Is Your Pressure Canner Ready for This Season?

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pressure canner and glass jars on a table.

Having everything ready to preserve those delicious foods you either grow or buy during this time of the year is very important. That includes making sure your pressure canner is working properly. The dial gauge on your pressure canner should be checked for accuracy and overall condition every year before you begin preserving foods for the season.

Brands That Can be Tested

  • Presto
  • Maid of Honor
  • National
  • Magic Seal

Other brands cannot be tested since we do not have specific information on the gauges and their calibration processes. Please contact the manufacturing company for assistance with other brands not included here.

When and Where are We Testing?

We will be having free dial gauge testing by appointment at our office:

Bonnie B Davis Environment and Agricultural Center 1020 US-70 W. Suite 130 Hillsborough, NC 27278

To make your appointment or for questions call Ivelisse Colón, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent at 919-245-2055 or email at

What to Bring to Your Appointment

Bring your canner lid with its rubber gasket (if it has one) and dial gauge. Do not bring the canner itself unless you have questions about its condition.

Why Testing Your Canner’s Gauge?

Regular handling, constant use, age, and storage conditions of your pressure canner can affect the accuracy of the gauge and eventually the safety of the foods you want to preserve.

Research-tested recipes for pressure canned foods are based on specific temperatures and times that aim to kill harmful bacteria and/or control their growth. If the pressure is lower than that recommended for processing, the internal temperature of the food will not be high enough to kill all the microorganisms that can produce harmful toxins and cause illness, long-term health issues, or death.

On the other hand, if a dial gauge is inaccurate and the processing temperature is higher than recommended, the food inside the jar may be overcooked affecting its quality.