Food Preservation & Canning

 Are You Ready For Canning Season?

Remember to have your pressure canner gauge tested every year for accuracy. It takes only minutes to test and will ensure a safe canning process. Call Amanda at (801) 829-3472 or email to set up a time to test your lid.

The Extension system has been publishing safe home food preservation recommendations since 1909. The Utah State University Food Safety Program and our FACS Agents in each Utah County are your source for current research-based recommendations on safe home food preservation. To find the safe, research-tested recommendations, please consult these resources:

Acidification for Tomatoes
To ensure safe acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or ¼ teaspoon citric acid. Acid should be added directly to the jars before filling with product. Add sugar to offset acid taste, if desired. Four tablespoons of a 5% acidity vinegar per quart may be used instead of lemon juice or citric acid. However, vinegar may cause undesirable flavor changes. We recommend lemon juice or citric acid.

Steam Canners
The USDA does not recommend the use of steam canners due to inadequate research and testing. However, Utah State University has tested the steam canners and has found them to be safe and adequate for processing certain foods if used according to instructions and safe canning procedures. Due to botulism poisoning potential, steam canners may not be used for meats, tomatoes, and vegetables. If you choose to use a steam canner for jams, jellies, or fruits, only USDA approved and tested recipes and canning times should be used. Processing times for boiling-water bath canners may be used for the steam canners. It is important to follow instructions and be sure that an 8 to 10-inch plume of steam is present during the entire processing time, and the water must not run out before the end of processing.

How to Adjust Processing Times
Barometric pressure is reduced at high altitudes, affecting the temperature at which water boils. This means boiling-water and steam-pressure canning methods must be adjusted to ensure safe processing.


Canning & Preservation Resources

USU Canning & Preservation Publications