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Preserving the Harvest canning, drying, smoking, etc.


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  #1  
Old 06/26/12, 05:35 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SE Georgia
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Can I use a dish towel instead of a rack?

I need some more advice. This canning/freezing/dehydrating is really a lot of fun. Even the DW is getting into it a little. I have a water bath canner but can't use it on my glass top stove. Until I can find a good hotplate/burner I'm going to use a large stock pot. Problem is I don't have a rack for the bottom of the stock pot. Can I just put a dish towel in the bottom? Bought some cute 1/4 pint jars today. Going to try my hand at blackberry jelly.

Daniel

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  #2  
Old 06/26/12, 05:37 PM
Wait................what?
 
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I think some people use the jar rings on the bottom of the pot instead of a rack. Maybe?

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  #3  
Old 06/26/12, 05:55 PM
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Dish towel? I wouldn't try it. The rings sound like a better idea.

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  #4  
Old 06/26/12, 07:05 PM
 
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I have used a dish towel.

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  #5  
Old 06/26/12, 07:15 PM
 
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The worst that could happen to a dishtowel in the bottom of canner is a little scorching if the water runs too low (if the water runs so low a towel actually catches fire then you really haven't followed your canner's instructions!). Anything that keeps the bottom of the jars off the bottom of the kettle and stops the jars from moving around and clanking into each other should work fine.

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  #6  
Old 06/27/12, 02:31 AM
 
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Sorry for thread hijack- why can't you use a water bath on a glass top? I use a water bath on my glass top all the time. I though you couldn't use a pressure canner on a glass top. Am I mistaken?

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  #7  
Old 06/27/12, 07:26 AM
Jan
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisD View Post
Sorry for thread hijack- why can't you use a water bath on a glass top? I use a water bath on my glass top all the time. I though you couldn't use a pressure canner on a glass top. Am I mistaken?
I think it has to do with the total weight of the canner + jars + water (rather than whether it's a water bath canner or a pressure canner). Some people have cracked the glass top on a stove by putting too much weight on it. But I don't have a glass top stove so I don't know too much about it, I'm just remembering what others have said here in the past...
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Old 06/27/12, 08:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ai731 View Post
I think it has to do with the total weight of the canner + jars + water (rather than whether it's a water bath canner or a pressure canner). Some people have cracked the glass top on a stove by putting too much weight on it. But I don't have a glass top stove so I don't know too much about it, I'm just remembering what others have said here in the past...
Also, for most glass tops, they warn against using any pot that's larger than the 'burner' area.

That being said, my GF and I can on her glass top all of the time.

ETA: Canning racks allow the hot water to circulate under and around the jars. Towels don't. A circle of 1/2" hardware cloth on top of 7 rings works great. I use the hardware cloth circles on top of the canner racks, too.
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  #9  
Old 06/27/12, 09:59 AM
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Also with glass top stoves, the bottom of your pots/pans/etc must be flat, so if there is a raised ring around the bottom of your pot, it's not going to make contact with the heat ring.

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  #10  
Old 06/27/12, 10:15 AM
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Virginia
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I have a glass top stove and do both water bath and pressure cooker and have had no problems, other than a scratch or two. The book that came with it said it was fine to use it, but might have problems getting boiling because of the raised bottom. If I have a small batch to water bath can I sometimes use a flat bottomed stock pot with a round cookie rack in the bottom to keep them off the bottom.

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  #11  
Old 06/27/12, 09:12 PM
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If a jar breaks you have to toss the dish towel. I'm always worried a jar will break. No, doesn't happen very often.

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  #12  
Old 06/27/12, 09:22 PM
 
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I use the rings from lids when I use something other than the WB canner. I also have a flat glass stove and have canned on it. So far, there have been no problems.

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  #13  
Old 06/27/12, 10:39 PM
 
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I use a stock pot all the time. It's deeper than my canner. I found a rack actually built for canning in a stock pot. I'm in Canada though, so you may not have them in the U.S. It was in a kit made by Bernardin that had lifting handles and two sizes of racks in it.

If you can find a cake cooling rack made for a round cake, that fits in the bottom of the pot, you could sit it on some sealer rings and it would be perfect.

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  #14  
Old 06/28/12, 09:08 PM
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I have an assortment of round cooling racks and trivets that fit inside my different stock pots. I use my old granite ware BWB canner to hold guts when I butcher - does a much better job in that capacity than it ever did as a canner.

I have used a towel, but the bubbles didn't pass through it well and it kept wanting to work it's way out from under the jars. never had one break because of that though.

I've done a lot of canning on a glass topped stove (now have induction now) and it's amazing how much better it works with a truly flat bottomed pot.

I have found using my pressure canner to BWB works about the best, but I don't always need something that big.

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  #15  
Old 06/28/12, 10:01 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SE Georgia
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I picked up a round wire rack at the Dollar General Store today. I think it might work. Jelly this weekend. Any recommendations for a good canning hotplate?

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  #16  
Old 06/29/12, 07:17 AM
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I never use anything on the bottom of my stock pot when water bathing. Never had a jar break. Just don't over load it and put the jars pretty far apart. It's a precaution I just skip

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