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?


Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 10, 2010
NE Wisconsin
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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