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Get your pressure canner dial gauge tested

pressure canner on stove top

Canning season is fast approaching! Are you ready? Before using your pressure canner, have your dial gauge tested for accuracy. Testing will ensure your pressure canner reaches the appropriate pressure needed to process low-acid foods. Over time, a pressure canner's dial gauge will become inaccurate, reading too high or too low. If the pressure gauge reads too high, it will lead to under-processing, resulting in unsafe foods. This is because the high temperature needed to destroy harmful microorganisms, such as the botulism toxin, can only be reached under pressure. If the dial gauge reads too low, your product will lose quality due to over-processing, and foods may become mushy.

If the dial gauge reads up to two pounds high or low, slight pressure adjustments can be made without replacing the dial gauge. However, the gauge must be replaced if it differs by more than two pounds.

The only way to know if your pressure gauge is accurate is to have it tested. Bring in your pressure canner lid with the gauge attached. Staff will inspect the lid, gasket, and gauge for accuracy and provide you with an assessment. We do not test weighted gauge pressure canners. However, if you’d like it to be inspected, we can do that.

University of Illinois Extension is holding Pressure Canner Testing Clinics in Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties in June.

Thursday, June 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Winnebago County Extension office, 1040 N. Second St., Rockford, IL

Tuesday, June 11, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Jo Daviess County Extension office, 204 Vine St., Elizabeth, IL

Tuesday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Stephenson County Extension office, Building R, 2998 W. Pearl City Rd., Freeport, IL

Reserve your spot today by clicking here!

Please Note: We test gauges for National, Magic Seal, Maid of Honor, and Presto brand canners. We do not test weighted gauge pressure canners. However, we can inspect the gaskets and lid of these canners.  The All-American pressure canner is a weighted gauge canner with a reference gauge; therefore, we do not test the gauges on an All-American canner. 


About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.