Can I use a dish towel instead of a rack?

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by danielsumner, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. danielsumner

    danielsumner Daniel Supporter

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    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
     
  2. bluefish

    bluefish 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?
     

  3. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dish towel? I wouldn't try it. The rings sound like a better idea.
     
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  4. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have used a dish towel.
     
  5. PlicketyCat

    PlicketyCat Well-Known Member

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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. KrisD

    KrisD Well-Known Member Supporter

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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?
     
  7. ai731

    ai731 Jan

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    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...
     
  8. Steve L.

    Steve L. Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  9. Pam in KY

    Pam in KY Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  10. Jeepgirl86

    Jeepgirl86 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  11. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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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.
     
  12. jennytw

    jennytw Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  13. Kato2010

    Kato2010 Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  14. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  15. danielsumner

    danielsumner Daniel Supporter

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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?
     
  16. Silverstar7337

    Silverstar7337 Well-Known Member

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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 :)