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UW Extension Offers Food Preservation Publications

October 2, 2015

University of Wyoming Extension educators put the “can-do” in high-altitude home canning via food preservation publications and in-person expertise.

Their free publications, available online or in extension offices, offer tested recipes, safety guidelines and other resources for preserving autumn’s abundance.

The series covers jellies, fruit, meat, pickles, tomatoes, vegetables and wild berries. There’s even a recipe for dandelion jelly.

Nutrition and food safety (NFS) educators serve every county and the Wind River Indian Reservation, and provide guidance on high-altitude food preservation. They also test, free of charge, the dial-type gauges on pressure canners to ensure proper working order.

Wyoming’s higher altitudes mean atmospheric pressure is lower and boiling temperatures are lower. Extension guidelines include the increased processing for boiling-water canning and increased pressure for pressure canning, both tested for altitude. These adjustments are necessary for home canning anywhere in the state.

Extension publications also recommend using modern equipment and tested recipes.

“Compare old recipes to new, research-tested formulations,” advises Vicki Hayman, Weston County NFS educator. “Some might be OK, while others might have changed as more research on in-home canning is done,” she says in a podcast.

According to educators, foods high in acid (pH of 4.6 or lower), such as peaches, pears, pickles, tomatoes, apples and other fruit, can be processed in a boiling-water canner. Boiling-water processing is essential for safely canning pickles, fruits and soft spreads, such as jams and jellies, they say.

Low-acid foods (pH of 4.6 or higher) should be processed using a pressure canner. These include meats, poultry, most vegetables and combination foods, such as stews and meat sauces or tomatoes canned with onions. The latest recommendations for today’s lower-acid tomato varieties include processing in a boiling-water bath for up to 100 minutes at some Wyoming altitudes.

“Some like ’em hot!,” an extension “Canner’s Corner” publication, recommends science over common sense when canning chilies. Even “peppers so hot they require a galvanized stomach to enjoy” are low-acid and require pressure-processing using research-based procedures to prevent bacterial growth and food spoilage.

For more information, visit these extension websites and For county extension office contact information, see

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