Preserve your food using this DIY pressure canning guide!
1. Read all the instructions that came with your pressure canner prior to getting started.
2. Check dial gauges for accuracy before use each year and replace if they read high by more than 1 to 2 pounds of pressure. Gauges can be checked at most county Cooperative Extension offices.
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3. Clean all of your canner lid gaskets and apply a light coat of vegetable oil once a year. Nicked or dried gaskets should be replaced.
4. Make sure all vent pipes are clear and contain no trapped material or mineral deposits.
5. Be certain to center the canner over the level burner.
6. Stay nearby when pressure canning to monitor the pressure gauge.
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7. Be sure to follow the recipe’s headspace instructions. Too little headspace can cause food to escape over the rim and cause the jar not to seal.
8. Vent all types of pressure canners 10 minutes before pressurizing.
9. At the end of processing time, allow the pressure to drop to zero naturally and wait two to five minutes before opening the lid.
10. Do not set processed jars on a cold surface or expose to breezy conditions because they can crack.
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This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Winter 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.