Drying Burl Wood #3: Pressure cooking your burls

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Blog entry by OregonBurls posted 08-29-2012 05:05 PM 2954 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Consideration #2 By OregonBurls Part 3 of Drying Burl Wood series no next part

Hello everybody!

Part #3

More clarification on pressure cooking the burls:

Pressure cookers (Canning Pressure Cookers) are set at 15 psi. Please make sure that if you use a pressure cooker that it is modern, meaning that you have the rubber plug that will pop off if you get too much pressure. So you have the weight that regulates the pressure and the rubber plug.

Also, you do not want the burl to be sitting on the bottom. The pressure cooker will come with a bottom grate or riser. This is what I use to keep the burl off the bottom.

You do not want the burl to rest in the water but rather steam the block. This is what helps to stabilize the burl and keep the color.

So in my 36 quart pressure cooker I will put about 4” of water in the bottom. Yes it is hard to avoid some of it getting in the water.

Either way waxed or fresh you just place the block in the cooker. I would imagine that if you use the wax blocks you would not be able to dye T-Shirts but never tried it.

Cautions: Don’t let the pot run out of water and make sure the safety button is in place correctly.

The first time I did this I was a bit apprehensive because I had never dealt with pressure cooker. But now it is old hat.

Enjoy! And if you have any more questions just let me know and I will do my best to answer you.

Greg Dahl

-- Greg, Southern Oregon, What can I say but God Is Good!

4 comments so far

View Grumpy's profile


24047 posts in 3908 days

#1 posted 08-30-2012 12:18 AM

Thanks Greg. Must try it.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3075 days

#2 posted 08-30-2012 01:31 AM

I have seen pressure cookers but never one big enough to hold a 12” square block!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3243 posts in 3769 days

#3 posted 08-30-2012 04:19 AM


Thanks for the clarification. My pressure canner is modern—that is it has the rubber safety relief valve. It’s only a few years older than me (and I’m ancient)! ;-)

My canner gauge goes to 20 pounds of pressure but I always can (vegetables, meats, and fish) at 11 pounds (for our altitude). I’ve never taken it above 12 or 13 pounds. The canner also has a reversible riser (shelf) which can raise the items about two inches off the bottom when used one way and about 3 inches the other. I’ve found that two inches of water in the bottom (before jars are added) when canning items which need to be held at 11 pounds for 90 minutes has always been adequate.

When the hour is finished and you take the burl out, how much water is left in your canner? Could a person get by with less than 4 inches (so I could keep the burl out of the water)? Or would that give a possibility of running it dry?

Thanks for all your advice.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View OregonBurls's profile


580 posts in 3205 days

#4 posted 08-30-2012 05:08 AM

You can try it . Just need to be watching the steam. If it stops you are out of water. as soon as the pressure is down I take the lid off and fill it with cold water to cool the wood down.

-- Greg, Southern Oregon, What can I say but God Is Good!

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