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Canning

Testing dial pressure canner gauges

Deb Botzek-Linn

Today's pressure canner may have a dial gauge for indicating and regulating the pressure.

Weighted gauges will either keep rocking gently or make a frequent jiggling noise to indicate if the correct pressure is being maintained. Read the manufacturer's instructions to know how a particular weighted gauge should rock or jiggle. Weighted gauges do not require testing.

Check dial gauges for accuracy before use each year. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause over-processing. 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.

Presto will test gauges at no charge. You can also check with your local county Extension office to see if the testing is done locally.

Presto will only test gauges from these brands:

  • National
  • Magic Seal
  • Maid of Honor
  • Kook-Kwick
  • Presto

Steps to send in your pressure gauge:

  1. Carefully remove dial gauge from canner and package in foam, bubble wrap or newspaper to avoid shipping damage.
  2. Ship gauge only. If you cannot remove the gauge from the canner lid, send canner lid with the gauge attached.
  3. Gauges are checked within three working days of receipt and shipped for return.
  4. Send to:

    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.
    Questions?: Contact GoPresto
    Website: www.GoPresto.com

    NOTE: Only the above mentioned gauges can be checked by Presto. 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, therefore a savings to the customer and the company.

    Replacement gauges and other parts (e.g. gasket, safety plugs) for canner 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.

    Related Resources

    Canning Basics Series

    Revised by Suzanne Driessen & Glenyce Peterson-Vangsness, Extension food safety educators, June 2016

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