I have trouble getting the lid of my All American 921 pressure canner on perfectly level. Does anyone have a technique (other than eyeballing it) to do this? I should mention that most of my problem is that, due to the fact that my stove is surrounded by wall on 3 sides, I cannot see the backside of the canner.
I've had good luck just rotating it on the burner while looking at the gap between lid and vessel. If it suddenly starts to get wider or narrower I'll make the necessary adjustment. Admittedly, with a full load some may find this process more taxing than I do as a young, relatively fit male. You aren't supporting the weight, though, just rotating it - so relatively little strength is required compared to getting the thing onto the stove in the first place.
I've had some success with backing the screws off just enough to get the handles off the lid (usually 2 to 2 1-2 turns counterclockwise), such that the lid will be on relatively straight the next time I put it back on. Just remember to clamp down simultaneously and equally on each pair of opposing handles.
Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't.
I tried the turning-of-the-canner solution, but found the only way to do that was before I added the food. Otherwise it would have worked.
I finally have found a way to do it. A trip to the dentist resolved my problem. I noticed they had an All American pressure canner. Turns out All American makes sterilizers as well as canners, but the design looks identical. Anyway, I mentioned to the nurse my problem with only being able to see 1 view of my canner easily. She told me that after they rested the lid on, before bringing up the screws, they shoved spacers under the lid. With the spacers in place, they brought up the screws and only tightened them to the point where they just touched the lid. Then they removed the spacers and tightened down the lid using opposite screws as normal.
I tried this at home and found that 3 canning lids stacked together formed the perfect space. I set the canning lids under the pressure canner lid where the 2 metal handles are. Instantly, the lid was perfectly positioned. I brought up the screws as per her instructions, then tightened. For some fantastic reason, spacing the 2 sides perfectly spaces the lid all the way around.
Results... The canner lid was spot on accurate and not even one leak under pressure. And, it took almost no time to do it.
Once I get it level, I count turns on the screws. Each get turned six turns to remove the lids, for example (I don't remember the actual number) That way it stays level through all the runs for the day.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus