Food Preservation & Canning


Remember to have your pressure canner gauge tested every year for accuracy - it takes only minutes to test and will ensure safe canning processes.  Bring your Presto canner lid to the Extension Office for free testing - no appointment necessary.  If you would like to be able to have the gauge tested right away and take it home with you, please call ahead of time. You can contact Darlene at 435-840-4404 or 435-277-2406. Also, make sure to process your jars for the accurate amount of time..

USDA Guide "Complete Guide to Home Canning"



  Need a Good Salsa Recipe?

We are often asked for a tested and safe salsa recipe that actually tastes good and is not too “vinegarish!”  Utah County’s FCS agent, Jana Darrington, has several approved recipes that have been taste-tested over the past few years.  These favorites are: Fiesta Salsa and Zesty Salsa in the Ball Blue Book.  The newest edition of the Ball Blue Book is available in the Toeole County Extension Office for $6. The USDA Complete Guide to Canning is available for $10.  We also have other salsa recipes as well as many other pamphlets and recipes for food preservation, nutrition, meal planning, etc. in our office.  Stop in! 

A new updated publication with a lot of different salsa recipes can be in Salsa Recipes for Canning found from Pacific Northwest Extension states.

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, steamer canners may NOT be used for 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 very 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.

Please call our office (435) 277-2401 with any canning questions or concerns (Monday - Friday 8:30am --4:30pm, except State and Federal Holidays). The websites below also provide up-to-date, researched and SAFE information on canning and food preservation.

 Additional Resources

Check out these websites for Safe, Updated, USDA-approved Canning Recipes, Procedures and Frequently Asked Questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

USU Extension
National Center for Home Food Preservation

The Ball Blue Book of Preserving Home Canner’s Help Line:


             Note: The Ball Book is available in our office for $6

Links from The National Center For Home Food Preservation

             Main Page (includes Frequently Asked Questions)

Freezing foods

Drying Foods

How do I store?    


Resources from USU Extension:

Major Canning Sins

Using Pressure Canners

Using Boiling Water Bath Canners

Canning Breads

Using a Steam Canner

Storage Cupboard Times

Hazardous Food Preservation and Storage Advice

Other Useful Links 

How do I freeze? Click here for links to additional resources!

Recipes from the USU extension

The University of Georgia—canning fact sheets, So Easy To Preserve, and other Publications

Thank you to Utah County Extension for sharing the above information.