Vintage Revere Ware 4 quart pressure cookers come in two varieties, one has a pressure gauge and one has a dial gauge.
Dial gauge type
Pressure gauge type
Earlier pressure cookers were made with a pressure gauge which sits on a rubber valve seat. Sometime in the late 1940’s, Revere switched to a dial gauge which sat on metal, not rubber.
The manuals explain very clearly how to properly use the pressure cooker, how to care for it, and they have some great recipes. Additionally, we came across the gem Know Your Revere Pressure Cooker which has some useful tips the manuals don’t
The dial gauge type has two replaceable parts, and the pressure gauge type has three (i.e. parts that can wear out). Additionally, both types came with an trivet for the bottom, used to cook some foods (to keep them from burning to the bottom).
Over pressure plug
The over pressure plug is a metal screw plug that screws into the underside of the lid. It has a small hole in the center that is plugged by some solder. If the pressure inside the vessel gets too high, the related high temperature (see the ideal gas law if you are really curious why) will melt the solder and blow out the plug, allowing pressure to be released. This will only happen if the pressure vent under the pressure or dial guage is clogged, so be sure and keep this clean. Read the instruction manual for your type of pressure cooker (see above) to learn what to do and what not to do (i.e. what foods you should not cook or how not to overfill the pressurecooker because it can cause clogging).
Unfortunately, if you blow out your over pressure plug, there are no replacements available. One clever customer of ours re-melted the solder with a soldering iron to replug the hole. Do this at your own risk. Other than that suggestion, the only way to replace this plug is to buy another donor pressure cooker that has a good over pressure plug (there are almost always a few for sale on eBay).
Note that the over pressure plug does have a small gasket on it, which looks more like a automotive type gasket than a rubber one.
Rubber valve seat
The rubber valve seat is found only on the pressure gauge type (older) pressure cookers. This gasket is essential for allowing the pressure cooker to work properly as it keeps the proper pressure between the tip of the pressure gauge weight and the lid.
Unfortunately, there are no exact replacements for this available. One clever customer of ours found that a Presto replacement automatic air vent part number 09911 was a suitable replacement, although it took some working to get it in. We have not tried this so use it at your own risk. Be sure and pull the metal center piece out of the Presto replacement before attempting to use on the Revere pressure cooker.
Presto part 09911
This is the main gasket that goes around the lid and is the most common part that wears out. We sell replacements for this.
Unfortunately, none of the Revere Ware pressure cooker manuals discuss the care of gaskets to prolong their life, something that is very important as replacements for some models are hard to find.
From our own experience, we recommend against putting any part of Revere Ware cookware that contains Bakelite or any type of gasket material (like the small rubber gasket in the pressure gauge type 4qt pressure cookers) in the dish washer. Dish washing detergent and the high heat of most modern dishwashers are hard on these materials.
If you are having trouble getting your new replacement gasket to fit in the lid groove (it seems to big) try soaking it in hot water to make it more pliable.
The trivet is optional and goes on the bottom of the pressure cooker when cooking certain vegetables and meats.
Original replacement trivets have not been available for a long time and most pressure cookers obtained second hand don’t come with them. The original trivet measures 7″ in diameter. The pressure cooker measures 7 3/4″ inside at the top and about 7 1/2″ inside at the bottom, just above the curved corner.
If you are looking for a replacement, right around 7″ or slightly smaller is what you need. You can find some reasonable replacements on Amazon.com, like the Presto 85341 Cooking Rack.