canning on smooth top stove ??????? HELP - Homesteading Today
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Preserving the Harvest canning, drying, smoking, etc.

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Old 06/13/07, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,641
canning on smooth top stove ??????? HELP

I have a lovely smooth top stove my husband got at an auction. The problem arose when his mother mentioned that I may not be able to can on it due to the weight of the jars, water and equipment. I guess these stoves may have a sort of weight limit to prevent the top from breaking/cracking.

Having bought this at an auction I have zero paperwork on it. I have a nice garden coming in and am sure the meat I am raising will fill my freezers.

Do any of you have a similar stove or know anyone who has tried it? In this modern day and age so few people revive or use archaic traditions. I am sure a smooth top used for canning is not so common...............(heck try and find someone who makes bread anymore without a machine, of course I do: )

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Old 06/13/07, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Michigan's Thumb
Posts: 5,766

I don't have one and won't buy one due to all the negative things I have heard about them. That being said, I think you may be able to can if you use one of the smaller one-layer type of canners. They hold 7 qts. or 9 pints in a single layer. Seems like that would take care of the weight issue.

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Old 06/13/07, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: So. Cental Mo. (abt 60 miles from Ark.line)
Posts: 3,936

Nope--mine says not to can on it--not only weight, but the size-overlapping the burner. I hate it--and I still make all my bread by hand.


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Old 06/13/07, 06:30 PM
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Location: The Ozarks
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I had a KitchenAid, and the manual said the same thing, no canning. However, I canned it on it for several years with no problems.

The Wandering Quilter's Life in a Box!

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Old 06/13/07, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: New Brunswick Canada
Posts: 181

I have one and I am not pleased with it... it requires some special cleaner to keep the glass clean. needless to say mine doesn't get it. So now it is all baked on and I can't get it cleaned . I have no love for this stove.
The start button on the control thingy broke, it is just a little plastic bit, and the whole thing had to be replaced! it cost 200$
I will replace it as soon as I can afford it!
I do can on it, and make cheese, but only single layers of jars, as suitcase_sally says 7qts at a time...

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Old 06/13/07, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 2,677

This came up in another thread a few weeks (or months) ago. I was surprised at all the comments from people hating their stoves...I LOVE MINE! It came with the house, so I didn't pick it, but I wouldn't trade it now! And I've canned on it as well (before "knowing better"). I only have a small canner, so I guess that's why I don't have any problems.

Oh, and I've never used a special cleaner...? My mom has one too and when she gets "baked on" stuff, she just scrapes it off with a razor blade. Might give that a shot. But she does have some spots that are bad from sugary stuff falling on the stove. Apparently, that the worst thing to spill on the surface.

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Old 06/13/07, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Zone 5a, NE Ohio, USA
Posts: 712

I have a used ceramic top GE that I purchased (without manuals) when we moved here to the farm. The woman I bought it from said it was 2 or 3 years old at the time, which would make it about 5 years old now. I have water bath canned on the stove, using a heavy pot with a flat bottom and haven't had any major problems. I do keep an eye on the water temp and level. This is only my 2nd canning "season" since we've moved here.

I do miss my old gas stove for ease of cleaning. The cleaning kit I got for the stove came with a razor blade and cleaner/polish which I use it at most, once a month.

BTW, I sometimes use my bread machine for kneading, but usually make my bread by hand - every Wednesday.


"...Ohio is America to me..." Louis Bromfield, 1938
If edited, probably for typos...

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Old 06/14/07, 05:57 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: WI
Posts: 4,821

I was told by the salesman that the problem was water trapped under the canner could damage the top. We have run our water bath and full sized pressure canner on it for 3 years without a problem. We just make sure we don't spill water on it and if something boils over we wipe it down quickly. (Can get little warm doing that though)

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Old 06/14/07, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: western new york
Posts: 27

I have a ceramic top stove and have canned on it for at least ten years with no problems. I love mine, would never go back to drip pans etc. ugh. I use a razor blade and baking soda to clean mine.

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Old 06/14/07, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: SE Mass zone 6a
Posts: 1,029

I have a ceramic top stove that came with the house. I looked up the info on it by looking at the manufacturers website. Mine allows canning. I have done water bath and pressure canning on it for 4 years now. My understanding is that you need to have a flat bottomed canner (no ridges). You also need to be careful about too much weight. I have a 20 qt presto with a flat bottom that is designed to be used on a ceramic stove. I have yet to fill it, but have not had any problems yet. I would suggest you look for what the manufacturer says about canning for your model.

As for cleaning, the only thing I use on mine is Bar Keeper's friend. It isn't expensive and works like a charm.


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Old 06/14/07, 09:16 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,188

I have a regular top gas stove. It is three years old. It has heavy grates on the burners. When I bought it the manual said "No canning". It gave no reason. I have used it for canning without any problems or effects to the stove.
I would think that weight would be a factor for a glass topped stove as canners, when full are very heavy.

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Old 06/14/07, 10:10 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Vancouver,Washington
Posts: 2,740

I hate my stove top!! I would rather clean the burners than have that glass top I just hate it!!!
I can on a outdoor propane camp stove its a big one I believe its a Brinkman.
You can also use a hotplate to can I have done that before just make sure its a big one so you have no problems with tipping. I had a double burner one once and it worked fine.


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Old 06/14/07, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Missouri
Posts: 4,197

I have canned on my flat top stove for over 10 years without problems. I am careful to put canner on burner,fill with required water and then heat....and let it cool down unless DH is here to move it since it is pretty heavy with 7 qts. in it. We had some work done on our frig lately and I asked the Kenmore guy about it....hesaid it was no problem/doesn't void any warranties and rumors of the tops cracking are vastly overstated...urban legend? I love my stove...gives me extra counter space and I always roll my piecrust out on it!
If you have ever had a gas stove and your darling hubby walked away when he was heating some honey you will appreciate a flat top stove!!!!!!!! Had to replace all the burners when the honey cooked into cement. DEE

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Old 06/14/07, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 3,641

rolling out pie crust, holy awesome apple pie batman!! I am creative but that totally tops me : )

thanks ladies for all the ideas. I like the stove for ease of cleaning. mostly I was just excited because I can use an old style glass coffee percolator on it. I hoped for a gas stove but with the prices of delivered propane I decided I would rather stress over a crappy electric stove (even if a nice one) instead of make my awesome guy stress over utility costs.

I got the cleaning kit because I thought I had to. Honestly the razor is the best part. It has a spray cleaner that I often substitute with plain ole 409. The other cleaner is a polish that is like a liquid cleanser minus the gritty stuff. I am sure the stuff is not needed, just be careful with other stuff staining. (unless the burnt on gunk looks worse than a chemical stain: )

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Old 06/14/07, 02:19 PM
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Bon Ami made into a paste works great on the ceramic tops, no scratching and removes stuff.

The Wandering Quilter's Life in a Box!

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Old 06/14/07, 09:59 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 189

I have canned on my ceramic stovetop for years with no problems. It doesn't look "new" anymore, but it isn't new! Anyway, I figure if I ruin it then it wasn't worth anything anyway

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Old 06/17/07, 09:40 AM
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Location: SC and soon to be NC
Posts: 1,687

mrs oz here

I water bath can on mine, but I don't use my pressure cooker. According to the booklet on mine, it's a no no. So, if I'm gonna pressure can it's going to be outdoors on the propane burner we use when we fry turkey. Won't heat up the house either.

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Old 06/18/07, 09:15 AM
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You sure can crack the top of those stoves from the combination of the heat and weight. Here's what I use. I got mine on Ebay a couple of years ago for $15, I think it was. It heats up even my huge All American pressure canner to full pressure; and big water bath canner to a rolling boil, in no time. It is like a hotplate, but has a solid burner base, not a ring-type burner, so pots sit level and sturdy.

"Challenges are what make life interesting -- overcoming them is what makes life meaningful."
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Old 06/18/07, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: NW IN
Posts: 581

Allrighty... I'm really glad I didn't get the smooth top stove I was wanting (we only have set up for a gas stove in our kitchen). I was thinking of the ease of keeping it clean, but man... no canning? That would be a pain!



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Old 06/19/07, 08:04 AM
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Location: Virginia
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Originally Posted by Karen
Here's what I use. I got mine on Ebay a couple of years ago for $15, I think it was. It heats up even my huge All American pressure canner to full pressure; and big water bath canner to a rolling boil, in no time. It is like a hotplate, but has a solid burner base, not a ring-type burner, so pots sit level and sturdy.
Thanks for this! The house we bought already has a glass top stove and it already has a crack in one eye. I was worried about trying to can on it but maybe I will just get one of these burners instead. I also found them at Sam's for $18.87.


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Old 06/20/07, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: near Edmonton AB
Posts: 3,691

The other thing you may want to try is a barbecue with the gas burner on the side. That way you don't heat up your kitchen when canning, either!

Only really worth it if you're already buying a new BBQ, I guess, but still, it's an idea. My aunt uses hers a lot as she lives in Texas and it is SOO hot there. She cooks her bacon outside too, so that the house doesn't smell up!

Apple Jack Creek
near Edmonton Alberta
author of Just Keep Knitting: a journey of healing through forgiveness, faith, and fibre and The Rookie's Field Guide to Supported Spinning
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Old 06/23/11, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Idaho
Posts: 6

I inherited mine too, when we bought our house. Works great, easy to clean (razor and polish), but no I can't can on it either. It's the weight and the high-prolonged heat. Can crack the glass, so I won't risk it. I'm going to get an electric burner (1500 watts) that many people said they use well for canning, with a cast iron top...

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Old 06/23/11, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 6,873

I've used a glass-top stove for 16 yrs now and have canned on it too. I am simply careful how I set anything on it; and when it needs cleaning, I use a "scraper" with a single-edge razor blade in it. This works great.

I am what I am! Acknowledging this is the beginning; and my growth is yet to end. http://motdaugrnds.com/farmsales ~~~~~ http://motdaugrnds.com
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Old 06/23/11, 11:01 PM
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I just bought a pressure canner and contacted Presto and they said they had tested their canners with smooth top ranges and it wasn't a problem but Mirro said they didn't recommend it, go figure. I have a GE stove and the company said no problem, didn't even say it had to be a certain size, just make sure that the pan covers the burner and isn't over 1" bigger than the burner, mine fits the large burner just fine.

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Old 06/24/11, 02:17 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: OR
Posts: 907

My neighbor cracked hers canning on it. I'd second the "get a special burner for canning" idea.


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Old 06/27/11, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,008

I'll never can with an electric stove again, smooth top or otherwise. I've burned up 3 elements pressure canning stuff with long processing times. If I was ever forced to use an electric stove again, I'd still opt for the high BTU propane "camp" burner that I use now. 1) I can use it outside (no more heating up the whole house or worrying about exploding canners all over the kitchen), 2) I can store it away when it's not canning season, 3) it's got a bigger burner to hold big canners safely, 4) the legs are adjustable so I can have it a knee height rather than waist height which makes lifting a full 14 qt canner on & off MUCH easier, 5) the high BTU burner is designed to heat up really fast and burn really long so it shaves at least 10 minutes off every load (boils fasters) and costs a LOT less in LPG than the equivalent in electricity.

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Old 06/27/11, 01:26 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,059

The high powered burners are not recommended for that reason. They heat up too fast and cool too fast. The time it takes to do both of those is also factored into the safe processing time. If you do that, your food is considered underprocessed.
Plus, Presto definetly says no higher that 12,000 BTUs with their canners.
You need to buy a special canning element for an electric stove, not use your standard element. I also ruined 2 stoves before I learned that.


Master Food Preserver/ Food Safety Advisor

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Old 06/27/11, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,008

Since I do my canning on a woodstove and/or the LP burner, I got the All American which can stand up to way more heat than the average conventional/commercial canners (all my cookeware is either heavy gauge or cast iron). It's not like you can be 100% certain of the exact temp or BTU on a woodstove

I'm sure most of the food that I can wouldn't be considered properly processed, but I do the best I can with what I have or I do without. I pressure can anything that I have any doubts on acidity, for 100 minutes (the "meat setting") if I don't have an exact recipe or there are any doubts. The time up to boiling isn't critical for pressure canning, it's the time venting that's really important to make sure that as much air as possible is vented from the canner for even heating before starting your process timer.

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Old 06/27/11, 06:44 AM
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I have a flat top whirlpool.
Top of the line.
P.O.C. I hate it. Can't keep it clean, has broken down more times than I can count.

I have water bath canned on it for 6 years.
Dang thang won't crack. I WANT it to crack to justify me buying a new gas stove!!

I have not pressure canned on it, but water bath canning has worked for me for 6 seasons.....

I am sure of two things: There is a God, and I am not Him.
The movie Rudy
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Old 06/27/11, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Alaska
Posts: 1,008

LOL Laura -- if you really want to kill that stovetop, get yourself a 30 qt pressure canner (mine weighs almost 30 lbs dry & empty!) and do yourself up a few loads of meat (or other long process) -- a few gallons of chili or baked ham & beans should be a TKO

If you don't want to shell out $300 just to commit appliance murder, you might be able to borrow one from a church or soup kitchen.

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