Pressure Canner Method for Home Canning
Home Canning of low acid foods (pH more than 4.6) must be done
at a high temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit or 115 degrees
Celsius at sea level. This can only be done under pressure, using a
pressure canner. Note: Some foods require extremely sophisticated
equipment and should only be packaged professionally.

When using a canner, follow the manufacturer's instructions
exactly. Bring it to the recommended canning pressure of 10
pounds (at sea level; see
Altitude Time Adjustments for above
1,000 feet above sea level) then maintain that pressure for the
duration of the recommended processing time. Please note that the
canner must return to its zero pressure naturally. We prefer to let
it set overnight, with the products inside, before opening and

Pressure canners are safe. The petcock is used in conjunction with
a gauge and is designed to let excessive pressure escape. For a
weighted gauge the pressure escapes by pressure against the
underside of the weight and cannot exceed the pressure of the
weight. Both types of pressure canners are described in our free
video 4.
Click here to find out
more about our  
Technical Guide, If I
Can, You Can!™ It will
provide you with simple,
step-by-step instructions
for home canning,
illustrated using
1.  Keep your pressure canner
clean and regulated at least
once a year to ensure that the
pressure gauge is accurate.  
2.  The pressure canner should
have a rack that elevates the
jars above the bottom of the
canner to permit the circulation
of water.
3.  Fill the pressure canner with
2 inches of water.
4.  While canning your food
you should heat the water to a
simmer.  You do not wish to
place hot jars in cold water
which could make them break.
5.  Fill the pressure canner with
your sealed jars.
6.  Close the pressure canner
tightly in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions.  
Turn on the stove and begin
7.  The petcock is open.  
When steam begins escaping in
a steady stream set the kitchen
timer for 10 minutes to ensure
the air has escaped and that the
temperature is even throughout
the pressure canner.
8.  After the 10 minutes, close
the petcock.  Remember it is
hot so take care to use a tool,
even one that is makeshift, to
not touch the petcock directly.

If using a weighted gauge
pressure canner, the weighted
gauge is placed over the vent at
this point in time.
9.  The temperature will climb
and reach the desired pressure
within 6 – 7 minutes.  Watch
the pressure and adjust the
burner down if the pressure
exceeds that desired or adjust
the burner up if it begins to
descend below the desired

When the desired processing
time has elapsed, turn off the
burner and allow the pressure
canner to return to normal “0”
pressure naturally.


We prefer to let the pressure
canner sit overnight before
opening.  If opening
immediately after its return to
“0” pressure, do so cautiously.  
Wait as long as possible and
vent the petcock or remove the
weighted gauge.  Wait a couple
of minutes to permit as much
pressure as possible to escape
via the vent.  Then open the
pressure canner slowly and
carefully being alert that steam
will be escaping and ensure that
you vent that steam away from
you by opening the lid away
from you.

When canning at an altitude
above 1,000 feet, adjust the
processing time using
Time Adjustments.

After processing, follow
instructions in
Labeling and
Processing jars in a
pressure canner is not
difficult.  If you plan
to make canning part
of your life style, then
we recommend
making a one-time
investment in some
good pieces of
equipment including a
pressure canner that is
dedicated to canning
which includes a rack,
plus a jar lifter for
picking up hot jars.
Follow manufacturers'
recommendations and
instructions and visit
their websites for
updates on a regular
Return to Main Table of Contents for other recipes and canning information
For comments and questions please write:
© 2004 David G. Blackburn
A Simple Approach to Preserving Homemade Foods
USA Canning
Supply Store!
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Video 6:
Canning Pâtés,
Meatloaf and Fish
Video 5:
Canning Whole
Meals; Chili, Stew
and Meat Sauces
Video 4:
Canning Vegetables;
Soup and Ratatouille
Watch our free videos to learn how to
use a pressure canner.
All-American Pressure Canner
brochure with complete sizing
information (PDF).
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