Pressure Canner Dial Gauge Testing

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The summer season is quickly approaching, folks are getting ready to dust off their canners to preserve the summer harvest. In many families, including my own, recipes and canning supplies are passed down through the generations. With pressure canners, old and new, the dial gauge should be tested each year.

If the dial gauge is out of calibration then there is a risk of under-processing food. Under-processing of food can lead to harmful toxins such as botulism, which can result in illness and even death. For low-acid foods such as vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood the recommended method is pressure canning.

As we remember to maintain the calibration of the dial gauge now is also a good time to update recipes and methods. Cooperative Extension provides many publications for home food preservation that are research tested through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most of the USDA changes were made in the late 1980s. Resources can be accessed online through the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wilkes County will be offering free dial gauge testing beginning in May of 2019. Bring the lid or just the dial gauge to be tested. The office will schedule appointments for the following days: May 8, 13, and 20, between the hours of 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. If you cannot make an appointment for these dates, you may drop off the lid or gauge at the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wilkes County office between the hours of 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. You will be called when it is ready for pick up. Call 336-651-7330 to make an appointment.

In addition to pressure canner testing, a series of workshops will be offered for novice canners or those who would like an update on current research. The first hands-on workshop will be Tuesday, May 28th at 6 p.m. Check the website or call 336-651-7330 for more information.