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At the farmers market yesterday, while i was selling my jellies and crocheted/knitted goods, a man who had a booth a couple tents down approached me. He said his wife passed away about 3 years ago, and she had 2 pressure canners. they are older models, with the jiggle guage, not the dial. He said they are in good condition, and have spare gaskets. He wants 100 dollars for the both of them, one he said was a large canner, the other smaller. My jaw dropped, and once i picked it up, I told him that YES!!! i am interrested. He is bring them to the farmers market for me to look at next friday.


Now, the advise i need is what do i look for, what questions should i ask, how good are presto canners, and well, i want all the info i can get to make an informed decision, and not wind up buying a hunka junk.



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Did you say they're Presto canners? Those are good canners. If he has extra gaskets for that, then that's an extra bonus too. You need to know how big they are, i.e. how many quarts/pints they hold during a processing. Out of curiosity, I'd wanna know how old they are. You can get the gauge checked, and make sure there's a wire rack on each of the bottoms. Hmmmmmm...what else...


For $50/each, for me, I'd be interested in their size and how much they hold. New Presto's aren't much more than that so it would depend on the size.


Keep us posted.

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I agree with Darlene. I got my 16 qt. Presto canner brand new for $60, and the 8 qt. Presto was $50 brand new at Wal-Mart. Check prices, sizes, etc... and take documentation. Maybe you can negotiate the price down a bit!! Good Luck!!

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yes, presto canners. the way he described size, he pointed at one of the 250 ml jars i has displayed, and he said that i could make 2 levels of 9 jars each, so its a fair size. as for the other one, i figured i would give it to joanna, he said that it would hold about 5 pint jars. I figure jo could use one, since she has none. laugh i suppose i could haggle him down a bit. He did say that he still has the original receipts for one of them. as long as i can pressure can successfully, i am happy, and if jo can get a canner out of the deal, bonus!!


so ask about age...is there a limit or something? like older than 20 years say no? are old canners not reliable?


check for a rack...the rack i assume is replaceable. the rack i have for my water bath canner is stupid because it lets smaller jars(the size i use most) fall through the spaces.


i know some of you have the jiggle guage on your canners, which is better? how do i know if it is in good condition? i have never actually SEEN a pressure canner in my life, and i have no idea what it is suppossed to look like. Which is better? the jiggle type, or the guage? i supoose there are digital ones too. can it be replace or recalibrated if broken? what sort of place would I take it to to be fixed if needed? Darlene, do you feel like flying up to canada to help me?! lol! Boy do I have a lot to learn!!! I am happy I have mrs.s!!!

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I looked at the pressure canners, and the guy was trying to sell me crap. One of them was in pretty good condition, but it was far too small. Both of the canners had the original receipts, and the combined total was $102.41 brand new, and he wanted 100 dollars for both of them. He kept telling me how expensive canners were, and that I would not be able to find a better deal. Well, considering that one of the handles had cracks in it, and and the manual said it was made almost 30 years ago, I am pretty sure that it was NOT a good buy. So I declined his offer. I am a little dissapointed, but such is life, I still have my money, and I dont have a pressure canner that is broken.

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Well, it stinks that he got you excited, but I'm glad you checked everything out and didn't get swindled!! Maybe you could take that $100 you were going to spend and put some towards a Presto, or save for an AA since it was going to go toward canners anyway!! Good luck!!

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You were smart not to buy... I can't believe he thought he could knock *2 dollars* off the price of NEW???? rollingeyes



Talk to as many older ladies as you can find... SOMEONE out there has one they'd LOVE to give you!!!




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Pixie....sorry I didn't see this sooner. On any used canner you find, be sure to run your fingers around the the rims. If they have nicks or pry marks..they wont seal..enough to bring the canner up to pressure, even with new seals.


Walmart Prestos here are $60, and seals are $8.95 at Ace Hardware. I think there's only 4 cents difference in the money,...so it's gonna be real approx. in Hope.


Do you have Freecycle, or a "Little Nickle" paper, put a wanted Ad ...on your booth at the market. Ask for canners, jars, etc.

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good ideas!! thanks!


I never thought to run my fingers around the rims, but I was lucky that one of the other vedors is an avid canner, and he cans at least as much as Darlene!! lol So I had him take a look and he was able to tell me all I needed to hear. He said because I plan to use it a lot, there is no point in making small batches, he has a canner that is "this big" (he holds his hand up to chest level) and that I should get the same. lol

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HI Pixie!


I have both a Presto and the 930 AA canner. I love the AA canner and hate the Presto. With the jiggle, you know things are ok, if you have to run around the house to do a little this or that. You can hear it "jiggle." With the Presto, you have to literally baby sit the thing or you won't know what is going on. I also find the Presto has more lid failures, than the AA and it is harder to control the temperature on the Presto. I bought both of mine last year, so they are almost new.

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Hi Pixie, I have a 22 qt Mirro. I love it. It only has the jiggler, no guage. I replace the gasket every 5 years - whether it needs it or not- just to be "safe". Bought it new in 1978. The manufacture date of 2/78 is stamped on the bottom of the pot. I don't know if they still do this or not but it came in handy several years ago when Mirro made a change in the gaskets. Pre '83 and newer. If I could find another one like it, I would grab it up in a minute.

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Thanks all of you for the feedback. I think I will look in to getting an AA they seem to be the best, though I have not even heard of a mirro untill now. I will have to look that up. There is a presto canner at the thrift store for 20 dollars, but there is no gasket, no rack, and no weights. When I asked the lady about the weights,she thought that I was trying to tell her that someone had put a weight set on it. ???! yarrr! well, once we were on the same page, she said yes the weights did come with it, and opened it up to show them to me, but there were no weights. so, I am not sure ended up on the same page after all. The search continues! :P

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It's been so long since I canned, so please forgive the question...


I can't visualize a 22 quart canner. Do you mean you somehow can fit 22 glass quart canning jars in it? How would you do that, use 2 tiers or something? It would seem to me to be absolutely huge and never fit on the stove...


They're selling a 22 quart Mirro down at the feed store...




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Oh, thank heaven!


I didn't think it had been that long, but you never know!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi...first timer here! I was looking at the topics yesterday, but didn't see what I need to know. I am going to Sam's soon to buy LARGE cans (101oz) of green beans and diced tomatoes to re-can in quart jars. I want to get a start on my storage of groceries for an emergency, and I thought that this would be a reasonable way, for now. On re-canning the tomatoes...they will be Red Gold, and I was wondering... if I am RE-canning, can I do it in a water bath canner (all has been sterilized previously at the manufacturer), and should I add a tablespoonful of lemon juice to each quart? Does anyone think that this would be sufficient? Also, does anyone use the glass jar tops with rubber seals? I have some, but I'm not sure about using them...they look OK and are not deteriorated.


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Hi Leah, A Mirro 22 quart canner will hold 7 quart size jars. You can do 2 layers of pints or 1/2 pints if you put a rack between layers. I have 2 of the Mirro 22 qt canners and would not trade them for anything. Love them. I replace the gasket every 5 years, they claim to last longer but why risk it in the middle of canning? And the cost about $12 is do-able. I prefer not to have to deal with the dial gauge and trying to locate someone to test it every year. The Presto canner has a dial and a gasket, the AA no gasket, but I cannot lift the larger size ones. So I'll stick to my old (1978 and 1980) American made Mirros. ......Pigz

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Hi, Pigzilla! Thanks for the information, it's been a couple of decades for me. Trying to remember it all - it's just like riding a bike...

DH bought me the Mirro 22 quart with the 'jiggly thing'. Looks like a good one for me - small enough to handle, but big enough to make it worthwhile getting everything out.

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jeanne... There's a thread here somewhere on re-canning. I'll try to locate it for you tonight. (I gotta get supper now)


I don't like to recommend the rubber-rings glass jars, because I think they're too "iffy". Especially for someone starting out... we want you to be successful and safe *right away*!! happy02


Check back later tonight or in the morning. I'll either bring up the old thread so you'll find it fast, or start a new one. wink






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Jeanne, welcome6.


If you are recanning tomatoes and the ingredients on the commercial package are not much more than tomatoes and salt, you are fine to waterbath (WB) them. I WOULD use a tablespoon of lemon juice per quart - just because you don't know how acidic these tomatoes are. Better safe than dead. grin

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