Canning, freezing, and drying are great ways to enjoy seasonal foods all year long. These workshops provide information based on the latest research to achieve safe, high-quality products for you and your family to enjoy year round.

Introduction to Preserving

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in home food preservation. Canning, freezing, and drying are preservation methods that allow you to enjoy seasonal foods all year long. While these methods of home food preservation have existed for centuries, we have learned much about the science behind these methods in recent years. This workshop will explain the scientific reasoning behind today’s recommended methods for home food preservation while dispelling food preservation myths and unsafe practices of the past.

In this class, participants will learn:

  • The basics of using a pressure canner based on current USDA canning guidelines for canning low acid foods such as vegetables and meat.
  • The basics of using a water bath or atmospheric steam canner for canning high acid foods such as fruits, tomatoes, pickles, salsa, jam and jelly.
  • The latest canning recommendations based on USDA canning guidelines including acidifying tomatoes and the use of salt and sugar.
  • Best practices for ensuring quality frozen food, such as de-activation of enzymes through blanching.
  • Best practices for drying foods safely and troubleshooting problems when drying foods.

Pressure Canning

Pressure canning is the only safe way to can low-acid foods such as vegetables and meat. Learn the basics of using a pressure canner using current USDA canning guidelines.

Participants will also learn about pressure canning safety. Today’s pressure canners have built-in safety features which make the operation of a pressure canner safe and easy. The instructor will discuss practical tips to ensure a positive experience. (Optional: Participants can bring the dial gauge (lid) from a pressure canner to be tested for accuracy.)

In this class participants will learn:

  • The science behind pressure canning recommendations as well as the basics of using a pressure canner based on current USDA canning guidelines.
  • What foods need to be pressure canned and why
  • Pressure canning safety
  • Food preservation myths
  • Unsafe pressure canning practices

Local News Coverage

The USDA recommends having a pressure canner dial gauge tested every year. Penn State Extension offers this free service, just make an appointment at your local Extension office.

All classes will be held at Penn State Extension, Jefferson County, 186 Main St., Suite 3, in Brookville.

The Pressure Canning Class will be held from 1-3 p.m. or 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, September 12.

Those interested can register online at or by phone at 1-877-345-0691. For more information, contact the Jefferson County Extension Office at (814) 849-7361 at extension 500 or to speak with the educator, Rick Kralj, dial extension 502.

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