Canning Basics and Pressure Canning Testing

Canning season is in full swing! For some, this is an exciting time of year, whereas others have already had their fill of fun and are ready for winter. As you preserve your garden produce, keep these basic guidelines in mind:

• Lids are intended for single use. Do not reuse lids. Freeze foods as an alternative.

• Select and follow recipes that have been tested and approved by a university, USDA, or a major canning manufacturer. Ingredient substitutions or measurement changes can change the acidity of the food, resulting in an unsafe product.

• Boiling water canning (hot water bath) is the method used for acidic foods: most fruit, most tomatoes, salsas, pickles, fermented foods, and fruit spreads (jams, jellies, conserves, preserves, marmalades, and butters).

• Use a pressure canner for low-acid foods: vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood, and legumes such as beans.

• Test your pressure canner gauge annually, preferably prior to the first use of the season. Nebraska Extension in Madison County now offers FREE testing year-round. Call 402-370-4040 to schedule an appointment.

• Feel free to call 402-370-4040 with any canning questions. Regular office hours at Nebraska Extension in Madison County are from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday.

• Whether freezing, drying, pickling, or canning, you can find recipes and answers to common questions at

Canning supplies