replaced.

If it just won't twist to lock then try removing the gasket, rotate it 1/4 turn and put it back on and check the extension tabs to make sure none of them is bent. If that and the oil doesn't work you will need a new gasket.

Meanwhile cooking and freezing is the best solution. Good luck.

Dave

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 9:26AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

As mentioned, you may need a new rubber gasket. Newer ones are usally very well made and are silicone based. To oil the seal area, remove the gasket enirely and wash well, including the gasket. For lubrication, veg oil is OK, but tends to get sticky and difficult after a lot of heating. Here, I use a food grade silicone lubricant and this is appled to the gasket channel, the gasket, the top flange of the canner, as well as most everywhere hard metal will be sliding on other hard metal. If you have a really flat surface, check to see if the lid has becomed warped. Just a slight amount can cause a lot or grief. Here is a site for the silcone spray lubricant that is food grade and will not get sticky. If you still feel 'sticky' on the canner, it could have some hardened vegetable oil thats very difficult to remove. For non food contact areas outside the canner at the top latching flancg, you could also use a small amount of Vaseline, but avoid that in the internal areas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Silicone spray- food grade

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 10:53AM
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greenhouser2

What about using inexpensive Mineral Oil to lube the lid? People use it when constipated as it's non toxic and passes right through the human gut.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:11AM
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ruafoodie

I posted a thank you hours ago but it isn't here. So I'll add it again. I followed the instr, using veg oil instead of silicone since I can't handle the silicone, and put the danged seal in the proper groove (duh) and it worked just fabulously. How I'll handle the potential varnish effect is just scrub the lid and seal obsessively after each use.
So thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 3:44AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

This is going to sound odd, but just as a heads-up for others who might be having a problem with their canners, sometimes there's a right-side-up on those gaskets and if it's inserted the wrong direction there will be problems both putting on and taking off the lid.

I know that has been the case with some Presto models.

Carol

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:05PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Because the silicone remains stable and will not get to a 'varnish' stage, it does have its advantages. Mineral oil could be used too, but I am not sure how high its resistent to heat is. Its always a good idea to try and get rid of all dried oil traces. One way, is to use a mild oven cleaner, that has no strong fumes. Using the more powerful 'Easy Off', can eat into the aluminum. I have also use Goo Gone to get rid of hardened dried grease. Removing and reoiling the rubber seal is one way to reduce any issues with a poor seal or a stuck seal.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:54PM
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miscredhead

I have a pressure that has always been difficult to open but not I cannot get it open at all. I see that I need a new seal and or to oil it but, any ideas on how to get this lid off now. I even had my neighbors husband fight with it and CANNOT get it off. Do I really have to throw the whole thing away?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 10:28AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Do I really have to throw the whole thing away?

You may have to. But depending on the model there are a couple of things you can try first. Invert the pot and soak the sealed rim with WD-40 or a similar silicone spray all around. Let it sit that way for several hours and then try to open it. If it does then you will need to clean the lid and rim well with hot soapy water before using.

Or you can take it to a machine shop and see if they can get it open for you but it may still do enough damage in the process that it will have to be replaced. If they are careful enough then you may only have to replace the lid, not the base pot.

Dave

    Bookmark   January 2, 2013 at 3:05PM
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