I have written before how to find a good pressure canner while yard sailing. Do not think because it appears to be in good condition that it is. Get the darn thing tested. If you are cooking with a canner that has not been tested you run the risk of not getting the internal heat high enough and hence getting very sick or having lethal food.
Please review this article for more info on buying used pressure canners! http://frugalcanning.blogspot.com/2009/09/buyer-beware.html
Here are ten steps to consider that come from Miss Vickie a pressure canning goddess.
- Can you identify the manufacturer AND the model number?
- Is the manufacturer still in business, AND still selling replacement parts for the model you have?
- Do you have, or can you still obtain an owners manual for it?
- Is the bottom of the pressure cooker flat, and free of any signs of warping, dents or bumps?
- Does the lid fit the bottom easily and is it free of warping, twists and distortion?
- Are the handles well attached, free of cracks and nicks, or does the manufacturer still offer replacements?
- Is the surface finish of the pressure cooker still shiny smooth and free of pitting, deep scratches or gouges?
- Does the pressure regulator fit well, and without being loose or worn?
- If the pressure cooker has a gauge have you had it tested for accuracy to make sure it is actually able to maintain pressure as indicated?
- Is the cooker relatively clean, without signs of scorched stains or discoloration from drips coming from around the lid or valve fittings that may indicate the lid or cooker rim is warped or does not seal properly