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OSU Extension offers free testing of pressure canner dial gauges

OSU-Extension Service

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For safe processing of low-acid foods such as meat, poultry, fish, game and vegetables, home pressure canner dial gauges must be tested every year, or if bumped or dropped, to ensure accuracy. If the dial gauge is inaccurate by more than two pounds, Oregon State University Extension and the National Center for Home Food Preservation recommend replacement. If the dial gauge is off by two pounds or less, an adjustment can be made. Weighted gauges do not need annual testing. 

Have your dial gauge tested free in Central Oregon. Bring your dial gauge to the Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson or Warm Springs OSU Extension office during office hours. You will be notified when it is ready to pick up. If you have questions or need a “same-day” appointment please contact your local OSU Extension office or Glenda Hyde at 541-548-6088.

Presto, a leading pressure canner manufacturer in the country, supports the Cooperative Extension Service in Oregon and other states with a service that can detect “metal fatigue” in dial gauges that otherwise look fine. Home preservers who use pressure canners can get their dial gauges tested to ensure their pressure canned products will be safe.

In this partnership, Presto tests the master gauges on the air pressure testers annually, free of charge. The company also replaces or repairs the air pressure testers when needed at no cost, too. These savings are passed on to our clients.

Home canners should also inspect the gaskets on the pressure canner for wear and tear annually. Gaskets that are worn, stretched, cracked or hardened should be replaced. Depending on use, replacement might be needed every two to five years. If worn gaskets are used, the pressure canning process may fail or in some cases, the gasket could “glue” the lid to the canner!

Replacement gauges and gaskets for pressure canners are usually available at hardware stores or where canning equipment and supplies are sold. Replacement parts can be ordered from the manufacturer or on-line.

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