Pressure canner not sealing.

by Denise

I'm using a pressure canner, but it seems the steam is coming out around the lid. Not sure if it has a good seal? and will the jars be ok for eating.


If the pressure is not building then your jars will not be sterilized.

I'd suggest turning the canner off. If there is any pressure let it release itself then carefully remove the lid (always tilt it away so steam doesn't hit you in the face). Check the seal and see if it is twisted or dirty or anything. Then try it again.

If it still won't seal you may need to buy a new gasket.

If it does seal then be sure to start your time over for your food. It needs to process for the entire time suggested.

I hope that helps.

Comments for Pressure canner not sealing.

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All American Pressure Canner Leaks
by: Laura

I have a very large pressure canner with no gasket.

It has big screw down nobs all around it. I bought it because I knew in time I would have to replace gaskets that would be hard to find.

It is leaking moisture now. Twice i lost all the water and was left with a carmelly mess to chisel off the bottom of my canner. I did manage to reach the proper pounds for the proper number of minutes. I expect to do some dear meat soon and I know this isn't going to work for the hour and half it will take to can it. My canner is made of aluminum. I don't know what to do.

Sharon's reply:


It sounds as if you have an All American Canner. This link goes to a page about the All American and some reader reviews.

Try very lightly greasing the edge of the canner with cooking oil before you place the lid.

Be sure you also need to screw the nuts down evenly. Working from opposite sides so the lid sits level.

Try these things first with just water in the canner to see if it works before you process another load of food.

You might try calling the manufacturer. If you have the book that comes with the canner there should be a number or just do a search online. Assuming it is an All American Canner I've heard they have good customer service.

Your suggestion worked
by: LuAnn

I used your suggestion to put a little vegetable oil on my All American pressure cooker lid so it would seal. Thank you it worked! My cooker now does seal and comes up to pressure. Thank you for the suggestion.

I found this All American at a thrift store for a very low price. I figured it had some issue but I was willing to take the chance. It wouldn't hold pressure because of leaking around the seal. It now works as good as new. This was one of those $15 miracles.

You are a life saver.


Oh my goodness! $15.00! What a deal! I love thrift stores!!

by: Anonymous

I went to process a big batch of soup last night only to find that steam was escaping from the lid of the canner. I let it depressurize and sure enough it seems like the gasket has shrunk. I left the jars to cool for a moment and then refrigerated without touching the lids or bands. If I am able to replace the gasket today is it safe to reprocess my soup? Can I do so and leave the jars how they are or do I need to use new lids/ etcetera... the canner never gained any pressure.


Yes it would be safe to reprocess your soup, however you'd need to reheat it and rejar it. The soup needs to be hot going into the canner. As far as your lids. Take a look at the seals. If they are not indented they should be ok to use again.

Please keep in mind this is subjective. It really depends on the condition of the seal. The safest bet is to use new lids... but I'd hate to waste them. Use your own judgment.

Is my chicken usable? Or a waste?
by: Anonymous

I have an All American 921 and I was canning chicken when the pressure cooker began letting steam out of the sides. The pressure got all the way up to where I needed it then started to drop about 30 minutes into the process and I couldn't get it back up.

My meat looks cooked but obviously not long enough. It's been over 24 hours. Can I bag and freeze the chicken to be cooked in casseroles? I did sterilize my jars before use, although unnecessary, and I am hoping my meat is alright to use in some way.

Unfortunately since it has been over 24 hours, I'd not trust it.

Canner is not sealing.
by: Anonymous

I have a new gasket,but there is steam escaping around the lid. Help!

The only suggestion I have is to be sure the gasket is clean and the lid where the gasket sits is clean. I've not had problems before with new gaskets but if all else fails try getting another one. If it works fine then perhaps the leaking one is bad. Ask at the store... they may take it back and refund.

Steam escaping but pressure holding
by: Kristin

It's my first time pressure canning and I have one of these canners also. Steam is escaping out the edges of the lid, but the pressure I need is still holding steady. So, I'm going to assume that everything is ok. Ok, Sharon??? Next time I'll try the oil, and tightening the screws more evenly.

And boy, it sure is heating up the house!

As long as you are able to reach pressure for the full processing time it should be ok. Yes, canning does heat up the house! Not much can be done about that. :0)

Pressure canner leaking steam
by: Jane

I had the same issue with steam escaping from around the lid and never sealing.

We found out that after the pressure has built up, if we tap gently on the lid where the steam is coming out, it stops leaking. (We use a meat tenderizer to do this as it is handy, but a rubber mallet would work too.)

If we tapped on the lid before the pressure built up, nothing happens, so we have to wait.

how do I test the gasket on my pressure canner
by: Kathy

I was recently given a used pressure canner and was told the gasket that seals it may need to be replaced. It looks ok to me but I don't know what its suppose to look like. How do I test it? Would I just put some water in it and let the pressure come up with no leaks? I'll be canning vegetables.
Thanks! Kathy

Yes you can just add 3 quarts of water and go ahead and heat it up to the pressure you'd use when canning. This way you will know if it works before you have a bunch of food waiting to be preserved.

The gasket should be rubbery and not stiff or brittle. If you see cracks or areas that look dry I'll be it won't seal for you.

Testing beforehand is your best bet.

Pressure Canner Leaking Steam
by: Kelly

I'm stumped. I found a Mirro pressure canner at a garage sale for $6.

I've canned in a water bath canner many times, but I really want to start canning green beans and other things now too. The rubber gasket looked perfect (not brittle or broken at all) and the canner looked like it was barely used.

So, because I'm a newbie, I tried out the canner without any food in it. Just 3 quarts of water and a little vinegar.

Once the water started boiling, I noticed quite a bit of steam escaping out of on side. I cooled it down and rubbed some vegetable oil all over the rubber gasket.

When I tried it again, it still leaked steam. What should I do?

That was a wise decision to test the canner before you had a bunch of food ready to be processed. It sounds as if you do need to buy a new gasket.

If you don't have the book that comes with the canner check the bottom and see if there is a model number or something.

Amazon usually has gaskets for pressure canners.

Thanks to Sharon
by: Kathy

Your tip for the leaking All-American canner worked great. It's been such a headache until know. Who knew - a little oil was all it needed!

Thank you

Sharon's response.....

You are very welcome! Ah you made my day. I love it when I can help.

Not enough pressure
by: theoldtomato

I have a Presto 23 Qt. canner. I haven't used it for several years. I tried doing 8 pints of green beans today and had difficulty getting the canner to reach pressure. I turned the canner off and put some cooking oil around the seal ring and tried again.

With the 1st batch and the second, there was no leaking around the lid. However, I found I didn't have the heat high enough the first time.

By the way, I have a glass top stove, which I really don't care for. Anyway, the second time, after 40+ minutes it reached about 6 lbs of pressure. I finally gave it up. I guess I'll just freeze the beans in the jars after they cool.

Is it my seal ring or the stove?

Sharon's thoughts....

It could be the stove. I don't have one but from what I've read they actually fluctuate the heat up and down. If you were not loosing steam around the lid then it is probably not the gasket.

Other things to check.

The weights. Were they damaged in any way? Or the pipe on the canner lid where the weight sits, is the end dented or anything?

re-canning chicken
by: Anonymous

I have have done a lot of pressure canning but never meat. I ran out of water part way through the canning so I let it cool down and then I add more water and brought it back up to pressure and timed it for the full length of time just to be sure. A second time it ran out of water.

I was tired by then so I let them cool and I put them in the fridge. They are all sealed but I know they are not safe.

Can I re-pressure can them this morning, it hasn't been 24 hours, but it would be the third try and this time I will put 4 quarts of water instead of the 2 or 2 1/2 that I was before.

Thanks for your help.

Sharon's thoughts.....

At this point since that chicken is well cooked, I'd freeze it and try again with new chicken. And like you said use some extra water is a good idea.

by: linda

I have two pressure canners a single loader 16 quart.and a double loader 22 qts....they are both leaks pressure around the lid..(the smaller one) the larger does not...both take the same type gasket..or seal.....I have used the gasket from the larger non leaker on the smaller one..but it still will not hold pressure and leaks steam and water from under the lid...since they use the same gasket...why is the smaller one still not holding pressure and the larger one is working ok??? ..What could be wrong with the smaller canner??

I don't know for sure why the gasket would work on one canner and not the other. (assuming the canners take the same size gasket)One guess is that the rim of the smaller canner has a ding or dent in it? This would prevent the gasket from sealing. Check the rim carefully and see if it was hit and ended up dented.

No Pressure?
by: Jo

Hi Sharon, I was given a presto 13q. canner. The seal is good, and it vents fine, however, once I put the weight on it, it will not come up to pressure. It either continues to vent through the lock, or when the lock pops up, it just sits and boils. but the weight does not rock. I have cleaned the weight with a baby bottle brush to make sure it isn't gummed up. Any other thoughts as to why it won't pressurize?

Jo, it sounds like you've checked all the things I would mention. My only suggestions is to go ahead and get a new gasket and see if the seal is leaking just enough that you can't really see any steam but it is preventing pressure.

Otherwise if you have a knowledgeable local extension they might take a look at it and see if they can detect any issues.

Tapping solved it!!!!
by: Anonymous

Thank you to the person who suggested lightly tapping lid once pressure built up. Mine was leaking and I lightly tapped the lid and it stopped and held pressure!

Escaping Steam
by: Anonymous

I have an All American 921 pressure canner. When canning consecutive batches of food I run into the same problem with the seal. The first batch no leaks or escaping steam. Second batch is a nightmare. Steam escapes and my temper rises. I have tried light oil on the rim. I always make sure the lid is equal all around before tightening and always let it vent for 10 mins. before putting on pressure gauge. I have not tried the rubber mallet, but I sure have thought of a sledge hammer after 3 hrs of frustration.

Canner not pressuring
by: Piper

I have a 13 qt presto canner for the last two years. I changed the gasket late last summer and only used it once with no problem. Today I tried to can 8 pints of green beans but the canner wouldn't build any pressure at all. I tried adjusting the gauge and the weight and still nothing. After 1 hour and 40 minutes, I gave up. I'm not sure what is wrong, especially as I have canned beans just fine in the past. Moreover, what do I do with these beans? Because of my work schedule, I won't be able to try again for 16 hours. I don't want to throw them away; can I freeze them or try canning them again?


Yes you can freeze these beans. It sure seems that the gasket should still be good if you just got it last year. Maybe it is not sitting straight in the lid?

Canning meat, looking for information
by: Amy

I just came across this sight and was glad I did. thanks for all the useful information.

Thank you!!
by: Anonymous

I was at a loss. I'm trying to can my chicken stock and the canner wouldn't seal, there was steam coming from one spot on the lid. After a couple of hours of despair, I got on here and after finding the tap the lid suggestion, I asked my husband to smack it for me. It worked!! My chicken broth is canning as we speak. Thank you so much!

Burpee Canner
by: Judy

I found a Burpee canner like the one with big screw downs and an actual attached pressure gauge at a yard sale for $10.00. It works like a dream!
It's huge and I love it. It even still had the original papers and baskets!

Thank You.
by: Jo

Sharon, I found out it wasn't the canner that had the pressure problem. It was my stove burner going out, and not heating properly.
Thank you for helping me figure it out.

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