She’s Not Allowed to Cook Dinner Anymore

Look at this kitchen. The stove is wrecked. The oven is wrecked. The stove hood is wrecked. Now look up- the lid is embedded in the ceiling! And there are bits of food all over, which they’ll probably be finding for years to come. This is what happens when all the safety features of a pressure cooker fail at once. Redditor MaggleCole posted this as evidence.

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My mom always used a pressure cooker for canning and taught me how (after I was in my teens and AFTER she'd instilled a healthy respect and a bit of fear in me about it). And we never had any disasters. But I, too, am scared of them and happy enough to do things some other way now! My favorite is also the slow cooker now. And for canning? Water bath and seal or oven- both work well.
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It depends if you are trying to just get some what reduced pressure to increase evaporation or lower the boiling point, or if you want to get enough of a vacuum to make it boil at room temperature. You can get cheap venturi/aspirator type pumps that will use an air compressor and get decent pumping speed, just not a very strong vaccuum. Although you could probably get better results by just increasing surface area and using a lot of air flow.

Getting a mechanical vacuum pump sometimes can be done quite cheaply through university surplus sources (I've seen some larger ones that would be hard to use on a home circuit go for under $100 or just get tossed when sitting around too long), especially if you don't mind replacing some of the gaskets. However, they tend to backstream oil, rarely using food compatible oil, and often don't handle large amounts of water well. Oil free pumps tend to be more expensive, and newer, so harder to find in surplus.
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