Altitude must be considered when home canning jams, preserves, and vegetables. These simple instructions give you high-altitude tips for your home canning recipes, whether you're canning savory tomato juice or something sweet like jam and preserves—or anything in between!
Before you roll up your sleeves on your home canning recipes, take note: At higher altitudes, water boils at a lower temperature. This means that when canning at higher elevations, you must process food longer in a boiling-water canner or process foods at a higher pressure in a pressure canner.
What's the elevation where you live? It might be higher than you think! Much of the so-called "flat" Midwest, for example, is above 1,000 feet, and altitudes can vary within a community. Check your altitude online or with your county extension office before you begin your home canning projects. Then adjust processing times for boiling-water canning or pressure for pressure canning as indicated in this article.
Try Cinnamon-Spiced Triple-Berry Jam. It's one of our favorite recipes for canning preserves.
Add these timings to your home canning recipes:
Blanching: Add 1 minute if you live 5,000 feet or more above sea level.
Sterilizing Jars: Boil jars an additional 1 minute for each additional 1,000 feet above sea level.
When processing jellies and jams at high altitudes, process half-pints and pints for 10 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet and for 15 minutes at altitudes above 6,000 feet.
When home canning using a boiling water canner, call your county extension service for specific instructions, but use the following as a guideline:
When home canning using pressure canning, the timings are the same; however, different pressures must be used at higher altitudes. Here are guidelines for dial-gauge pressure canners:
Here are the guidelines for weighted-gauge canners:
If home canning is your favorite food preservative, you'll love these recipes: