If you live at altitudes higher than 1000 feet above the sea, canning foods must be a whole different ball game for you. Making jams and preserves, veggies and tomato soups, or anything else is a unique experience when living so far above the surface of the sea.

We are here to help you figure out why that’s the case and how you can make up for the higher elevation.

High Altitude Canning – What’s Different?

The boiling point of water changes due to lower atmospheric pressure and lower boiling temperature at higher altitudes. This affects your canning abilities because the boiling water bath method depends on the temperature and the food’s high acidity to safely preserve it.

Up until 1000 feet above sea level, the boiling temperature for water is at 212 °F. But it changes to 207.1 °F at 2500 feet.

In water bath canning, ensuring these temperature levels maintains food safety; making up for the difference is essential. If the boiling water isn’t hot enough, the foods won’t be effectively sterilized.

Pressure canning also requires temperatures higher than that of boiling water to preserve low-acid foods safely. Also, expect the light atmospheric pressure at high altitudes to affect pressure canning, which means you need to increase pressure accordingly.

High-Altitude Canning Adjustments

There are two types of canning that you need to take care of when making adjustments to the recipes at high altitudes:

  • At high altitudes, add processing time for boiling water bath canning
  • At high altitudes, raise the pressure for pressure canning

Boiling Water Bath

The altitude you are on and the recipe’s processing time determine the adjustments you have to make with the boiling water bath canning.

For a recipe with a processing time of over 20 minutes:

  • 1,001–3,000 feet above sea level: raise time by 5 minutes
  • 3,001–6,000 feet above sea level: raise time by 10 minutes
  • 6,001–8,000 feet: raise time by 15 minutes
  • 8,001–10,000 feet: increase time by 20 minutes

For a recipe with a processing time of under 20 minutes:

  • 1,001–6,000 feet above sea level: raise time by 5 minutes
  • Over 6,000 feet: increase time by 10 minutes

Pressure Canning

In the case of pressure canning recipes, you will usually find a processing pressure of 10 pounds-per-square-inch gauge (PSIG) compared to the surrounding environment. This pressure is essential to produce a 240 degrees F boiling temperature at sea level.

A deadweight gauge pressure canner raises the pressure to 15 PSIG at over 1000 feet sea level.

Use the following pressure increments for dial gauge pressure canners.

  • 1,001–3,000 feet: raise pressure by 2 PSIG
  • 3,001–5,000 feet: increase pressure by 3 PSIG
  • 5,001–7,000 feet: increase pressure by 4 PSIG
  • Above 7,000 feet: increase pressure by 5 PSIG

Some Tips For High Altitude Canning

To save your time while canning at high altitudes, follow our tips:

  1. At high altitudes, jellies reach the gelling stage faster, and the candy thermometer does not help get an accurate reading. Remember that a gel point at sea level is different than that above 1000 feet and gives a pasta-like consistency instead.
  2. At high altitudes, canning sessions take longer because of the higher boiling point of water. So keep in mind that both types of canning take a longer time to get ready than you anticipate.

In Conclusion

If you live on high altitudes and want to enjoy delicious canned foods, don’t be bummed about the recipe’s requirements.

Follow our guide to safely use the food by making some easy adjustments to the recipes. For more information about canning basics and safety, head over to Mrs. Wages.

For us, the weekends aren’t complete without a spectacular serving of spaghetti and meatballs.

It’s a favorite for millions of Americans, and for good reason – it’s easy to make and looks good no matter how you serve it!

The traditional Italian spaghetti sauce is an integral part of this recipe. Sure you can get some off-the-shelf sauce, add it to your dish and call it a day, but where’s the fun in that?

Besides, there is something about homemade spaghetti sauce with all its traditional Italian goodness, tomato-based flavors, and an infusion of herbs that gives it that distinct flavor.

But we understand it can be a royal pain to make sauce every weekend because it does take some time and patience.

That’s why we have an excellent solution for you – start canning!

One of the biggest advantages of making your spaghetti sauce is that you could can it in different sized jars according to the amount you want. This way, you won’t ever waste any of the sauce or watch it moldering in the fridge if left in there for too long.

The spaghetti sauce needs to be pressure canned to keep it fresh for years at a time. Let’s learn more about the process.

Pressure Canning

It involves preserving food under pressure and extreme temperature that kills all types of bacteria and prevents spoilage. These low acid foods must be processed at a temperature of 240o F for a particular time, as detailed by the recipe you use.

Pressure canning kills bacteria that a water bath canning process cannot reach, making it the better option for food preservation.

How Does Pressure Canning Work?

It uses a pressurized container to raise temperatures beyond 240 degrees Fahrenheit, using less water than a water bath as the jars placed in the container are not covered with water.

This traps steam inside the container to raise the temperature and preserves food that would otherwise require acid to be added to it.

Tools Required For Pressure Canning

For a successful pressure canning process, you require the following tools:

  • Pressure canner
  • Preserving glass jars and lids
  • Wooden spoon, ladle, knife
  • Jar lifter
  • Home canning funnel

Advantages Of Pressure Canning

There are several advantages to pressure canning, such as:

  • Uses less water and less energy
  • Allows you to store items without requiring a freezer or a cold cellar
  • Retains the flavor and freshness of the ingredients
  • you can control the type of ingredients added to these preserved foods

Why Does Spaghetti Sauce Need To Be Pressure Canned?

The key to safely can spaghetti sauce is first to ensure that the tomatoes are at a safe acidity level to prevent botulism.

Tomatoes are categorized as fruits, and the amount of acid in them varies over the season. Unripe tomatoes consist of a lot more acid as compared to fruit that has reached maturity.

That is why it is recommended to make spaghetti sauce or preserve tomato-based sauces through the pressure canning method that requires no acid to be added to the sauce and ensures that the taste remains fresh even after days.

So if you want homemade spaghetti sauce that’s made from scratch to amaze your guests or kids, opt for the pressure canning process to make a delicious sauce that sits on your shelf for days.

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