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Food Preservation


Washington State University Extension offers a wide range of home food preservation and food safety resources on their publications website, including the Fundamentals of Consumer Food Safety & Preservation Master Handbook.

Most can be downloaded instantly free of charge.



Several are available in Spanish.


The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation. The Center was established with funding from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES-USDA) to address food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods.


Image of USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning Everything you need to know about canning is available in USDA’s Complete Guide to Home Canning. This resource is for people canning for the first time or for experienced canners wanting to improve their canning practices.

The free, 196-page  publication can be downloaded from the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.



The first section explains the scientific principles on which canning techniques are based, discusses canning equipment, and describes the proper use of jars and lids. It describes basic canning ingredients and procedures and how to use them to achieve safe, high-quality canned products.

The second section is a series of canning guides for specific foods, including recipes:

Selecting, Preparing, and Canning Fruit and Fruit Products

Selecting, Preparing, and Canning Tomatoes and Tomato Products

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Vegetables and Vegetable Products 

Preparing and Canning Poultry, Red Meats and Seafoods

Preparing and Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables

Preparing and Canning Jams and Jellies


Canning Timer & Checklist – PNW689  (App for iOS and Android)

Select from over 50 popular foods used in home canning—including vegetables, fruits, meats, jams, jellies, pickles, and seafood—to generate a checklist and timer for processing. This app lets set you set your jar size, pack type, canning method, and elevation. It also reminds you of the steps necessary to prepare jars and canning pots. The timer is based on the specific information you enter.

Designed for people with previous canning experience.






Our pages provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. WSU Extension does not manage these external sites, nor does Extension review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these sites. These external sites do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.

Pressure Gauge Testing

We are not currently testing dial pressure gauges for canners.

There are a couple of options available to you:

Free, drop-in testing
Bob’s in Longview does pressure gauge testing for free in their housewares section on a drop-in basis.

Bob’s Sporting Goods
1111 Hudson St
Longview, WA 98632

All-American Canners

If you have All American with both weighted and dial gauge the company recommends only the weighted gauge used for canning and not the dial gauge.

Presto Free Testing

Presto will test their own gauges for free.  You will need to check with them about testing National, Magic Seal, Maid of Honor, Kook-Kwick

Send the Presto gauges to:

National Presto Industries Inc
Attn. gauge testing
3925 N Hastings Way
Eau Claire, WI 54703

Please allow 2-3 weeks to get the gauge back. Please include complete information in the box, meaning name, address (no PO box) and phone number. You’re welcome to ship any way you prefer, but they do recommend a tracking number of some sort for your and their protection against damage or lost packages.

Switch to a Weighted Gauge

Presto can also help with switching your canner to a 3-piece weighted gauge.

If you switch to a weighted gauge you don’t need to get your gauge checked. The weight becomes all that you need to rely on. You leave the dial gauge on — but it becomes instead just an indicator to let you know when the pressure is returning close to 0 so you will be able to take the lid off.

Do call Presto so they can help you determine if this is the best approach for you. All cases are different and they need to verify which canner you have before they can respond.

Contact Presto Customer Service via:
Tel: 1-800-877-0441



Contact Us

Zena Edwards
Food & Nutrition Faculty