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Old 12-03-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
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Pressure Cooker ran dry

I tried my first canning attempt of quart jars of chili. The recipe called for 90 mins of canning time.

But it looks like my water boiled off completely a little after an hour into the process. This caused my chili to boil over inside, and the jars to break.
In addition to this, the pressure cooker now has a significant bulge under the cooker.

It now rocks when placed on a flat surface.

I will assume that this boiled over in an hour due to running the cooker at 18psi instead of 10psi like the recipe called for. But I don't know for sure..

Everything else I've canned only canned for 15 min. (90 was quite new to me)

Question is this. Is the pressure cooker ruined? Would anyone here re-used a bulging pressure cooker?

Welcome all thoughts.


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Old 12-03-2019, 10:18 PM   #2
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I would not use a bulging pressure cooker.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:56 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
I would not use a bulging pressure cooker.
I wouldn't either.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:35 AM   #4
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Better to be safe than sorry. 18 lbs. Of pressure on the large surface area creatrs a lot of force. Think of it like this: if you apply 10 lbs, of air pressure to a 12 onch by 12 inch square, you get 144 square inches. Now multiply that by the 10 lbs. per square inch and you have1,440 lbs. of lifting force on that 12 X 12 surface. With 18 lbs. per square onch, you are nearly doubling that force. So you can see that this could cause catostrophic failure that could litteraly result in an explosion. Toss that pressure pot. It's not worth your, or anyone elses life.

Used correctly, pressure coockers are safe and wonderful cooking, canning tools. But you need to follow the rules.

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Old 12-04-2019, 07:55 AM   #5
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I don't understand why your release valve didn't blow off. This is what is supposed to help keep pressure cookers from exploding.

You are a very lucky person that didn't explode at 18 psi. Chuck it in the garbage. With a bent bottom that could tip, it is not safe to use even as a regular pot.
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Old 12-04-2019, 10:59 AM   #6
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I am not sure if the bulge is due to internal pressure, or warping due to high heat. (as it just sat over the fire for about 10-15 with no water in it.

In either case, I don't plan on canning any more with it..
Will use this as an opportunity to get a new pressure cooker.

I needed a bigger one anyway.

Shame to ruin this one one though.

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Old 12-04-2019, 11:52 AM   #7
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Dont can with a regular pressure cooker. Use a pressure canner.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Dont can with a regular pressure cooker. Use a pressure canner.
This is an important point - you need to use a pressure CANNER, not a pressure COOKER. Despite what the manufacturers claim, pressure cookers have not been tested by the USDA and shown maintain the proper temperature and pressure for the amount of time needed to make the food safe.
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Old 12-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #9
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WOW - I am amazed that your release valve did not melt. You are lucky. I agree - it is a candidate for the trash.

As for the 90 min - you must have had meat in it. Even if the meat is cooked, the processing times are greatly increased - Recommendations are anywhere from 60 - 90 mins at 10 - 15 psi (depending on your altitude) with the USDA guide at 75 min.

I find it odd that your cooker went dry. Could your gasket not have sealed properly? Also, was it completely full of jars? My canner requires additional water if processing less than the maximum number of jars. When under pressure, the boiling point of water is increased. So at 18 psi water will boil at about 255 degrees F while at 10 psi it will boil at about 240. But even knowing that, when I am canning or even pressure cooking for 60 min or more (I have an older Mirro 22 qt canner as well as a 6qt) I still add a little extra water every time as it will not hurt the process.
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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The canner warped because it ran dry and overheated would be my guess. Regardless of the cause a warped canner it is ruined. It's odd it ran out of water in just an hour. When pressure canning I usually put two inches/5 cm of water in the canner and even when using 15 psi I have about the same amount of water at the end of 90 minutes. It's a sealed unit and very little steam escapes in the process.

In the future start with about 2 inches of water in the canner before adding the jars. After adding the jars, fasten the lid onto the canner. Put your stove on high till steam comes out the weight vent, let it steam for 5-10 minutes. Put the 10 pound weight on the vent. Wait till the weight starts to rock, turn down the heat to low the weight should move gently every 30 seconds or so, it shouldn't be rocking like crazy. Start the 90 minutes when the weight starts rocking, at the end of 90 minutes take the canner off the heat and just let it rest for 30 minutes or so, or until the pressure reads 0, before opening the canner.

Keep the canner on the lowest heat necessary to maintain 10 of pressure and you shouldn't run it dry. Remember the weight just barely needs move once or twinge a minute.

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