December 15, 2012

How to Adjust for Altitude When Canning


My canning friends, sometimes we have to look at our situations and say to ourselves, “I need an altitude adjustment.”

It’s all science, like so much of canning is.

At sea level, and up to 1000 feet above sea level, water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, once you get above the 1000 foot mark, the changes in atmospheric pressure means that your boiling point is actually LOWER than 212F.


Temperature at which Water Boils











(Sea Level)


For water bath canning, food safety requirements mean that the goodies inside your jars should reach 212F, and if it doesn’t you have to add to your processing time in order to make your preserved food safe.

For water bath canning, add 2 minutes of processing time for each 1000 feet about 1000 feet that you are.  To use the following chart, take the basic processing time and add to it based on your local elevation.

Altitude Adjustments for Water Bath Canning


+ time


5 minutes


10 minutes


15 minutes


20 minutes

Pressure canning requires that your food reach 240 degrees Fahrenheit.  Additional pressure is needed in this case, as opposed to additional time.  The standard rule is to add 1 pound of pressure for each 1000 feet above sea level you are.  However, you will rarely ever adjust more than 5 pounds, regardless of your elevation.

For safety reasons, pressure canners should never be used above 17 pounds of pressure.

Adjustments for Pressure Canning


Additional Pressure


+ 1


+ 3







Resources for Canning:

canning closet

How to Pressure Can Food

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Presto 1755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner (Safe for glass cooktops)

Presto Cooking/Canning Rack for Pressure Canner

How to Can Food in a Boiling Water Bath

Granite Ware 0707-1 Steel/Porcelain Water-Bath Canner with Rack, 21.5-Quart, Black

Norpro Canning Rack

Norpro 600 Jar Lifter

Norpro Stainless Steel Wide-Mouth Funnel

Norpro 6 Piece Canning Set

How to Sanitize Jars for Canning

How to Adjust for Altitude When Canning

BallRegular Mouth Lids and Bands – 12 pack

Canning Jars

Tattler Reusable Regular Canning Lids and Rubber Rings, BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe (Pack of 12)

Tattler Reusable Wide Mouth Canning Lids & Rubber Rings – 12/pkg

Ball Regular Canning Lids 96 Lids (8 Dozen) NOW BPA Free

Ball Wide Canning Lids 72 Lids (6 Dozen), SALE! (Lids Only; No Rings), NOW BPA FREE! Shipped and Packed Bulk by Mulberry Lane Farm, FAST SHIP!

This article may contain affiliate links.

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper's Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy's articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

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