The Norman Transcript

April 20, 2014

Free pressure canner checks offered

By Brenda Hill
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman.

The pressure canner dial must maintain accuracy. If it is off more than 2 pounds, it must be replaced. If a product is underprocessed because your dial reads too high, spoilage or foodborne illness can result. If overprocessing occurs because the dial reads too low, the quality of your home-canned products may suffer.

If you have a weighted pressure canner, the gaskets or sealing rings, the vent and safety valve must be checked each year. The same must happen for dial gauges. Vents can be cleaned by using a pipe cleaner, string or narrow piece of cloth.

Make sure the edges of the lid and canner are clean before each use. After each use, store a clean canner with crumbled newspapers tucked into the bottom and around the jar rack. Place the lid in a brown paper sack.

Only designated glass jars that have been tempered for heat and cold should be used in home canning. The mason-type jar is the most common. Canning jars should be free of chips or nicks.

The two-piece canning lid, consisting of a flat disc with sealing compound around the outer edge and a separate metal screw band, is the most common type of lid. Lids should only be used once, but screw bands may be reused as long as they are clean and rust-free.

However, unused lids that are more than five years old, dented, deformed, flawed or previously used in sealing a commercial product should not be used.

Don’t use canning recipes older than 1988.

To learn how to can or to check your canner dial, contact me at the Cleveland County Cooperative Extension Office at 321-4774 or brenda.hill@

okstate.edu.

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