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Get your pressure canner tested for free by Illinois Extension

pressure canner tested

URBANA, Ill. — Spring is a great time to take inventory of your canning equipment to prepare for the summer canning season. If you have a dial gauge pressure canner, make it a habit to get it tested by Illinois Extension every year.

Various foods can be canned at home with a boiling water bath and pressure canner. Water bath canning is used for high-acid foods, including fruits and acidified tomato products. However, if low-acid foods, like meats and vegetables, are in your canning plans, you must use a pressure canner.

Over time, the needle on a dial gauge pressure canner can become inaccurate. If the dial gauge is not measuring the correct pressure, foods inside the pressure canner may be underprocessed, which increases the risk of serious illness from botulism.

“A dial gauge pressure canner test will check if the needle is reading accurately,” said Caitlin Mellendorf, nutrition and wellness educator. “Testing is free and takes approximately 15 minutes per canner. Knowing that the gauge is accurate is peace of mind and well worth the visit.”

Call your local Extension office before bringing the equipment, as testing availability may vary among offices.

Learn more about home canning and preservation methods, including freezing, dehydration, and fermentation, at Enjoy complimentary access to two educational series:  Canning with Confidence and Fill Your Pantry.

SOURCE: Caitlin Mellendorf, nutrition and wellness educator, Illinois Extension.

EDITOR: Herbert Chavez, media communications coordinator, Illinois Extension.

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.