If you like canning your food and you live above 1,000 feet from sea level, then you have to use a pressure canning altitude chart. What being on a higher altitude means, is that you have to adjust for water bath and pressure canning because the atmospheric pressure is reduced.
When the atmospheric pressure is lower, water will boil at a lower temperature from the usual 212 degrees F. To safely continue to can my food, I had to learn to adjust for altitude based on where I live, and you must do, too.
Other things to keep in mind when you are canning at higher altitudes, is the equipment that you need. I tend to have canning jar lifter tongs ready, especially because the water will be extra hot. Needless to say, you should also have your jars and lids ready, especially ones that are safe to use at high temperatures. Finally, make sure your canning rack is easy to grab and adjust, just in case something happens during the process.
Here Are The 7 Things You Need to Know About A Canning Altitude Chart:
Fact #1: High altitude water bath canning takes longer
When you use a water bath canning method at an altitude higher than 1,000 feet, you also need to bring any contents up to a temperature of at least 212 degrees F. However, this also means that you have to compensate for the temperature difference and increase the total processing time.
Fact #2: High altitude pressure canning requires a higher pressure too
The pressure canner method will also be affected by the atmospheric pressure you’re at. When you use a pressure canner, it should reach 240 degrees F so that it is safe, which means this is the temperature needed to stop botulism.
Still, because you’re at a higher altitude, you have to increase the pressure that you use, too. Time won’t necessarily change, but the pressure certainly does.
Fact #3: A quick Google search can show you what altitude you’re at
If you aren’t sure what altitude you’re in, all you need to do is a quick Google search. Simply, put in your city, state, and the keyword “altitude” and you will see the results.
When you are water bath canning and pressure canning, you need to look at possible pressures to use and you should be able to adjust your recipe accordingly. Never just assume that the recipe you find is right, as some of these may be prepared at a different altitude from yours.
Fact #4: The pressure to use varies with a dial gauge and weight gauge
Here is the pressure canning altitude chart to go by when you use a dial gauge pressure canner:
Here is the pressure canning altitude chart to go by when you use a weighted gauge pressure canner:
Fact #5: Time has to be adjusted accordingly when you use a boiling water bath canner
Here are the times to go by when you use a boiling water bath canner:
Fact #6: Jellies set quicker at a higher altitude and you need to be attentive
This is a fun fact that has helped me before when I prepared my multiple jelly recipes. Still, because the temperature is higher, a candy thermometer may not be enough. Be ready to have a reading of at least 220 degrees F, which is more likely the gel point at 1,000 feet.
If you are living anywhere higher than 1,000 feet, though, 220 degrees F may be too much, and soon your jelly will be more like a paste than anything else.
Fact #7: Be prepared to spend more time canning
Canning can take much longer at higher altitudes, and that’s mostly because water takes longer to boil, so you may need to plan ahead of time to adjust your recipe and your time.
It may also be better to start your water bath canner, or pressure canner, ahead of time so that the water will boil sooner rather than later.
You’re all set to start canning wherever you are!
Now that you know how to adjust for pressure and time depending on your altitude, you are all set for any canning adventures, wherever you decide to go. Remember to do a quick search before you start, as you need to be sure about the altitude to safely move on with your canning process.
Canning doesn’t have to be hard at higher altitudes, it just needs to be done safely by paying attention to details and making sure your gauge and other tools are working appropriately.
Have fun canning any time and anywhere!