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Pressure Gauge Testing

Posted by WSU Extension | May 13, 2019

The long winter is finally gone, temperatures are rising, and the garden has been planted.  Now is the perfect time to ensure your pressure canner is working properly, before harvesting begins!

The USDA recommends pressure canners with dial gauges be tested annually.  Why?  Testing the gauge tells you whether your gauge is working properly.  An accurate gauge is necessary to make sure your home canned foods are safe.  Only dial gauges need annual testing.  Weighted gauges stay accurate unless they are damaged.

Pressure canning is the only recommended method for canning meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables. The risk associated with these low-acid foods is botulism poisoning, if they are not processed properly.  Only pressure canning will allow food to be heated to and held for a specified time at 240 degrees Fahrenheit which is hot enough to destroy the bacterial spores that emit toxins.

Dial Gauge

Dial gauges like this one need to be tested every year to ensure accuracy.

Weighted Gauge

Weighted gauges like this one do not need tested.

Free Gauge Testing

WSU Benton County Extension offers free testing of dial gauge pressure canners.

Please call to make an appointment: (509) 735-3551 or email

Check out our Food Preservation page for resources to help you preserve safely.