5 Things To Do Right Now To Prepare For Canning Season Next year



Canning is one of those things that homesteaders look forward to each year with excited anticipation and a slight twinge of dread. Nothing beats the quality and the feeling of accomplishment you get from preserving your harvest each year, and that peach cobbler sure is to die for in the frigid depths of January...but it's such a lot of work, and most of that time spent is in the preparation. With all that happens during the canning season, there are a few things you can do right now to prepare for next season that will make your life a little easier come harvest time. 

pressure canner
Remove the gasket in the lid of your pressure canner and inspect it for cracks or disintegration.

1. Check and replace the gasket on your pressure canner. Remove the gasket from the lid of your pressure canner and look for cracks in the rubber or signs of disintegration. Bad gaskets will affect your canner's ability to reach and maintain proper pressure while in use. Gaskets should be replaced every two to three years as part of your canner's maintenance regimen. You can pick one up online or at your local hardware store for around $10 or less.

pressure canner
You can get your dial gauges tested at your county extension office or a local hardware store.

2. Get your dial gauge tested (Weighted gauges do not require testing). You can take your dial gauge to your county extension office to have it tested, often free of charge (be sure to call ahead so they have someone on staff to test it for you). It is recommended to have your gauge tested and adjusted if need be before each canning season to ensure your safety. Gauges that read high can result in under-processed foods that are unsafe to consume. Ones that read low can result in not only over-processed canned food, but it also increases the risk of dangerous kitchen mishaps. If your gauge tests more that 2 pounds off, high or low, it should be replaced. Cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged gauges must be replaced. You can find replacements online for around $15. Other places that test dial gauges include hardware stores and companies like “Presto” that manufacture canning equipment.

12/11/2017 3:52:53 PM

Rachel, great ideas to start early. Canning time is always a busy time and accurate gauges with good seals are needed during those times. I have good intentions about building an outside canning station because canning is always done in the hottest part of the year but, alas, I haven't accomplished that just yet. ***** Have a great canning Winter preparation day. ***** Nebraska Dave

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