I was a lucky lady this Christmas and got my very first pressure canner, the All-American 41-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner, model 941.
After processing a batch of canned moose, I let the pressure canner naturally come down in pressure and waited the instructed length of time before trying to open it.
But to my surprise, once I unscrewed the twist knobs and tried to rotate the lid to get it off, it wouldn’t budge. I tried with all of my strength to twist the lid off without luck.
I finally called for backup (or in this case, the All American customer service line) to ask for advice on how to remove a stuck pressure canner lid from model 941. I let them know it was a new canner and this was my first time using it.
The trick to removing a stuck lid from an All-American aluminum pressure canner & cooker
The woman on the phone was so helpful. She explained to me that aluminum is a very porous metal, so new pressure canner lids tend to get stuck the first 8-10 uses. The Model 941 pressure canner & cooker doesn’t have a rubber seal – it’s designed to be metal on metal. But when it’s still new, all of the pressure from processing cans binds the pores of the aluminum together, creating a vaccuum-like seal on the lid that you can’t usually open by hand.
How do you solve this? Find a screwdriver or the end of a hammer, place just the tip inbetween the lid and the base, and very gently apply pressure until you hear the vacuum seal pop open and release the lid.
Just be careful to ONLY apply leverage on a certain part of the canner. You specifically need to place the tool inbetween one of the places where the canner juts out for the screws that hold the lid in place.
If you wedge a screwdriver inbetween the base of the lid and canner (not inbetween the parts that stick out from the round lid), you risk bending the metal that is vital to the seal, which would prevent the canner from getting a good tight seal and reaching pressure in the future.