The dial gauge on the canner isn’t a small thing but I probably shouldn’t be as excited as I am to have a new, working canning gauge. 🙂
This poor canner sat on the porch for nine years . . never came inside. I canned often – winter, summer, spring and fall and I did it all on the porch. I think the porch was 10 or 12′ wide so the canner never got rain or snow on it but the sun and heat were brutal. It was the easiest way to can with such a tiny kitchen that was connected to the tiny family room where we had to hear the canner hissing while doing its job.
Anyway, it’s fine .. ugly but does the job it was intended to do.
But, the gauge stopped working about a month ago. I can always turn the stove knob to just a bit on the low side of medium (that’s just my basement stove – all stoves are different) but a while back, I would turn the knob all the way to the lowest setting and the dial gauge, which should have stayed around 11 psi, was going up into the danger zone, but the weighted gauge still sounded fine.
I couldn’t go any lower on the temp – the knob was as low as it would go. I thought maybe I had added too much water to the canner and that was causing it so the next batch, I made sure to measure the amount of water and not just eyeball it. Nope, same thing happened. Then I thought maybe the burner on the stove was somehow getting too much gas and cooking too hot so I moved to another burner. Nope, didn’t change anything. Then, the gauge stopped going down to zero. One night I kept waiting and waiting. I have great respect for that weighted gauge but finally, I said . . I’m taking this thing off and I’m going to be ready to run! I took it off . . no pressure. I took the lid off the canner and it never did go down to zero.
In all my years of canning, I’ve never had a gauge go bad. By the way, the experts recommend taking your canner or your lid to your local county extension office annually and having them test the gauge to make sure it’s working accurately. I have never lived where the county extension office would perform that service. In fact, when I’ve called, there’s never been one who had ever heard of that service.
So, I ordered a new gauge and Vince changed it. I have now ordered new gauges for all my canners and a couple just to have as extras. I don’t ever want to have to rely on only one gauge – whether it be the dial gauge or the weighted gauge . . I want them both working correctly.
So, thank you, Vince, for fixing my canner for me!