Vegetable Canning Methods in the Pressure Cooker

Pressure Gauge

Canning never improves the quality of the food you are preserving. Follow the general guidelines below for best results when canning vegetables. 


All Vegetables Must Be Process In a Pressure Canner

  • Select the best quality vegetables at the peak of maturity for best results.
  • Process as soon as possible after picking.
  • Sort vegetables for size, and remove any that are under ripe, over ripe, bruised, or blemished.
  • Wash thoroughly.
  • Check jars to make sure there are no cracks or chips and check closure bands for dents or rust.
  • Wash jars and bands in hot, soapy water and rinse well.
  • Follow manufacturer’s directions for correct preparation of lids

Correct Canning Method

Generally, correct pressure canner methods include:

  • Add two (2) inches of water to the bottom of cooker.
  • Exhaust steam for 10-12 minutes.
  • Start to increase pressure by closing petcock or by placing weight on vent pipe and bring pressure to that recommended for your altitude.
  • Start processing time as soon as correct pressure is reached.
  • Check gauge often to make sure adequate pressure is maintained. If using a weighted gauge canner, listen for the jiggle or rocking of the weight that indicates correct pressure.
  • Remove canner from heat at end of processing time.
  • Allow canner to cool naturally. A pressure canner may take 30-45 minutes took cool. Do not force cool a pressure canner.
  • Wait an additional two minutes before opening your pressure canner after the cooker has cooled sufficiently to decrease the pressure inside. Then, remove the weight or open the petcock to make sure there is no more pressure inside.
  • Carefully remove the canner lid by lifting the far side first. Using this method allows any remaining steam to vent away from the user.
  • Remove jars and place away from cold drafts on a rack or folded cloth where air can freely circulate.


An accurate pressure gauge is necessary to get the processing temperatures needed to make food safe to eat. The accuracy of the pressure gauge should be determined by having the gauge tested before the canning season, or more often if the canner is used a number of times during the season. Ask your county extension agent, dealer or manufacturer about checking the dial gauge on your pressure canner for accuracy.

Canning Vegetables

When canning vegetables, salt is an optional ingredient that is only used for flavor. If using salt, add 1 teaspoon to each quart or ½ teaspoon to each pint. Less or no salt can be used without affecting the safety or quality of canned vegetables.


Georgia Laurtizen and Kristine Saunders

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