You learned it in science class —– water boils at lower temperatures as elevation increases. This principle affects the safety of home canned foods.

For higher altitudes, science-based canning guidelines recommend longer processing times in the boiling water bath and higher pressures in pressure canning.

Kansas altitudes range from below 1,000 feet to just more than 4,000 feet, so knowing your altitude is critical for making required canning adjustments. Most Ellis and Barton county locations are at approximately 1,800 to 2,100 feet elevation, requiring pressure canning at 11 or 12 pounds pressure (or 15 pounds for weighted gauge canners) and longer times for boiling water bath canning. Follow specific canning recipes in a reliable canning resource.

Failure to adjust for altitude will lead to under-processed food, which can allow for growth of the botulism bacteria.