How to Adjust for Altitude When Canning

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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

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Excellent Information Daisy!!!

    Things being what they are I have begun to cast my net far and wide as to food preservation techniques. I’ve recently purchased a unit from the American Aluminum Co. Thier next to largest version and frankly I know enough about pressure canning to fill a THIMBLE…not much indeed. I expect to be HERE a lot ove rhe next few weeks!!!

  • I am still confused…

    We’re a tad over 1000′ here. The help desk at American Canner told me that we don’t have to increase temperature until 2000′, but other sources say anything over 1000′ has to be at 15 pounds pressure.

    Seems like overkill to me, but I supposed I will keep canning at 15 pounds, just to be on the safe side.

    • I always prefer to err on the safe side. These charts were put together using the USDA guidelines so based on this you would only need to bump your pressure up by 1 pound. But it’s certainly not going to hurt anything if you go higher in pressure. 🙂

  • Daisy, Thank you for your invaluable wealth of information as well as your partner writers. I have wanted to learn to can ready meals for some years and Grandma is no longer here. Thank you for the push. Will try the beef stroganoff. I cannot have the others. Staying away from nightshades due to fibro.

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