Are you using a dial gauge pressure canner that has been used for years and you’re unsure if the gauge is reading accurate? Have you purchased a pressure canner at a yard sale or received a pressure canner from a family member and are unsure of its accuracy?

If you are thinking of canning this year, start by checking your equipment and supplies. Proper equipment in good condition is required for safe, high quality home canned food.

The University of Minnesota Extension, Becker County is equipped to test pressure canner dial gauges for home canners. A pressure canner is essential for canning low-acid vegetables, meats, fish and poultry. Two basic types of canners are available. One has a dial gauge to indicate the pressure inside the canner and it is recommended this gauge be tested annually. The other has a metal weighted gauge and is not tested.

The Becker County Extension Office has a pump dial gauge-testing unit. This unit uses air rather than steam pressure to test pressure canner gauges. Please call Linda Perrine, Extension Office Manager at 218-846-7328 to make an appointment to have your gauge tested free of charge. The Extension Office is located at 1120 8th St. SE Detroit Lakes.

For general home canning questions, contact the University of Minnesota AnswerLine toll free at 1-800-854-1678. Answer Line staff have been answering consumer’s questions for over 30 years, providing reliable, research-based answers to everyday questions. Call them to get information about safely cooking, canning and freezing foods, cleaning stains and mildew from homes and clothes and dealing with floods and other household issues. Calls are answered Monday-Friday between 9 a.m.-12:00 noon and 1-4 p.m.

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Planning ahead can save you time, money and frustration with home canning. Make it a happy, successful canning season by getting prepared before your harvest is ready.