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I'm looking at buying a pressure cooker as a Christmas gift. I don't know much about them, I see a bunch in the 6 quart size. Is that the average size? Will a full size canning jar fit into one? I've also found some 8 quart, and one 23 quart. The 23 quart says it's designed for canning, but I'm afraid it will be too large for non-canning use. I've found some with gauges, and some without. I would think a gauge should be pretty important.

I don't know what I'm looking for. Any advice? :munch: Thanks!
 

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I have 2 and I use them for canning. One is a n 8 quart the other 16. Both have gauges but I have seen some that work by weights over a vent. I like the gauge as you know where you are at and can manage the heat correctly.

I have never done anything but can stuff in them.
 

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Without going to exotic ones there is basically the presto and the mirro. I forget which one has an inverted funnel type thing that the weight goes on so you can have one weight with three different sizes of openings that fit on the inverted funnel thing hence three pressure options. I think that is mirrow but not sure. The other one you need a different weight for different pressures. The weight kind of becomes wieghtless at that point and releases steam. There is an optional weight which rocks at 15 pounds but has markings on it like a tire guage to double check against the main guage or use if one isn't present.

The gasket is the problem, places don't stock the gasket like years ago and they seem to deform over time. The 22 quart one will do two layers of pints, the 16 quart one will one layer of quarts and is the same diameter. The smaller one are more for cooking dinner, split pea soup especially, dry beans that need soaking stuff like that. They tend to merge flavor more than a non pressure cooker. I would think the stainless steel would be the one for a gift but not sure they come in the canning size. I think you only can at 5 psi for vegetables maybe more for tuna after you cook the oil out don't remember, it will be in the instructions. The safety so you can't open it can be a bit stubborn to seat at times. One of my neighbors has an exotic on and it still uses one of the standard weights described in paragraph 1. They have blow off safety things if the pressure orifice gets clogged somehow.

You are supposed to purge the air before putting the weight on so you cook with steam.

Fran
 

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What Fran said ^^

I have the one with the three weights with difference-sized holes. I think it's the 22 quart one because it is bigger than a 16 quart stainless pot we have. It fits okay on a large burner, and would have no problem if you have one of those flat range tops.

I think it would be too big if you only wanted to make a few quarts of soup, but for canning I don't think I'd want the smaller one because I never only canned two or three jars of anything.
 
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