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Pressure cooker problems

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I have a pressure cooker problem. I was canning chicken breasts and decided to try out my latest estate sale find ...a 22 qt sears and robuck "just like grandma's" pressure cooker (1956 model) complete with seal ,pressure select disk and even owners manual...really well taken care of. I also have its lil brother...the 16qt of the same brand. They are the same diameter and can share lids and seals.

The 22qt allows you to stack pints and can 16 at one time. So I stuffed my raw chicken into pints, double stacked them in the cooker and cranked up the heat....then I noticed there was a drip around the seal. The pressure disk was already clanking away so the steam was being generated faster than the leak was letting it out...but I needed to cook for 75 minutes so any water loss could result in dry cooking ...not acceptable or safe.

So I release pressure an think "ill just swap lids and seals"...I do...same problem. All I can come up with is that at some point in the 60+ year life of the cooker it was dropped/dinged hard enough to warp the lip of the pot hard enough to cause a fouled seal...but not hard enough to be visible.

Luckily we have 2 other canners so I was able to complete the project...but I'd really like to salvage the 22 qt because of the double stack ability.


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I am NOT POSITIVE but the seal could be augmented with food safe oil or food safe silicone on the exterior of the seal so it will make the pressure expand the gasket / seal I am assuming it is U shaped hollow inside if so that may allow the seal to expand to fit the area before the steam can find a way around.

Another possible way is to set the lid on a absolute flat surface and check if you can see where the uneven portion is and that may allow you to use a jack and some insulators like thin wood to protect the metal and jack the dent out a fraction at a time, if it is the lid downard pressure may pe applied with shims on the portion you do not want to bend and again by increments, I would choose a screw jack as you can by small partial turns move very tiny increments where as hydraulic jacks are harder to regulate movement.

I have made screw jacks out of turnbuckles and used wood blocks not for heavy duty work but for wedging out works OK.

HEY I never tried repairing a pressure cooker but all I can come up with is it is out of round or the lid is warped. and if you check it with a pressure gauge it may still be able to hold enough pressure on a higher flame / heat add more water as if your canning jars it is not like soup or broth that can creep and stop your vent and spew or stop up and blow your pot up a real PSI gauge is better than guess work IMHO

as Heat is the real regulator and it takes time for steam to evaporate all the water and you can do a timed test with the amount of water try for 15 30 60 and 90 minutes if you have water + or - enough as a safety factor don't (sweat it) ---- get it sweat- steam well not real funny but I'll be here all week tip the waitresses and try the veal ;)

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