Conversion under pressure

FInally! The pressure regulator weight arrived in the mail today. Now I can convert my pressure canner. If by now you thought I could make a simple post, I’ll prove once again that I can take a small subject and expand it to a novel, with pictures, no less. First, here is my pressure canner pre-surgery –


It is an All American Model 921, old style, purchased back in the later 1970s. That thing to the right of the lid’s handle is the petcock which I am replacing –

CannerPetcockWhen using the gauge to judge the pressure, you would raise that lever on top of the petcock so that it is vertical. That allows the steam to escape through the holes in the side of the petcock. Once you are ready to start building pressure, you flip the lever over like it is in the picture, which closes the vent. Using an adjustable crescent wrench, I start by removing the petcock –

CannerPetcockRemovedI have my new steam vent and regulator weight on hand now –

CannerSteamVentWeightThe steam vent has the same threads as the petcock, so it’s a simple replacement –

CannerSteamVentAdd the weight and it looks like this –

CannerWeightInPlaceYou can see it can be adjusted for 5, 10 and 15 pound pressures, depending on which hole in the regulator weight you set over the steam vent. In this picture it would be 15 pounds. That completes the conversion, but just to show the rest of the pressure canner, here is the inside of the body of the canner –

CannerInsideYou will note that it is discolored in the bottom, up to the level of where the water usually sits. That is normal with aluminum and doesn’t affect the performance or strength of the vessel. It doesn’t bother me so I don’t resort to tactics to get the discoloration out, but the instruction book tells you how if you want to.

Sitting outside of the canner on the left are the two racks that the jars sit on in the canner. Once goes on the bottom of the canner and if you are doing enough pints to do more than one layer (nine pints per layer), you set the second rack on top of the bottom layer of pints and add another layer. This canner is not big enough to do that with quarts, but there are canners that are.

You can also see a slight bevel at the very top of the canner body. This surface is where the matching taper of the lid fits, sealing the canner without the need for a rubber gasket. This is one of the reasons I bought this canner. I’ll never have to worry about having to buy a gasket to do my canning. You do apply a lubricant to the tapered area to help it seal and to keep it from sticking. Usually I apply a very thin smear of Vaseline. Here is the inside of the lid –

CannerLidInsideAs stated, the taper on the lid fits the taper of the canner body. The lid has little stand-offs, too, so that when you store the canner you don’t have to set the lid in place so that it would seal the canner, allowing moisture or smells to be trapped inside.

CannerLidStandoffWhen you close the lid on the canner, the stand-off fits underneath the flange near the lid clamp. I think this is intended as a safety measure, to catch the lid if you try taking it off while there is still pressure in the canner. If you look closely at the first picture in this post, you’ll see a mark on the top edge of the canner body and a small arrow on the edge of top of the lid. These are alignment marks to assure you have the lid in the position determined by the machining for the best seal.

That’s about it. I have not used a pressure canner regulated by weight before, so it will be a new experience for me. Last time I saw a pressure cooker with a weight being used was back when I was a kid, so it’s been a while. Nothing I can’t figure out, though.