Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Novice canner question

Recently a reader posted a comment as follows: "Novice canner question for you, Patrice! I just bought (and want to use) a Presto pressure canner. Do I need to have the gauge checked at my local Extension Office before the first use, or just after each season's canning session? Thanks for the help!!"

Okay, the "official" answer is this: Of course you should get the gauge checked at your local Extension Office. You should get the gauge checked on every day that ends with "y" and every month that has 30 or more days in it. The world will implode if you don't get that gauge checked now.

Unofficial answer: Unless you have reason to suspect your gauge is off, new canners are extremely unlikely to have problems. If you have any doubts, then by all means get the gauge checked (it takes literally two minutes, if that). But for a new-out-of-the-box canner, I think you'll be fine.

My gauge went off this past winter (confirmed by our local Extension Service), so we ordered a replacement. We had the replacement gauge tested before installing it on my pressure canner, and it was fine.

In short, as a novice canner, if you have any doubts about your gauge's accuracy, don't hesitate to get it tested. However the odds of a new canner having a faulty gauge are, thankfully low.


  1. I have a number of presto canners of varying ages. The old ones are real tanks, solid and heavy. I am able to get parts for all of them at Red Hill General Store in Hillsville Virginia. Their only support is great.

  2. Wow and thank you for the encouragement to get our gauges checked.

    I went this morning to the local extension office and had my presto canner gauge checked.

    It was free.

    My gauge was within the +/- 1 point variance. Kinda right on the border line. I will have to be very careful as I can the rest of this year and make sure I keep my pressure a point or two higher than what is recommended.

    And yes, the extension lady says the gauges should be checked at the begging of every canning season.

    Thank you for the encouragement. It would not be good to find ourselves sick in the winter months b/c we didn't take the time to do this.

  3. My Presto canner gauge was off at the start! I had to toss out at least 1 whole canner full of chicken! DO get the new Presto canner gauge checked!!!

  4. I only purchase weighted gauge canners with NO dial canners, therefore I never have to have it checked. In a SHTF situation, you won't be able to have the dial gauge checked, so weighted gauge is a best option for preparing. I even asked someone at the local Extension office about this and they agreed.

  5. I'm curious if/how/how often the extension agency's gauge.