Canning at High altitudes?


10 Years
Sep 24, 2010
New Orleans, LA
A friend of mine asked me the following question. Since I live in New Orleans and don't have an altitude problem, I thought I'd ask all of you:

I live in West Texas where the elevation is almost 3000' above sea level. My jellies seem to never gel quite enough. I finally figured out it is because I am dealing with mostly a liquid, and it doesn't get hot enough. I read that to gel at my altitude, the syrup needs to heat to at least 214 degrees (F). Well, liquids here boil at ~207-208...ergo, not hot enough to gel no matter how long I boil. I have read that at high altitudes you must add time to the processing time. I don't understand the science. The boiling water that heats the jars won't get hotter than 207-208 either. Will more time make the contents hotter than the boiling point? I would think one would have to have a pressure canner. Does this mean that it is impossible to make jelly here unless one has pressure equipment?​

Can anyone help her?
We can here at 7400 feet adn have had good luck with jams, jellies, and such.
The adjustment is for processing times - 1000 - 3000' feet is an additional 5 minutes and 3001' - 6000' is an additional 10 minutes in the boiling water bath. For pressure canning you will need to increase both the time and the pressure.

There is a good reference chart on the Ball Canning site - here is the link:
I am going to try their pectin calulator for jellies and jams.

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