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Old 03-22-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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Dial Gauge/Weighted Gauge???

I was surfing the WWW looking for canning recipies since I am very new to canning with a pressure canner. I saw this statement and I can't figgure out what one I have? Dial or Weight Guage. What do I set my canner to? 10 or 11lbs?

"Dial Gauge Type @ 11 pounds pressure or Weighted Gauge Type @ 10 pounds pressure."

I have a Presto 23 qt canner. Model # 01781

If anyone could give me some info on this topic I would be greatful. And please can anyone tell me what the difference is and show me some picture examples of each guage. THANKS!

Michelle

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Old 03-22-2009, 11:02 PM   #2
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You should know whether or not there is a "dial" pressure gauge in the center of your canner lid. The pressure is shown on the gauge and you adjust the stove heat to keep the pressure at a set amount, usually 11 lbs.

The other type has no gauge, just the protruding stem that a 3-piece rocker weight sits on. The weight "rocks" when the correct pressure is reached. The 3-pieces account for 5#, 10# and 15# pressure. 10 lbs is used for canning.

National Center for Home Food Preservation | UGA Publications
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:58 AM   #3
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Yes, I have a pressure guage in the center of the lid. I also have to adjust the burner heat to adjust the lbs on the guage.

I knew it was probably a stupid question. I have never seen a weight guage on a pressure canner befor. My mom and grandma use to can all the time but think it was mainly with a hot Water Bath canning method.

Thanks a bunch for the clarification.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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My concern now is whether or not you had your gauge TESTED before you used it, which is required for safety since it could be as much a 4 lbs off. You also must have it tested again annually.

Many people today prefer the rocker weight since it is much simpler than messing with the dial gauge. If you ever have the desire to convert your canner, there is a conversion weight available for the Presto Canner.
Presto Pressure Regulators - Pressure Cooker Outlet (1st item at top)
It replaces the regulator weight and then you just ignore the dial and just pay attention to the rocker.

The Boiling Water Canner is of course most common because everyone seemed to make a lot of jams, jellies, relishes and other pickled items.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:09 PM   #5
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No I didn't have it tested befor I used it. Didn't think about it. Figgured they test those things befor they leave the factory.

Where can I take it to get it tested? I know I need to do it every year.

Actually I am eating some tune right now that I canned back in late July and it tastes and looks fine. Only other things I have caned so far are some Bear Meat, Tuna and Corn.
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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You'll have to search out your local University Coop Extension. Sometimes local hardware stores that sell canners and supplies also do testing. I don't know where you live, but if you check around you will find where they are located. They are also a good place to ask questions.

To answer your question, no they do not test and certify them at time of sale.

As to the safety of your canned food, probably okay, but the purpose of pressure canning is to specifically kill the C. Botulinum spore that creates the Botulism toxin. It is highly heat resistant and takes sustained temperatures over 240 F to kill it. The spore loves to grow in low-acid airless environments (sealed jars) and is odorless, colorless and tasteless.

Now that I've brightened your day......
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:01 PM   #7
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OK after 1 hour of playing phone tag with every Heath Department know in WA State I finnaly found a Coop Ext. Office that checked guages. Approx 98% of the heath department people were able to even tell me where to go. Even than I had to ask on the local hunting forum to get the answer.

Anyhoooo, I am going to try and get my guage checked tomarrow to be on the safe side.

So how would one tell if a home canned item had Botulinum?

Also from what I have heard Green Beans are some of the most dangerous items when canned. I have yet to can them.
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Old 03-23-2009, 09:32 PM   #8
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Green Beans are NOT dangerous by any means. You just have to understand that there is a whole group of people out there that seem to think you can 'can' green beans using a Boiling Water Canner (instead of a pressure canner). Many get very very sick as a result or die. That's where the danger comes from. You do not process low-acid food in a Boiling Water Canner since it does not kill the C. Botulinum spore.

You cannot tell if a home canned item has the Botulism toxin in it unless you (1) ate it and got ill/died, or (2) spent a lot of money to have a laboratory run a test on it. The problem with food poisoning is most people don't realize it since the symptoms are the same as having the Flu (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.). Except for perhaps Botulism since less than a teaspoon can kill 100,000 people. That one is nasty if you live long enough to be treated.

In respect to your canned jars, I would wait until you find out if your gauge was accurate or not. If it was accurate, you are home free. If not, the amount it was off and in what direction will be important. You can ask them at that time if you should be concerned about your previously canned goods.

All this sounds scary and it is to some degree. Canning demands respect and following the safety rules. Do that and canning is a ton of fun and is great for your family since you are creating foods that are fresh and without all the preservatives, etc.

As they say, don't sweat the bullets. This is a good learning experience.
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Old 03-24-2009, 12:45 AM   #9
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So far I am enjoying it. Usually I try and go a little farther than required when canning. A buddy of mine likes to can atleast 1 of his Bears a year and wrote an article for the Hunting form I am a member of. Some guy came on their and said he has used the hot water bath for over 30 years to can meat. He says he processes them for over 2 hours apiece. I think he is nuts.
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Old 03-24-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNTaxi View Post
Some guy came on their and said he has used the hot water bath for over 30 years to can meat. He says he processes them for over 2 hours apiece. I think he is nuts.
You're right. He's nuts and very very lucky. That's very old school thinking before research and technology advancements allowed the experts to discover the issues involving the Botulism toxin. No amount of boiling at 212 F will kill the spore that is only killed at 240 F or above for a sustained period.

Botulism poisoning is not "that" common, but it occurs, just like serious auto accidents, and the object is to keep yourself as safe as possible. The spore is very common in the household and a person probably has it on them right now, but its harmless. It's only if it makes it into the jar does it become very dangerous. Of course there are lots of other bacteria, fungi, yeasts and molds to worry about too which even the commercial food producers are not immune from as we know.
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