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Canning -- Miscellaneous

Do I need to adjust my processing method if I live at a higher altitude?

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It depends on the altitude. As altitude increases, water boils at a lower temperature. Because the lower temperature is less effective at killing bacteria, the processing time must be increased for boiling water bath canning. For pressure canning, the pressure must be increased. The processing times given in all resources recommended by the Cooperative Extension Service are for elevations between 0 and 1,000 feet.

If the county in which processing is being done, is at an elevation higher than 1,000 feet the processing schedule (either time or pressure) must be adjusted as follows:

PROCESSING IN A DIAL GAUGE PRESSURE CANNER:
* At altitudes 1,001-2,000 feet, the pressure is not increased; process at 11 pounds pressure
* At altitudes 2,001-4,000 feet, process at 12 pounds pressure
* At altitudes 4,001-6,000 feet, process at 13 pounds pressure
* At altitudes 6,001 feet or higher, process at 14 pounds pressure

PROCESSING IN A WEIGHTED GAUGE PRESSURE CANNER:
* At altitudes above 1,000 feet, process at 15 pounds pressure

PROCESSING IN A BOILING WATER BATH:
Adjustments must be made for the following altitude ranges of 1,001-3,000 feet and 3,001-6,000 feet. Check one of the resources recommended by the Cooperative Extension Service to determine the exact processing time (usually it will be a five-minute increase).

Because elevations can range widely in any given county, distribute processing instructions based on the highest elevation within your county. Below is a list of North Carolina counties grouped by elevation ranges. If you live in another state, check with your state's Geological Survey Service to get this information.

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 0-1,000 FEET: Alamance, Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Camden, Carteret Caswell, Chatham, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Greene, Guilford, Halifax, Harnett, Hertford, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Martin, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Moore, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Tyrrell, Union, Vance, Wake, Warren, Washington, Wayne, and Wilson

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 1,001-2,000 FEET: Catawba, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, and Yadkin

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 2,001-3,000 FEET: Alexander, Cleveland, and Stokes

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 3,001-4,000 FEET: Polk, Rutherford, and Surry

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 4,001-5,000 FEET Alleghany, Burke, and Wilkes

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 5,001-6,000 FEET: Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Henderson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Transylvania, and Watauga

HIGHEST ELEVATION IS 6,001 FEET OR HIGHER: Avery, Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Mitchell, Swain, and Yancey

SOURCE OF ELEVATION DATA: www.geology.enr.state.nc.us/county/county_high_points.html

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