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Pressure Canner Gauge Testing

Posted by tammy.folks | April 16, 2018

pressure canner is a very important piece of equipment when it comes to home food preservation. Making sure it is working properly is a precaution that should be taken seriously. If the dial gauge on your pressure canner does not register correctly, you could be jeopardizing the safety of the food you just canned.

The USDA recommends having pressure canner gauges tested annually. Testing your pressure canner will determine whether it is functioning properly and will help you produce safely preserved food. Pressure canning is the only recommended method for canning meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables to destroy the disease-causing microorganisms that could be present. The risk associated with preserving these low-acid foods is botulism poisoning.  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.

The WSU Ferry County Extension office offers FREE testing of your pressure canner gauges and inspection of the seals and safety plugs! We can test pressure gauges on most pressure canner models EXCEPT All American.

There are two types of pressure canners – weighted gauge and dial gauge. The difference is that the weighted gauge rocks or jiggles under pressure, whereas the dial gauge has a dial that registers the amount of pressure in the canner. Weighted gauges are noisy because the pressure is released and rocks or jiggles the weight  but they are always accurate when used correctly. Make sure you read the manufacturer’s instructions to know what the correct procedure is when using a weighted gauge pressure canner.

Weighted gauges that rock under pressure do not need to be tested, neither do canners such as All American, whose pressure canners have both a dial and weighted gauge. Just make sure to check rubber seals and safety plugs regularly for wear and cracks and replace if necessary.

Appointments are requested by calling (509) 775-5225, x1116 or email