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Do pressure canners blow up?

 
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Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
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Hello from Tasmania Australia! I believe the canning first started because of Napoleon who needed to have consistent fresh food for his troops! Technique is known as sterilising in Europe. However most of these techniques have been lost. I purchased a canner from the US however I have absolutely no idea how to use it. I’ve watched a couple of videos but what I need is a step-by-step guide. I got a Canner as I live on a homestead property in the bush and a long way from the shops so this would really help me out.

I must admit I’m quite nervous because my only experience of pressure canners was from school science laboratory where one blew up and the lid ended up spinning in the ceiling! Lolol I know there is a difference between a pressure canner and a food Canner,  but I don’t know why.

Thank you for being on this site this week it really helps. Giselle
 
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Giselle Burningham wrote:Hello from Tasmania Australia! I believe the canning first started because of Napoleon who needed to have consistent fresh food for his troops! Technique is known as sterilising in Europe. However most of these techniques have been lost. I purchased a canner from the US however I have absolutely no idea how to use it. I’ve watched a couple of videos but what I need is a step-by-step guide. I got a Canner as I live on a homestead property in the bush and a long way from the shops so this would really help me out.

I must admit I’m quite nervous because my only experience of pressure canners was from school science laboratory where one blew up and the lid ended up spinning in the ceiling! Lolol I know there is a difference between a pressure canner and a food Canner,  but I don’t know why.

Thank you for being on this site this week it really helps. Giselle



Hi Giselle,
The non-pressure canning known as water bath canning is easy peasy.  You just have to remember mostly that acidic foods like fruits, tomatoes, pickles, (because of the vinegar,) don't need to be pressure canned.  The idea behind the pressure canner is to increase the atmospheric pressure inside the canner, especially at elevation.  Barometric pressure at sea level is ~14psi, or one bar.  At altitude, like where I am, 7500 ft. in the Rockies, I need a pressure canner for non acidic food preservation like meats, potatoes, corn, green beans, etc.....  This is because at elevation water boils at a lower temperature and does not reach the temps needed to kill off the bad guys, hence a pressure canner that can bring sea level atmospheric pressure to me.  That's it in a nut shell.  There are tons of sites in the US that have lots more details about canning, both water bath and pressure.  I can boil, pun intended, it down to these bare bones 'cause I'm 60 and have been piddling around with canning all my born days.  Much success to you in your new endeavors
 
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Giselle Burningham wrote:Hello from Tasmania Australia! I believe the canning first started because of Napoleon who needed to have consistent fresh food for his troops! Technique is known as sterilising in Europe. However most of these techniques have been lost. I purchased a canner from the US however I have absolutely no idea how to use it. I’ve watched a couple of videos but what I need is a step-by-step guide. I got a Canner as I live on a homestead property in the bush and a long way from the shops so this would really help me out.

I must admit I’m quite nervous because my only experience of pressure canners was from school science laboratory where one blew up and the lid ended up spinning in the ceiling! Lolol I know there is a difference between a pressure canner and a food Canner,  but I don’t know why.

Thank you for being on this site this week it really helps. Giselle



Wow, I bet that was interesting to see! I don't know how long ago that was, but modern pressure canners have an emergency release valve that will allow the canner to depressurize quickly instead of shooting the lid off. As long as you follow the directions that came with your canner, there is zero chance of exploding the canner.
 
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Location: Isle of Lewis, NW UK
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I've used a handful of different pressurised cookers and I'm fairly sure none have blown up.

Also, sterilising in Europe can mean many things totally unrelated to pressure canning. Milton fluid with babies bottles for instance.

Some of the USDA info is free and downloadable.
 
jason holdstock
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Location: Isle of Lewis, NW UK
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For instance  

https://www.pressurecookerlawsuit.org/pressure-cooker-accidents

Some older models may not have a separate blow out valve? And Aldi in Australia seem to have had an issue with one they sold. Most of the searched incidents say basically no-one knows how it happened, except one who said he forced the lid too early.
I know the steam release valve on our Instant Pot doesn't look like it comes apart but is supposed to be regularly dismantled and cleaned, not obvious without reading the instructions.
 
pollinator
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I would be wary of antique canners because they don't have all of the safety measures that modern ones have. I see them regularly being sold in our area, but they aren't cheaper than even new All American Canners. I don't see the point. While I love antiques as much as the next person, antique sewing machines being a favorite of mine. I wouldn't trust an antique canner as anything other than a conversation piece. As far as modern pressure canners, follow the instructions and you will be fine.  I think the most worrisome thing that I have come across is that occasionally, it's happened to me, a can will break in process and people will want to immediately deal with that, don't. Finish processing then clean up the mess. The broken jar is unlikely to damage the others and disrupting the process is never a good idea. To my mind, losing the whole batch is still preferable to an exploding canner. That being said, use common sense, just be aware of the dangers. I don't think it's really different from the dangers of a chain saw or other such work.
 
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