Used properly, a pressure canner is no more dangerous than any other pot. Modern pressure canners do build up steam, but they are designed with a safety or pop-off valve that will blow out and allow the compressed steam to escape. This causes no damage.

1.) Be leery about buying a used pressure canner however attractive the price. It’s hard to tell how safely one works unless you see it in operation.

2.) If you blow a safety valve, it needs to be replaced. Spare parts are available from the manufacturer.

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3.) Follow the directions that come with your pressure canner exactly and it will give you years of service.

4.) Make sure your jars have no cracks or nicks on the rim.

5.) If you haven’t used your canner lately, check the gasket under the lid to be sure it doesn’t have cracks or other problems. Spread oil on the gasket before sealing the canner.

6.) After the jars cool, check to make sure each one is sealed properly. Just remove the circular band and pick each jar up by the lid. If the jar falls off, put a new lid on it and reheat it to processing temperature.

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7.) Always fill your canning jars to within 1 inch of the top.

8.) Don’t blow it! After pressure cooking, release the pressure safely and either let the pot cool naturally or run cool water over the lid.

9.) Do not try to open a cooker without letting it cool.

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