Altitude Adjustments for Home Canning

with Sharon Peterson

Altitude Adjustments for Home Canning are really important and explains why! Get the scoop on some of the science behind canning and understand why it WORKS!

If you live above 1000 feet elevation you need to figure your altitude adjustments for both water bath and pressure canning. As your altitude goes above 1000 feet above sea level the atmospheric pressure is reduced. This causes water to boil at temperatures lower than 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

For safety in water bath canning you must bring the contents of your jar to at least 212 degrees Fahrenheit. To compensate for the temperature difference you must increase processing time.

The pressure canner is also affected by atmospheric pressures. A pressure canner must reach a temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit in order to stop botulism. To compensate for altitude differences, you must increase the amount of pressure used. The time does not change, only the pressure used.

So.... As you go up in elevation, Waterbath, increase time.   Pressure Canner increase pressure.

Time and pressure information given in the recipes on this site is for elevations of 1000 feet or less unless otherwise noted make changes according to the charts below on this page. 

Finding your Elevation

What if you don't know your elevation?  A Simply Canning Facebook reader shared this site... it worked perfect for me.  Enter your address and find your elevation.

Another option is to do a search for "your town, your state, altitude".   In my case the first result was a Wikipedia article that included the elevation of my town.

Another good option is to call your county extension agency and they may have some information for you.  This link to the Cooperative Extension System has a general listing of extension services by state here in the US. If there is no office listed for your town, just find the next closest one.

Be aware of altitude changes if you live in mountainous areas.

Altitude Adjustment Charts

Pressure canners
Adjustment for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 10 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Water bath canning.
Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
Altitude in Feet Increase processing time
1001-3000 5 minutes
3001-6000 10 minutes
6001-8000 15 minutes
8001-10,000 20 minutes

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by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2019

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

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