BROOKINGS, S.D. - With canning season just around the corner, for accuracy before use, SDSU Extension recommends that dial pressure canner gauges get tested each year.
"Dial gauge pressure canners use dial gauges to indicate if the correct pressure is being maintained. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause under-processing," said Curtis Braun, SDSU Extension Food Safety Specialist.
Braun explained that pressure adjustments can be made if the gauge reads up to 2 pounds high or low. Replace gauges that differ by more than 2 pounds.
Owners of pressure canners can have the gauges checked by mailing them in to be checked or by taking them into a Nyberg's Ace Hardware location in Sioux Falls. Nyberg's Ace Hardware, 330 W 41st St., Sioux Falls, SD 57105, Phone: 605-336-6467. Nyber's Ace will test free of charge.
Not all gauges need to be tested
Two types of pressure canners exist, weighted gauge pressure canners and dial gauge pressure canners. Weighted gauges do not require testing.
"Weighted gauge canners will either keep rocking gently or make a frequent jiggling noise to indicate if the correct pressure is being maintained," Braun said.
To know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle, Braun encourages owners to read the manufacturer's instructions.
Dial gauges do require annual testing.
Presto, a manufacturer of dial gauge pressure canners, will test gauges at no charge. The manufacturer will only test gauges from these brands:
- Magic Seal
- Maid of Honor
For specifics on other models of pressure canner gauges, please check with the manufacturer. All American for example, has been selling their pressure canners with both a dial and weighted gauge for each unit. Weighted gauges do not need to be tested.
Steps to send in your pressure gauge:
- Carefully remove dial gauge from canner and package in foam, bubble wrap or newspaper to avoid shipping damage.
- Ship gauge only. If you cannot remove the gauge from the canner lid, send canner lid with the gauge attached.
- Gauges are checked within three working days of receipt and shipped for return.
National Presto Industries Inc
3925 North Hastings Way
Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54703-3703
For more information, phone Presto Customer Service: 1.715.839.2121 or 1.800.877.0441. For more information visit the Presto website.
NOTE: Replacement gauges and other parts (e.g. gasket, safety plugs) for canners are often found at stores that sell food preservation equipment or from canner manufacturers. When ordering parts, be sure to provide your canner model number and describe the parts you need. Here are additional resources where you can find replacement gauges and other parts:
- Prestocanner Outlet
- Mirro Replacement Parts
For other canning related questions, contact AnswerLine at 1.888.393.6336, or contact your local SDSU Extension Regional Center. A complete listing can be found at iGrow, under the Field Staff Listing tab.