Last week I almost set my seed starters for the garden…like I could hurry spring! I’m having a hard time holding off.
I’m so glad I waited! As we just got another snow dump!
Only a few inches and not half as bad as those less than an hour south. But I still keep staring at those seeds.
So I started checking my canning equipment to make sure its still in good condition & ready to go. I purchased my pressure cooker last year so it should still be in great shape but it still needs to be checked.
If you are lucky enough to find one at a yard sale or thrift shop, look it over well, check to make sure there are no cracks or visible holes in or outside. If there are holes you have a good sized out door planter not a working canner. Also check the rubber ring seal (it pulls right out) on the inside of the lid for cracks or wear spots as that is signs it would need replaced. If everything looks fine place your pressure canner on the stove, add a quart or 2 of water to the canner and run a pressure test. Your looking for any moisture or bubbles showing on the exterior. If you see any moisture other than the air escaping from the vent immediately turn your heat off and leave it alone until entirely cool to the touch. Your canner will not hold the pressure needed to successfully can .
I may seem a bit silly checking your canning tools before the garden is even planted but, my thought is if you need to order parts or replace the pressure canner itself, you have time to stash & save to find good deals. Nothings more wasteful than having produce ready for processing and not have working tools to use!
If you’ve been lucky enough to have been given canning jars or bought some at estate sales, do your self a favor and wash them now. Most deals are jars that have been stored in a garage or barn and are dirty & dusty.
It will give you the opportunity to check for cracks or pits. You’ll still need to sterilize prior to use but, washing and storing upside down in the boxes (if you have them) keeps them from collecting dust & save scrubbing time!