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I bought a pressure canner of Amazon, unfortunately the manual is entirely in Chinese.

It doesn't look like the two types of pressure canners I have learned about, which are "weighted gauge" and "dial gauge".

It has 3...things on the lid and I am not exactly sure how to operate it. Is this basically dial gauge pressure canner? What are the 3 things? Vents?

The product was fairly expensive and looks well build and judging by the temperature gauge it can reach very high pressures, so I assume, that it can be used for canning, but I am not sure how to find information on it.

It looks like this:

Top: enter image description here

Top from the side: enter image description here

From the top: enter image description here

From the bottom: enter image description here

Close Up of one of the holes: enter image description here

Part of the manual:

enter image description here

Full manual: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Tw3X3beWptUEGTLG6

Edit:

After scanning part of the manual with an OCR scanner and using google translate I learned the following: The middle valve is a safety valve. The right one is for manual release. The left one with the pins sticking out is an automatic release, possibly adjustable.

  • There are a number of unusual things about this pressure canner. Do you have a link to the Amazon page, to put it in context? – Sneftel Nov 12 '19 at 14:54
  • Its this one: amazon.de/gp/product/B07RP92FFY/… – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 14:59
  • This seems to be an "autoclave" for laboratories. One of these things, the one in the middle is a safety vents, the other two are vents you can open and close by manipulating the little lever. Is this right? Why does it need two vents? – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 15:27
  • Ask your dentist. They or someone in the practise will be familiar with autoclaves. [I'm not kidding, dentists use these things every day… though it's unlikely anyone ever tried canning in one] – Tetsujin Nov 12 '19 at 17:07
  • The safety valve uses a thin metal foil which blow open when pressure is too high. It's not involved in normal operation so no worries on that. The "automatic pressure release valve" (left, gauge facing you) I guess is the pressure regulator. The "manual pressure release valve" (right, gauge facing you) is what you use to manually release pressure after done cooking? Maybe it has something to do with the pipe. You are advised to use the valve with the pipe to release pressure to avoid shooting out hot liquid, maybe? – user3528438 Nov 12 '19 at 17:19
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  1. Which valve is which?

    See labels below:

enter image description here

  1. When to use the auto valve?

    According to user manual Page 6, Section 5.7, you are supposed to move the handle on the auto valve at least twice a week to make sure it doesn't get stuck. Other than that, just leave it alone and let it do its thing. It will automatically maintain your pressure and temperature. I guess the auto valve is a calibrated device and they don't want you to touch it too often which would wear out the spring, so they give you the manual valve for routine pressure release.

    Additionally, if you see pressure rises to 0.175MPa but no steam comes out of the auto valve, then it's considered a malfunction and you should have the auto valve checked and repaired(5.6, Page 6).

  2. When to use the manual valve?

    Page 4, Section 4.3 and 4.4 says you are supposed to bend the tube down and slide it into the slot on the pot. And you should let the manual valve open until 1 minute after steam comes out of it, to purge the air. This is why you can not use the auto valve for this job: it doesn't have the tube so can not efficiently purge air from the bottom of the pot.

    Page 5, Section 4.7 recommends you don't open the manual valve until 2 minutes after pressure fully drops to avoid shooting hot water out of it. Also, rapid change in pressure and temperature can cause damage to the contents in the pot. However, if you don't want to wait, you can release the pressure immediately after cutting the power, just be careful(4.6, Page 5).

  3. When to use the safety valve?

    The manual didn't mention anything except you should have it checked every 6 months. So just leave it alone and hope you never have to activate it.

(This thing is actually a medical sterilizer. As is any electric medical devices the user manual actually includes a full EMC test standards(GB/T 17626) and results).

  • So I guess the auto valve can not be set to a different max pressure? – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 20:46
  • @user1721135 No. It's designed at 0.142MPa and should not exceed 0.165MPa in practice. – user3528438 Nov 12 '19 at 20:56
  • I think that's actually perfect for canning most things. – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 21:00
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Not a full answer, but I found the video on this page showing how to use a very similar device (no sound that I can see, and text in Chinese) on Alibaba.

It seems that the two valves with sort of rocker style heads are for steam release - you can flip these to release pressure once sterilization is complete - a spoon or fork or something similar will probably work, but it looks like some sort of tool in the video.

I suspect that the front one with what look like nuts is probably so that you can adjust the pressure and hence temperature of sterilization. I don't think the pressure gauge needs much explanation.

My only guess with respect to the hose is that it is intended to get the pressure or temperature at the point of sterilization - this is critical for medical applications; if you underestimate the temperature and your things aren't sterile, it leads to all sorts of trouble.

  • I watched the video, but they don't explain the vents. I thought maybe the middle vent is a safety vent? Or maybe it also works as max. pressure regulator? And the two vents on the side are slightly different. One has little bolts sticking out of the side. The other one doesn't. – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 20:02
  • Yes - my thought too - max pressure vent/safety valve. The one with bolts might allow locking for different temperature sterilization - medical sterilization takes place at 121 C/15 atm for wet and 160 C (I think) for dry. – bob1 Nov 12 '19 at 20:06
  • If the middle one is not simply a safety vent, but max pressure vent, that would mean, that I don't need to monitor the pressure much, so it's basically a mix of dial gauge and weight gauge canner? This would be handy. The key ring on the middle one is attached to a spring / weight, I can pull it up slightly. – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 20:09
  • That's a safety valve for sure - too much pressure will trigger it. The pressure at which it blows might be adjustable by shortening or lengthening the spring. I would guess the other ones will go off at a set pressure too, so as to keep the pressure constant. – bob1 Nov 12 '19 at 20:26
  • OK so I uploaded the manual to an OCR site and google translated the labels. It seems the right one is a manual release, the left one an automatic release and the middle one a safety valve. The automatic release is interesting. Its either hardcoded to 125°C or maybe I can adjust it somehow. – user1721135 Nov 12 '19 at 20:31

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