Apr 29, 2013

Canner Gauge Testing Time

GREENVILLE-Planning to do some canning this year to take advantage of your garden produce? That means it's time to get your home canning equipment in working order. OSU Extension, Darke County, will check dial type pressure canner gauges beginning May 1, through September 30. There is a $5 charge for each gauge tested. You will need to bring in your dial gauge to their office and they will test it, or call you to pick it up after it has been tested. In addition, you will receive the most recent materials available on home food preservation. Please bring your canner lid with the gauge attached to be tested. They will also check the gasket on your canner to make sure that, too, is in working order. OSU Extension, Darke County, is located at 603 Wagner Ave., Greenville, on the north side of Edison State Community College. If you have any questions, call 548-5215.

Before your produce is ready to preserve, be certain that you check the jars you plan to use. Inspect them for cracks. Run your finger around the rim of each jar to inspect for chips, nicks and bumps in the glass. Any irregularities can cause seals to fail; discard jars that don't meet the standard for canning, or use them for decorative or other purposes. Also, mayonnaise jars, or similar commercial food jars, are considered "one-trip" jars. These jars are not thick enough to withstand the repeated use in home canning. Make sure your jar supply is ready for the task, as well as the rest of your canning equipment. Remember, pressure canning is the only safe method of canning low acid vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood. The 240 degree temperature required to preserve these foods safely can only be reached in a pressure canner.

Canning is not the place for creativity. Use only scientifically tested recipes, instructions and recommendations for home preserving foods. Home food preservation is easy and safe, but only if you follow safe guidelines for each particular food you are canning. Freezing is a safe method to preserve any food, so when in doubt, freeze it.

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