It’s just about time to fetch canners out of the basement or garage. Fresh summer produce is on its way. When was the last time your dial gauge pressure canner was tested for accuracy? If it’s been more than one year, it’s time for a re-check. OSU Extension Clermont County will be testing dial gauge pressure canners each Wednesday in July (15, 22 and 29) from 10:00am-1:00pm at the OUS Extension Office located on the Clermont County Fairgrounds (1000 Locust St, Owensville, OH). Click to register for an appointment. Appointments are 15-minutes, so please arrive on time. You only need to bring the pressure canner lid to be tested.
Home canning is a relatively simple process, but many variables can affect your finished product. There are so many resources with unsafe information that it is important to make sure you are following the most recent safe home canning guidelines. One guideline for home canning foods safely is using a pressure canner to process low-acid foods, such as vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish. These low-acid foods must be pressure canned at the recommended time and temperature to destroy Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism food poisoning. Home canning low-acid foods in boiling water canners is absolutely unsafe because 212 degrees F is not high enough to destroy botulinum bacteria.
With good reason, most people have a healthy regard for the possible dangers of pressure canners. Usually this respect is based on an old story of a pressure canner “blowing up” in someone’s grandmother’s kitchen. Regardless, it is important to realize that pressure canners are safe if the safety precautions are followed and the canner is used properly. Dangers arise when the unit isn’t maintained and/or used properly. To make sure your pressure canner is working properly, all dial-gauge pressure canners should be tested for accuracy each year.