Adjusting for Altitude When Home Canning

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The directions for canning foods in most publications are for an altitude of 0 to 1000 feet. As altitude increases, water boils at lower temperatures. Because the lower temperatures are less effective for killing bacteria, the processing time must be increased for boiling water bath canning. For pressure canning, the pressure is increased. To be sure that you are canning safely;

  1.  Find out what your altitude is. This can often by found on an online mapping app or you can also ask the Family and Consumer Science agent at the Cooperative Extension Office.
  2. If you are canning an altitude over 1000 feet, follow the altitude adjustments given in the recipe resource you are using.

Following are a list of trusted resources that N.C. Cooperative Extension recommends for safe home food preservation:

  • USDA’S Complete Guide to Home Canning
  • So Easy to Preserve (UGA)
  • The Ball Blue Book, 100th Anniversary Edition (Jarden, 2009/2010)