I have a Whirlpool Gold flat top stove, I’m not exactly sure of the top material, but I’m concerned that by selecting the wrong pot I’ll crack it.
I like the idea of a pressure canner because it can do both the hot water bath and pressure methods. I’m not sure I’ll can a ton of beans, as I’d also like to try straight freezing and perhaps vacuum sealing some, but it’s always nice to have the option.
I like the All American brand based on reviews, but perhaps that’s too large for my range. The other option I’ve thought about is getting a propane burner, but that would require me doing it outside during summer vs. cool A/C kitchen.
Any flat top stove users here or insights on this?
I don’t know the answer to your question IRT stove tops, but I will recommend that you buy the tallest pot possible. Most canning directions state the water level should be 2" above the top of the jars. I have both a water canner and a pressure canner, neither are tall enough to make this accommodation for quart jars.
I have a flat top stove and the most cost effective solution I’ve found was buying a large soup pot with a heavy and flat bottom (found at Costco) and the canning rack (from Bernardin, I think they operate under Ball in the US) separately from the hardware store. It is however, only tall enough to can 500mL/pint jars, but I can do 7 of them at once. The pot is the same diameter as my largest burner. At some point I plan to get a pressure canner for the same reasons you mention. My concern with operating a propane burner was that I’d manage to run out of fuel halfway through the process.
I have heard that some people use regular canners with their glass top stoves, but I’d rather spend the extra $30-70 on a pot and avoid a costly glass top repair. For me it’s not worth the risk.
Has anyone here used the Ball Elite Stainless-Steel 21-Quart Waterbath Canner on their flat top?
Have you figured this out? I also have a Whirlpool glass top and I am terrified of using it to can. I would strongly prefer a pressure canner that I can just plug in separately like I do my crock pot or toaster oven….
at this point I think I might just make dried tomatoes, fridge salsa and pickled peppers, and frozen marinara…..
My next door neighbor (Jamie) bought a flat top when they bought their house a couple of years ago.
Fast forward a bit to where I got him hooked on gardening and he wanted me to show him canning so he could do that, too. He checked the manual to see if there was any useful information there.
Water bath canners void the warranty on his stove, as do pressure canners. You may want to direct this question to your stove’s manufacturer. :-/
My understanding is that with a glass top stove the issues you need to worry about when canning are the prolonged high temperatures, the heavy weight, and the fact that the pot can’t be bigger than the burner and also needs to have a flat bottom. In terms of warranty, the glass top is likely not covered for breakage regardless of whether you or not you use a canner.
I’ve chosen to mitigate the risk of breakage by using a heavy bottomed stock pot for canning so that the water will continue to boil at #4 (out of 10) for the entire processing time. This way I don’t have the burner at high for too long. Also, the bottom is so thick that it is super-strong and though the canner is heavy when full, I don’t see how this would be any different than making a giant batch of stock/soup/anything else that fills up a pot that fits the biggest burner. I think I canned 80+ jars last year and (knock wood) so far so good. I’ve read my manual (I have a Kenmore) and I don’t think there is anything in there about not canning on the stove – just that pots should have flat bottoms and not exceed the size of the burner.
That being said, you could buy a hot plate and have a go at canning on it, but I’m not sure how long water would take to boil on an appliance plugged into a regular outlet. You would however be able to use a regular canner and not worry about your glass top.
Hazel, how does your regular pot differ from a canner? I thought the difference was the top not the bottom….
Typically the water bath canners sold at hardware stores have ridges on the bottom and are made of a relatively lightweight enamel. They work fine for coil-top or (I assume) gas stove tops but would not sit flat on the glass top.
A pressure canner (though I don’t own one, so someone correct be if I’m wrong) would have a heavy flat bottom to help keep a consistent temperature (and therefore pressure) throughout the canning process. The top would also seal tightly and have a dial or weighted gauge so that you can be precise about the pressure inside the canner.
Any pot that is large enough to accommodate jars plus an inch of water on top of the jars, plus two inches of boiling space as well as has a lid can be used for water bath canning. If you buy a stock pot, you also have to either purchase (or make) a rack for the jars to sit on so that they do not rest directly on the bottom of the pot and risk cracking/uneven heating. If you think you’ll can items other than high-acid food (jams, pickles, tomatoes with added acidification, etc.) you will need to have a pressure canner, but the majority of what most people can is processed in a boiling water canner.
I actually have two pots which I can use for canning. One is 12" in diameter and will hold up to seven pint jars or nine half-pint jars, but is too short for quarts. The other pot is 10" in diameter, but is taller than the other, so I can fit three quart jars in that one. I managed to find my pots at Costco, so I think they were only $40 each which is a lot cheaper than a pressure canner. The bottoms are probably at least 3/8" or 1/2" thick on both of them.
I find canned vegetables, well, gross, so I freeze them. For the time being have no plans to can stock or other low-acid foods so I don’t really need a pressure canner – I think I’d rather buy a bigger freezer!
Also, as a final note, when I had a coil top stove I used the traditional (lightweight, ridged bottom) canner, I had to keep the pot a high or close to high for the entire processing time. So even if I went back to a coil top stove I would likely still use my stock pots for canning – keeping the burner at level four instead of ten is a lot more efficient and with the heavy bottom I feel like I’m able to get a much more consistent rolling boil than I ever did with the hardware store canner.
Complete details here WRT flat-top stoves. The “whats” and “whys” are explained, as well.
@hotwired – take a wander on this site. I haven’t seen anything yet that I disagree with. It looks like they’ve done a rather thorough job of explaining things and reasons of safety are clearly explained WRT canning and preserving.
It doesn’t look like much of a site but I think that’s just really poor design work. What they’re saying agrees with other sites I’ve Googled into. The site is actually intended to list pick-your-own orchards. There is a map of the US as well as links to PYO farms in other countries: [ Australia ] [ Canada ] [ South Africa ] [ New Zealand ] [ United Kingdom ]
I found Ways Fruit Farm in Centre County (close to me) and there are entries that were updated July 2011.
There’s a LOT of information here. The three drop-down boxes cover an enormous amount of picking, canning and preserving territory. A quick read of some of the pages tells me this site may well be an excellent resource. I’m definitely going to do some more browsing.
Good information to know. Eventually, I will upgrade my stove and I do ALOT of water bath and pressure canning, so I will look to avoid the flat top stoves if I can.
During dipnetting season, families that are set up on the beach for a week or so often have the gas burners or coleman stoves seen on that website. It’s common to see them pressure canning their fish right on the beach! I get a bit jealous that they are so productive during the lulls in fishing.
We use a large water-bath canner on our electric coil-element stove and have had problems with the extended high temperatures and the weight of the full canner. We’ve replaced the coil-element about 3 times (over 15 years) but have now purchased a custom “canner-element” that is made with heavier supports and it stands up about 1/2" above the stove surface, so excessive heat doesn’t build up.
The elements that we replaced collapsed as the metal burner supports softened in the high heat and no longer supported the element. I bent them back into shape, but they aren’t as strong as when they were new, and the element wasn’t flat under the pots anymore.
The canner-element has worked very well for us during canning season. Google “Canner Element” for more information.
I really want a pressure canner vs a water bath one. I mostly want to do salsa, but I don’t always follow recipes and I am terrified I might add too many peppers or change out something and make the acidity too low for a wb.
My husband found this one http://www.amazon.com/Presto-23-Quart-Aluminum-Pressure-Cooker/dp/B0000BYCFU and decided to get it for me. :) Some poeple on there use it on flat top stoves, and the pick your own site has two people with whirlpools that said whirlpool says its ok so I guess I will try it soon…..
I have an extra freezer in my garage, but since we have had it it has gone out twice because it broke the circuit and the kids have left the door open another two times so sometimes the food gets ‘blah’ tasting so I don’t really want to put too much in there until we can at least get the circuit thing worked out.