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Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Posted by roandco z5ONT (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 25, 11 at 16:30

Hi All,

I�m new to pressure canning and recently purchased a Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner. I followed the directions and did a couple of dry runs but didn�t get a �jiggle� as per the instructions.

I phoned customer support and they said it really doesn�t jiggle, �it hisses�. I was also advised that on an electric stove the dial should be between 3 to MIN to keep it hissing. If the weight keeps popping up the pressure is too high so it should not continue to pop up during processing, just hiss.

My procedure:

I had the water heated to ~180 degrees when I placed my pints of very thick spaghetti sauce (with one inch headspace) into the canner filled with about 3 inches water. I had a dozen jars so I used the double rack. When all jars were in I put the lid on and dial temperature at high (as per instructions).

It took about 5 minutes before a steady stream of steam occurred and I continued to vent for 10 minutes still on high heat. After 10 minutes I added the weight.

With weight added, it took about 5-6 minutes before the weight popped up, spun and vented steam for a few seconds. At this point I slowly started to lower the heat and started timing. I took about 3 minutes to slowly lower the heat to about 4.5 on the dial.

About 3-4 minutes after this (6 minutes into a 20 min. processing time), the weight popped up, released steam for a few seconds. At this point I turned the heat down a little bit more over the next 2-3 minutes to about 2.5. I could still hear the same amount of boiling noise and the hissing continued so I left it at this temperature for the remaining time. The weight did not pop up again during the remaining time.

I turned the heat off after 20 minutes and just left the canner to cool on the element (instructions did not say to remove it from the element).

It took about 25-30 minutes for the pressure indicator button to drop down at which time I removed the weight and waited 10 minutes before removing the lid. I waited another 10 minutes before removing the jars.

I had some definite siphoning � coloured water but no solids at all.

All jars popped and sealed within 5 minutes of removal. Each jar is about one-half to three-quarter inch lower than when filled although this is consistent with every bottle.

If anybody has recently purchased a Mirro I would appreciate your suggestions since the manual seems to contradict what customer support told me and I have had siphoning in 2 batches but no seal failures (yet).

What dial temperature is appropriate during the processing time?
Should the weight pop up regularly and spin and vent during processing time?
How long should I take when reducing the temperature after starting the processing timing?

I found a few suggestions such as heating up the canner a little more slowly...not HIGH heat?
Removing canner from element after processing time is up?

Thanks for your help!

Ro


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I'll try to address a few of your questions for you. The best step-by-step directions for how to use any model pressure canner is linked below. It may answer many of your questions.

First, the manuals are notorious for inaccuracies so keep that in mind.

Second, the Mirro does hiss rather than jiggle IF one goes by the usual understanding of those words. It moves as it hisses so I suppose you could call that a jiggle but the important thing is weight activity and NOTE: it is supposed to move/hiss at the rate of 3-4 times per min. It sounds like your's wasn't doing that because you turned the heat down too much. It is much better to let it hiss and spin MORE than 3-4 times per min. than to risk under-processed food.

Third Mirro is considered a less than ideal brand since the company was sold 3-4 years back so not many new ones are sold. If return/exchange is still possible you may wish to consider that option. Most of us who have them have much older models from when quality was still good.

Lastly, it sounds as if there was far too much changing of the heat levels. Rather than using high try med-high and once the weight acitvity begins and is steadily active back the heat off a bit to med or med-low. Every stove is different and each requires lots of practice runs to determine the best dial number to use.

Hope this helps.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to use a pressure canner


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Hi Dave,

Thank you so much for replying so quickly! Well I just completed another practice run, no jars. Didn't set it to HIGH but to about 7.5 to heat up. It took longer to get up to the steady stream of steam phase but that's OK. I vented for 10 minutes and added the weight. It took a few minutes before the weight popped up, vented , hissed and jiggled. At this point I slowly turned down the heat just below 7 and started counting the "pop up, hisses, spins and jiggles". Over the next couple of minutes I had it down to 6 and timed over the next 15 minutes. I averaged between 3-4 "pop up, hisses, spins and jiggles" per minute...so I think I found "the number" or close to it.

Five is MED so with a full load perhaps I might have to adjust down closer to 5 or a little less but at least I now have more confidence that slowly moving down to 6 won't cause a huge pressure drop. The canner also took about 15 more minutes to depressurize than my other runs so I think that would indicate that a higher pressure was maintained during the test and is within the manuals 35-45 minute cooling period.

I've decided to reprocess the 12 pints from yesterday bringing the sauce back up to boil in a pot (it's a roasted sauce anyway) and recanning using fresh jars, lids, bands and reprocessing in the canner. I figure I can use up these jars within a couple of weeks then by making some lasagna, etc....

If this batch leaks...into the fridge and I'll be making alot of lasagna tomorrow!

The Mirro was on sale which was my reason for buying it a few weeks ago. I'll give it another few tries since I still have close to 90 days to return it anyway.

Thanks again for your help and advice!!!

Ro


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Honestly, the Mirro are not that good of quality. They sold out the company. The new ones have springs in the handles that keep breaking. New parts are getting harder to find.
If it were mine, I would take it back and get the Presto 22 quart one and buy the 3 piece weight set. Then you can use it as a weighted gauge canner.Plus, it will jiggle the whole time and takes the guesswork out of it.

They are better quality.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

  • Posted by rach07 Canadian 2b (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 26, 12 at 23:25

My instruction book for my Mirro 92022 says to "place the control on vent tube"... but it has a screw on thing on top. I find it very hard to screw the control on with the steam coming out! I know the year after I bought it the system was changed to something easier. I don't know if I can buy a piece to change it to that new system... would be a lot easier (and cooler!)


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I have that canner, and developed so much leakage during processing, that I started freezing everything instead. I have an electric stove and I couldn't get the "hisses" to do their thing at the right frequency.
It would hiss too often, so I would turn the heat down just a little.........then it would quit hissing altogether for several minutes, and I would be afraid I wasn't processing enough. Such a drag.
I would love to get back into canning, but there's no way I'm going to fight with this Mirro canner again.
I think I might go back to the water bath canner and add some citric acid to the tomatoes.......but not sure yet.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

The older Mirro canners such as this are really quite easy to fix and even to upgrade.

Leaking how? From where on the canner? Hissing at the right frequency - how often? 3, 5, 8 times a minute? It hurts nothing if it hisses/spins/jiggles at a slow continuous rate. It does more harm to play around with the heat than it does to let it jiggle continuously although that is normally controllable.

Dave

Dave


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 5, 12 at 21:40

My Mirro 22 qt is 40 years old and built like a bulldozer, also has the round 3-hole weight that actually jiggles, audibly rattling, allowing me to monitor canning from another room. (great for those long process's like tuna)

I understand it may be of different weight construction than the new Mirros, but I bring it to pressure/venting on high, and very gradually reduce the heat - aware that its rattling too hard often at the beginning, but I know I may experience siphoning if I drop too much too fast and have to increase the heat again - down slowly better than up and down. My sister bought it when new and used the canner while she was raising her family, and didn't have that issue using it on a gas range, but I do need to proceed with more caution on my electric stove...

The whole operation is so much easier and mistake free since buying a canning element for stove, makes all the difference in the world, the difference between having to baby and play with the dial setting and not having to...

Here is a link that might be useful: Like this one:


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I just bought the same 22 qt Mirro canner and had the same issues but with mine the steam vents out the side of the lid by the handle. Customer service said that was because it was over pressured and I needed to turn the heat down to low when the stream started venting out of the weight. This is my first time trying to can and I just dont know about this . . .


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Venting from the side, to me means, that the gasket hasn't settled in yet. What I do, first thing is to take the gasket out of the top and wash and gently stretch the gasket in warm water. This helps the gasket to 'fit'. Sometimes it takes awhile, even if the lid/gasket is on correctly.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I just bought the same 22 qt Mirro canner

Same as which one please? There are different models discussed in this 2 year old thread.

If yours is a brand new canner then about all it has in common with the older original Mirro canners is the name The new Mirro canners are made by several different manufacturers and have different model numbers so we need your exact Model number please.

Meanwhile venting out the side usually means the the lid is on wrong, the gasket is in upside down, or the gasket isn't "settled" as mentioned - it is pinched or twisted of something. But no there should be no venting out the side even if your heat was set too high.

This is why we always recommend several practice runs with just water in the canner before trying any foods.

Do not relay on the Customer Service for any brand canner for correct info. They are just young hired phone receptionists given a list of answers to use regardless of the question. They have no canning experience.

Dave


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

It is a brand new canner. I will try taking the gasket off and washing and stretching it a little in warm water to see if that works better. I haven't put any food in it yet. I am just trying to understand how it works without the pressure of worrying if the food is safe.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

miscindy, that's what you should do. why ruin good food by inexperience. I've found the newer the canner is, the more it needs to be worked into settling.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 29, 13 at 17:48

I have the vintage 22 qt Mirro that I realize is nothing like yours. You have the owners manual with this being a new purchase? As well as the little lever lock that drops into place on the new models, there seems to be a second spring that actually holds the gasket away from the edge preventing a seal unless the lid is correctly seated and in place. Is the steam escaping in the area of that Spring feature - if yours in fact does have that, it was not included in my own which closes in the traditional way of most canners.

The owners manual also recommends rubbing a little cooking oil on the gasket the first times you use it, but not more frequently than the first three times used.

Good for you in doing some practice runs before attempting food/canning, so many do not and must face unimaginable frustration when things don't go as planned.

OT - I see the Mirro manual includes the 10 minute vent time now, it's been added. None of my older manuals have that...

Here is a link that might be useful: Mirro manual, drawings of the lid mechanisms


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I have a mirro 22qt that i"ve had for about 10 years and never a problem until last year. now it leaks around the rim. I've changed the gasket twice and still have the same problem. I take good care of it and dont see any damage around the rim. Any suggestions? Sometimes it will come up to pressure, sometimes it wont.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Try inverting the gasket. Sometimes the replacement ones are difficult to tell top from bottom on. If that doesn't help try the pre-stretching trick, the heating in very hot water for an hour or so trick, and the oiling with vegetable oil trick. Some of the gaskets have been sitting in the packages so long that they need to be expanded to fit correctly.

Assuming it is the correct replacement gasket - the newer replacement parts sometimes aren't correct since the company was sold and sometimes there are two different code numbers listed for the same canner. One of those tricks should eliminate the problem.

Be sure to do at least a couple of trial runs using just water in the canner before using it with foods.

Dave


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I've just tried oiling the gasket and that seemed to work for now. Its identical to the old gasket and I feel silly saying but I don't see any difference flipping it over. But thanks for the suggestions and I might try turning it over.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

  • Posted by digdirt 6b-7a North AR (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 30, 13 at 16:18

I feel silly saying but I don't see any difference flipping it over.

Please don't feel silly. We have had several reports from folks about how it is impossible to tell by just looking at it yet when they flip it, for some reason it works. I don't know if it is just a mm thicker on one edge that does it or why it works.

But if the oiling seems to have done the trick that's great.

Dave


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

I realize this is an old thread but am hoping someone will see and reply . . . I just learned from a friend simple canning using a 30 year old old Mirro canner. I wanted to buy one with the jiggling dial and amazon only has a new version (model number 7114000221 or 7114000228) It is rated 4.2/5 stars on Amazon. I was going to order but my DH found this thread and is using it as an argument against ordering. Is this a canner I should avoid?? Should I consider purchasing an older used one from ebay?? Thanks for your advice!


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

We generally recommend against buying the new models of Mirro canners. There are just too many problems with them.

If this is the one you are looking at then by all means avoid it. The spring loaded handles tend to break easily, do not always engage, and leak. Plus you can easily burn your hand trying to get the weight in place after venting the canner.

There is no reason why you have to use a Mirro just because the friend has one and the Presto canners sold at amazon for about the same price are much better. amazon also sells the presto 3 piece weight set which works just like the round Mirro weight (what I assume you are calling a 'jiggling dial') does.

All canners come with a dial gauge+ a weight, or a dial gauge+a counter-weight, or just a weight depending on the model.

So tell us, what did your friend teach you and what are you interested in canning?

Dave


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 20:37

I'd second what Dave has said about the new Mirro canners. I can with one purchased new in the early 70's, its a completely different product. I've struggled a little finding the right gaskets for it, when parts are clearly too much of an issue I'll replace with Presto, or All American if that fits my then budget (two very different in price).

I looked on Ebay and find just three vintage. One looks well used and in questionable condition IMO. The second looks fine but with almost $35 shipping added to whatever the auction price may end with. The third is a 16 qt and becoming somewhat expensive with bids, and another day to go before auction end.

I'd be interested in how you answer Dave in what about the Mirro brand appealed to you and what you are interested in canning. Your friend may not be aware of the change in Mirro ownership and quality.


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Thankyou so much for your prompt replies Dave and morz8! Mirro has been deleted from my Amazon cart (-:
To answer your questions . . . my parents grew and canned/froze all their own veggies but my mother always kept us out of the kitchen in case it exploded. So I prefer the taste of canned veggies (and think they're healthier than store bought canned food) but have been scared to teach myself canning through a book (although Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is on order) and have been freezing everything. I have a family of 7 so we run through a lot of food and I would probably be canning large batches at a time. I also have the luck to live next to a 12 acre orchard that is on the market and the owner said we could harvest as much as we wish (although since he's not caring for it there isn't a huge harvest and once it sells I won't get anything). Mostly I would want to can veggies like green beans, peas, etc, some high acidic foods like tomatoes (we eat them 2-3 times a week), occasional fruits and soups, and down the road possibly chicken and goat meat. We tend to lose electricity here quite a lot so this is sort of my back up against food spoilage when it comes to the meat and soups especially.
My friend has canned for 60 years, but she only showed me green beans, tomatoes and peaches. This fall she is going to teach me how to do sauerkraut. I have three pages of notes. Off the top of my head . . . she told me to follow the poundage and times in my cooker's book for the food I'm canning . . . fill jars to the neck and clean the top edge, to boil the sealing lid and rings slightly, tighten lids finger tight, boil the water in the canner and then add the jars, keep the rubber gasket dry and clean and not to oil it, listen for the rattling to be fast and then slowly turn the heat down until it rattles about 4 times a minute and start timing from that point. Once the time has passed remove from heat and let it sit 4 hours to overnight before opening. She insisted the Mirros were the best so I was going to go with that but hers is very old so I am sure she has no idea the current quality. Oh, and she said to make sure the canner was the same size as the burner I put it on . . . I have a ceramic cooktop so to act like it was a glass cooktop. Thankyou so much for your help!


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Off the top of my head . . . she told me to follow the poundage and times in my cooker's book for the food I'm canning . . . fill jars to the neck and clean the top edge, to boil the sealing lid and rings slightly, tighten lids finger tight, boil the water in the canner and then add the jars, keep the rubber gasket dry and clean and not to oil it, listen for the rattling to be fast and then slowly turn the heat down until it rattles about 4 times a minute and start timing from that point. Once the time has passed remove from heat and let it sit 4 hours to overnight before opening. She insisted the Mirros were the best so I was going to go with that but hers is very old so I am sure she has no idea the current quality. Oh, and she said to make sure the canner was the same size as the burner I put it on . . . I have a ceramic cooktop so to act like it was a glass cooktop.

Welllll, this was what I was kind of worried about. Often when friends learn from friends who have been canning for years they have to un-learn some of what they were taught because the friend hasn't remained current with the research and guidelines.

I'm glad she got you over your fear of pressure canners as that is the first step and not a valid concern. Bet your Mom's never exploded. :)

So next step is resolving the issues of the ceramic cooktop and how to can on it and that will determine what PC you can buy to use on it unless like many of us you want to go with a separate burner for canning to eliminate those problems. So don't buy until you read through all the discussions here on which ones will work on glass-top stoves and find out if your burners cycle off and on or not. Check with your stove manufacturer.

Then you can start a new thread and we can all talk about some of the things your friend taught you that will need to change, ok?

Dave

Edited to add - in the mean time please go to NCHFP, the recognized authority in safe home canning, and begin to do some reading there on the canning guidelines. They also have an online course you can take if interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: National Center for Home Food Preservation

This post was edited by digdirt on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 10:39


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

Groan. I actually have two cooktops and had called prior to starting this and was told the older one wouldn't hold the weight but the newer one (a Frigidaire) would be OK as long as the canner had a flat bottom and it was sized appropriately for the burner. BUT after seeing your post I pulled the manual out. There's nothing about canning in it but I saw it has radiant burners. So I just called again and the woman says there's no warning not to can on my stove. I then asked about radiant burners and she said that it does mean heat cycles on and off. So that sounds to me like no pressure canning?
Thanks for your help Dave. Feeling defeated right now )-: Which burner do you have??


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RE: Mirro 22 quart weighted pressure canner questions

No need to feel defeated as there is always a solution. I use propane burners to can as do many others but there are also many different electric coil burners available. Several different models discussed in the other threads here.

Smooth top stoves are great for keeping clean and ok for cooking most times but they just aren't made for those of us who do lots of canning.

Others have reported they can do pressure canning with the Presto 16 qt as it has the right shaped bottom and pot diameter. No personal experience with it.

Dave


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