save $$ top-quality pressure cooker/canner

junkmanmeOctober 11, 2006

If you've seen the prices on the All-American pressure cooker/canners and don't wish to spend that amount of money, here is how you can get the same thing for a LOT LESS MONEY.

The vintage National pressure cookers made in Eau Claire, Wisconsin years ago use the same basic gasket to fool's a machined fit for the lid...with turn-screws to secure the lid.

The only difference is the "pressure-relief". The old Nationals had a screw-valve to adjust the pressure relief. It wasn't too handy because you needed to watch it all the time and watch the pressure gauge to keep your pressure "in-line".

All-American (and most others these days) use a weight to vent the pressure automatically. Very Safe and Practical.

If you have an old National gasketless aluminum pressure cooker/canner, you can make it exactly like the high-priced All-Americans very cheaply and simply:

1. remove the National "screw-type" pressure vent. (will probably require a pair of "water-pump pliers" (channel-lock type).

2. into the threaded hole that the National vent came out of (on the lid), install an All-American pressure cooker vent pipe. It uses the same threads as the one you took out. (Will require a 7/16 wrench)

Tighten it securely, but be careful not to overdo it and strip the aluminum threads in the lid.

3. Use the 3-way All-American (or Mirro) pressure cooker weight on the new vent pipe. (flat circular shape with three different settings 5 lb. 10 lb. and 15 lb.

You now have the same cooker as All-American as much less cost.

You can find the parts by doing a search on Ebay.

If you don't have an old National Pressure cooker/canner, you can also find them very reasonably on Ebay. Shipping is expensive on these "heavy" items, so try to find one near where you live.

NOTE: These are the cookers with the "thumb-screw" lock downs, and are the larger pressure cookers.

I've done 3 of these cookers this way and they all work GREAT!!!

Be sure that your pressure gauge is functional so that you can verify the pressure relief of the pressure regulator (3-way weight).

I hope someone can use this information.

Best Regards,

Bruce (Junkmanme on GardenWeb)

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I love my new modern pressure cooker, use it a lot for soups and stews in a lot less time. Lagostino bought new on ebay and saved lots of $$.
I don't know why more people don't have a pressure cooker - I am a working full-time mom and it is real time saver for me.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:22AM
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Here are some pictures that should make the conversion that I mentioned a little bit clearer:

Picture of Vintage National Pressure Cooker

Picture of the "old" vent that should be replaced. It is the one on the right.

This is the "new" vent pipe to replace the National one.

This is the correct regulating weight to use.

I hope this makes the procedure a little bit more understandable.

Best Regards,
Bruce (Junkmanme)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 1:07PM
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Hello All!

I tried to post a "link" to this posting at another appropriate forum.

I was unable to do so...All I got was warnings about making "commercial ads" on Garden Web. I was unable to post the "link".

For the record: I have no commercial interest in this posting whatsoever! I was only trying to show other folks how to "save a buck".

Since there has been no interest in this posting, I would like to delete it. Can anyone tell me how to delete a posting?

Bruce (Junkmanme)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 8:42PM
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For Presto and All American Pressure Cooker Parts go this this site, the prices are reasonable.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 12:41PM
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    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 5:45AM
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So, you can use the mirro weighted pressure gauge instead of buying a factory All American one? I have a mirro weight, and just got an older All American that has the ejector instead of the vent and weight. I was wondering if I could just use my mirro on it.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 4:46PM
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The Mirro weight will work just fine (as long as it looks like the one in the picture).

The All American ejector ... I don't know.....not having seen it. If it looks like the All American Vent Pipe and the threads that mount it are the same, it would PROBABLY work fine. However, If I were you, I would get the All American vent pipe. (I know that works!)

The vent pipe from the Mirro will PROBABLY work also. (Look at it closely and compare to the pictures I posted.)
Be SURE to compare the "threads" where the parts screw into the lid. DON'T OVERTIGHTEN, but get it snug. (If the threads "leak" just a very little when you first heat it up...don't worry. It will most likely seal itself if it is very very close to tight. just DON"T "strip" the threads in the aluminum lid.

Hope this helps.

Happy Canning!
Bruce (Junkmanme)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 6:16PM
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To add to this you can use the All-American Geared Steam Gauge for Pressure Cookers (Name: 72 (Z000127))
The All-American company lists the part others sell it as well -

I cannot verify but the "Side Handle Complete" (Name: 405 (630230)) might be a viable replacement for any missing Side handles for the National.

You can Down Load the All-American manual from here: for free. It does contain information on the care for your pressure cooker, which I think, applies to the National as well, even about lubricating the mating surfaces with petroleum jelly.

Thank you junkmanme for posting this information, I too now have an excellent pressure canner, brought back from being forgotten on a back shelf.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 1:29AM
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Hello Bruce- I finally found this link again.
In 1960 my father fixed up an old National pressure cooker, it has a screw down lid just like the American but has a gasket under the lid. He used the vent tube and the 3 way pressure regulator from a Mirro. It works great. I am 80 and have been using it for the last 47 years. He left the part ON that you suggest removing and removed the one on the left of the picture. I bought a new All American (holds 14 quart jars) and have an older American (holds 8 jars)which is without the vent tube and 3 way regulator. I tried fixing the older American (using your instructions) with some Mirro parts and it wouldn't work. I think it is because the Mirro vent tube has a smaller hole in it than the American (it is also a bit shorter) I sent for and received two American vents and am going to use them (with your instructions) on the old American and an old National (gasketless) I have a big garden and go to the valley for fruit and tomatoes which we can't grow well here. I can for myself and grandkids too. I have an ancient restaurant size (6 burner) Garland gas range and also two big iron grated camp stoves on table legs (2 burners each) that I bring into the kitchen. I can have 7 cookers going at once when I am canning beef. I am going to try and convert about two of my other old cookers. Picking from two more Wards, 3 old Burpees (all with gaskets) and several others I have collected through the years. Our local hardware store can test pressure gauges. I found your articles here very helpful thank you. Lorraine

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 7:50PM
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I have this pressure cooker and one of the plastic screw down things just broke. Can this be replaced? Where would I get a replacement?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 12:09PM
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Although I'm NOT ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN, I suspect that the knobs for All-American Canners will have the same "threads".
Look at the following website:

hope this helps.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 12:42PM
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I had an All-American that I picked up at a yard sale years ago. Thanks to your instruction it has been updated and is ready for use.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 12:29AM
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I have a National Preasure Cooker Eau Clair Wis. #12. It has 6 steel (chrome) wing nuts for the lid and wood handles. The gauge is a National with a outline of a capital dome on the left of the face. It has a ring on the bottom opposite the lineing arrow. Can you tell me how to find what year it was made and what the ring is for ( maybe to help pour)?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:42PM
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I have a National Pressure Canner which is the same as you describe...except mine doesn't have the ring at the bottom. (I suppose it is for pouring....dunno.)
My guess is that these were made in the 1930s before WW II.
(just a guess.....could be late 40s, early 50s. )
To my knowledge, they don't have any Serial Numbers on I don't think you could identify the particular year they were made....They were made for quite a long while. Probably only someone who worked in the foundry for decades could even hazard a guess as to year of manufacture....and I expect most if not all of those people have grown old and passed on.
Not much help, I guess. I wouldn't concern myself with that. The important thing is that they work...and VERY WELL, too ! HAPPY CANNING/COOKING !!!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 10:47AM
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Great post! And the perfect instructions for updating a vintage pressure canner.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 2:13PM
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I looked at this "TuffWare". They just DON'T COMPARE FAVORABLY to the All-American OR the old National Pressure Cooker/Canners that we have discussed HERE.

A different "Breed-of-Cat" !!!
( and NOT so useful as these OLD Nationals.)


    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 7:09AM
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The largest Tuffware I see in the link above is 9 liters, or approx. 10 quarts, right? Not large enough to qualify as canners I don't think. You might get the test number of 4 one quart jars inside, bottom rack, and get the lid on, but generally a 12 quart is about the smallest size that will accommodate those - 4 one-quart jars is the standard for checking whether the pan can be used as a pressure canner or only a cooker for food not in jars.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 11:34AM
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