A reader posted a question on a temporary blog post I took down, but I didn't want her question deleted because I thought it was a good one. She wrote:
Speaking of canning (you're my 'go-to gal for all things canning), I have wanted to email you, but couldn't find an address on your blog. I did the unthinkable....my fizzle fazzeled before my canner's pfhitting finished, i.e. I fell asleep while canning chicken in the pressure canner!!!! Thank goodness nothing exploded, BUT, the bottom of my canner is now rounded rather than flat (boohoo). Can I still use this canner, or should I bite the bullet and get a new one. PS: it's a Presto 16-quart (gosh, where did I first learn about that)? While I feel this is an inappropriate place to ask this question, I would love your input. Thanks.
Off-hand I'd say the canner is ruined, but since I've never encountered this kind of problem, I can't say for certain. I would absolutely contact the manufacturer and explain the problem (though understand it's in their best interest to suggest you purchase a new canner). Has anyone else experienced this issue? Is her canner ruined?
This reader's experience underscores the importance of vigilance during canning. Once -- only once -- did I get close to blowing the roof off our house because I forgot to check the pressure canner. Foolish me, I got involved in writing on the computer. By the time I remember and scrambled into the kitchen, the canner pressure was in the screaming red zone. I turned off the heat and got the hell out of there. Thankfully nothing happened but it taught me a harsh lesson: pay attention. Now whenever I use the pressure canner, I clip a kitchen timer to my collar and set it to beep every five or six minutes to remind me to go check the pressure. I haven't had a near-accident since.