Only Presto Pressure Canners have the fail-safe pop-up visual lid lock
by canning mom
I have always owned Presto canners. I have a cast-aluminum Model 7B which is a 16 quart model, and I have used it for 38 years straight. It does a fine job.
HOWEVER, I also own a 22-quart, a 23-quart, and a 16-quart of the more modern variety.
The 22-quart is actually on 'extended loan' to my daughter right now.
My experience with these newer canners has been very good. What I really appreciate is the safety factor of having the lid lock system. There is NO possibility of accidentally taking off the lid when pressure is still in the vessel!!!!
I find that ALL the canners cool down fairly quickly, of course it might take a few minutes more if you have 20 pints stacked, than it might if you were just doing five or six!!!!
Pressure canners heat up a bit faster if you are doing hot pack because all the food is hotter to begin with.
With the 22 and 23 quart models it is possible to water bath quarts, and with the 16 quart model it is possible to water bath pints.
I don't know if the 7B would water bath pints because I just pressure can everything.
It is possible to water bath in just about any vessel that has 4-6 inches of space above the jars. One inch to 2 inches of boiling water above the jars and about 4 inches of space for a rolling boil (without the water jumping out of the pot and all over your feet!!!!)
I loved the cast aluminum cookers, but have been pleasantly surprised with the newer models.
Presto is the ONLY pressure canner that is designed for use on smooth-top stoves.
Presto has the 'raised bottom' that fits the burner and the sides of the canner are about 1/2 inch off the stovetop. This means that heat doesn't transfer out to the rest of the glass or ceramic stovetop. Even with a cycle-on-cycle-off type burner, once the pressure is up there is no trouble keeping it at the required temperature.
I have helped someone learn to can chicken in a Presto 16-quart canner and on a smooth top stove. We saw the burner glowing red, then fading down, etc., but the dial gauge read the right temperature, and the 'jiggler' (weighted gauge) was rocking gently on the 10 pound 'weight.'
Lastly, it is very easy indeed to get that lid on and off. I don't have arthritis, but if I did my Prestos would still be easy to can with.
Gaskets have been improved. The new ones are very easy to use and DON'T need oiling with anything. I think cooking oil and so forth may actually deteriorate the gaskets.
I often just wet down the inside of the gasket to be sure it will slide easily as I put on the lid.