Canning Information

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presto dial gauge and canner

Presto dial gauge and canner with three jars of canned food

Canning is a great way to preserve your garden harvest and enjoy delicious summer foods all year long. With that being said, how does the process of canning work? The canning process uses heat and later cooling to destroy microorganisms, remove oxygen, inactivate enzymes, and prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria, yeasts, and molds by forming a vacuum seal in jars. Acidic foods such as fruits and tomatoes can be safely canned in boiling water. Low acid vegetables and meats must be pressure canned at temperatures between 240 to 250°F. To ensure the safety of home food preservation, always follow research-tested recipes. Better yet, join us for our canning workshop on Wednesday June 21 from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. to brush up on your canning skills by signing up online

If you are looking for some great resources with evidence-based recipes and information regarding canning check out the following: 

Did you know that your dial gauge pressure canner should be tested each year for accuracy? Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Gauges that read low cause over-processing. Pressure adjustments can be made if the gauge reads up to 2 pounds high or low, however gauges that differ by more than 2 pounds will need to be replaced. Call the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Johnston County Center @ 919-989-5381 or email Gwen B. Williams, Extension Agent Family & Consumer Sciences, at to request information or arrange a time for canner testing. You only have to bring the dial-gauge and pressure canner lid.