Is something wrong with my Vintage Canner?

mypolar628November 20, 2013


I am a new canner. Have been canning for about a month and love it! I have the USDA book and the Ball Book. I have a pressure canner that I am concerned about. My first pressure canner was a Vintage Presto 7b 16 QT which I love. I decided to buy another vintage Presto that was larger so I purchased a used Presto 01/CA21H that is bright yellow.

Here is the issue. My new 21 qt presto comes up to pressure like normal and I vent it for 10 mins then place my 3:1 weight at 10 lbs. All seems completely normal ( the gauge even reads at 11 lbs, though I know I am not suppose to rely on that gauge when using the weight). The weight gently rocks from side to side and hisses. The whole process works just like my other canner. I do not see any steam escaping and the lid seals tight.

*** BUT when I turn off the it heat the 21 qt canner pressurized in about 12 mins!

My older 16 qt presto take about 30 mins to depressurize.

I then did an experiment ;-)

1. I weighted both canners with me holding them ;-) might not be that reliable but they both weighed the same even though the 21 Qt is MUCH bigger than the 16 QT ( so my 16QT must really be more solid)

2. I filled both canners with the same amount of water, with 1 QT in each. I placed on the lids and placed the burners on high. Both canners started to vent at about the same time ( but the 16 QT was about a minute faster than the 21 QT)

3. After venting for 10 mins I applied the wt. Both literally came up to pressure at the same time

Both appeared to hold pressure the same with these exceptions...

The 16 QT only needed the heat at low to maintain pressure

The 21 QT needed the heat at med to high to maintain pressure.

The 21 QT appears to hiss some around the vent pipe AFTER the heat was off and the weight rocking stopped

I had tested the 21 QT for holding of pressure before using it and thought the depressurization that( appeared rapid to me) was normal since I had only tested it for 10 mins with 1 qt.

I just canned 16 qts of food and would be really bummed if something is wrong with this 21 qt. If it is I have no choice but to toss the food :-( Please help!!! Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for reading this long post!


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For canning questions, post in the Cooking Forum. There are a lot of experienced canners there.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 12:14PM
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You should have both canners tested by your local cooperative extension agency. Do this every year prior to canning "season". It was always free for me in the past - hopefully that is still the case.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2013 at 2:25AM
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