Is Your Canning Equipment Ready For Action?

Presto canner dial gauge

This Presto canner has been in my kitchen since the early the 1980’s. It works perfectly and is still safe because I have replaced necessary parts through the years. FYI – if you plan to home process your garden produce now is the perfect time to check out your canner to make certain everything is in working order. If your canner lid has a rubber gasket/sealing ring – like my Presto in the picture – check it carefully for dryness and cracks. If the gasket is not pliable and in perfect condition it should be replaced At the very least buy a replacement gasket/sealing ring kit and store it in your canner. You will need to know the model number of your canner so you can choose the part that matches your particular canner. The model number can be found on the bottom of the canner.

canner model number

Write this number down and take it with you to the store. YOU WILL NEED THIS NUMBER. There will be lots of choices and unless you have a fabulous memory you will be glad you wrote it down. The racks in this picture show at least 5-6 different gasket/sealing ring kits.

store canner parts

Mind you, this is the January selection of canner parts at Farm and Home Hardware in my small town. Closer to canning season the racks will be overflowing with parts and surrounded by gardeners looking for those parts. I have always managed to find canner parts out-of-season and have even had the store order specific parts for me during the winter. When gardening season begins I want to be so organized that all I have to think about is the garden. I want to know that the kitchen is ready for anything the garden might throw at us. By the way, you can also order canner parts from Lehman’s Hardware I have found their customer service to be knowledgeable, helpful, and efficient.

The sealing ring/gasket – that snaky looking thing in the right front of the picture – comes in a kit that also includes an automatic air vent AND an overpressure plug – the two black ‘dots’ pictured below to the left of the sealing ring. When you replace the gasket you should also replace this small part. You replace either the air vent OR the overpressure plug, using the one that matches the part removed from your canner. You can see the old sealing ring still on the canner lid. Also in this picture is a new dial/steam gauge with its small gasket attached – we’ll talk that a little later.

canner lid replacement partsIn the photo below the part with the metal stem is an automatic air vent and the solid rubber plug is an over pressure plug. My Presto canner uses the part on the right – the over pressure plug. Your canner will need one or the other. To replace both the gasket and the air vent or over pressure plug simply pull out the old parts and pop in the new parts.

automatic air vent overpressure plug

I also ordered a replacement dial/steam gauge for my Presto canner. I have never replaced the gauge and because it is showing rust and I do not trust it I decided to get a new one. I would rather be – as the cliche goes – safe that sorry. I will have the new gauge tested at our county Extension Office to make certain it truly is at ten pounds when it reads ten pounds.

old canner gauge

new steam gauge

The new dial gauge can be seen in the picture above. The dial gauge gasket – the small black rubber part – is screwed onto the bottom of the stem. Unscrew the old gauge and pop out the old gasket. Clean the metal gasket hole, unscrew the new gasket from the gauge stem and push it into the hole. Carefully screw the new gauge into the new gasket.

I also have an All-American canner that does not have a rubber gasket. You can see the inside of the lid in the first picture below – no rubber gasket to worry about here. The All-American canner seals metal-to-metal and is locked tight with six wing-nuts. You will need a container of petroleum jelly to lubricate the metal-to-metal parts. Buy the petroleum jelly now and hide it inside your canner.

All-American inner lid

All-American canner weighted gauge

One last thing. If you have not invested in reusable Tattler lids then begin buying your canning lids now. Everytime you do your grocery shopping grab a dozen or two or three and when canning season comes along you will have no excuses for not getting the canner going.

Being proactive with replacement parts means you will be ready to can at a moments notice – meaning that when those peas or beans or tomatoes are perfect you will be ready to go. Nothing is worse that having your beans picked, cleaned and ready to can and discovering that your canner gasket is old and dry or that you have to run to the store to buy lids.

Hey from the farm,
Fran The Country Cousin





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