Pressure canning on smooth top stove

Discussion in 'Preserving the Harvest' started by AuntKitty, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. AuntKitty

    AuntKitty Well-Known Member

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    I've read all kinds of things saying this is not a good idea, but I was just reading the Presto website and they say the 16 qt pressure canner I have is suitable for smooth top stoves. I canned several times on a smooth top stove before I read that you shouldn't and had no problems. Is it some other type of canner that is not good, but the Presto is ok? Does anyone know?

    Thanks.

    Kitty
     
  2. wottahuzzee

    wottahuzzee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't think the All-American can be used on a smooth-top range. I really, really wanted an AA when I was buying my Xmas present, but, IIRC, it could not be used on a smooth-top range, so I went with the 16-qt Presto. I have used the Presto on my range several times with no problems.

    I think the weight may also be an issue. I believe the comparable AA is much heavier than the Presto.
     

  3. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the 16 qt. Presto is the only model actually approved for glass top canning. This is because of its weight and flat bottom. You can use other pressure canners if you must can on a smooth top stove but it is at your own risk.

    Not only is the weight of the loaded canner a factor but the heat that is trapped under the pot can cause the top to fracture or can destroy the burner itself. Plus the burners on many models cycle off and on as the temp rises. This makes it very difficult to maintain the proper pressures in a pressure canner. Glass top stoves just weren't intended for canning. ;)

    Some manufacturers will void the warranty on the stove if it is used for canning so we recommend you be sure to check with the brand maker first.

    Some have joked that since their glass top is out of warranty they use it for canning in the hopes that it will break the top and they'd have an excuse to get rid of it.
     
  4. AuntKitty

    AuntKitty Well-Known Member

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    Actually the Presto website says the 23 qt is also good on smooth top stoves - maybe that's a misprint?
     
  5. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    It will work on some glass top stoves. It is heavier of course so that is one consideration. But it all depends on the size of the burners on your stove. The 23 qt. has a larger footprint than the 16 qt.

    The easiest solution to this problem - trying to can on a glass top stove - of course is to buy a separate coil or gas burner to be used for canning and not use the glass top stove. This has been often discussed here and several single burner options are available. If you want to read through those discussions let me know and I will pull them up for you.

    We tested both the 16 qt. and the 23 qt. in the extension kitchens on the GE glass top we have there for cooking (not canning) and the 23 qt. overlapped the burner by a good 2-3" all around. So much heat was trapped that the burner repeatedly shut itself off. It didn't do that with the 16 qt. (which is why it is approved).

    If your particular stove has burner diameter that is larger than the standard 8 1/2" then the 23 qt. "might" work.

    By the way: as we have also discussed here before, the same info holds true for a BWB canner on a glass top stove - it needs to have a flat bottom and the pot and the burner diameter needs to be almost the same. This is easy to solve by using a stockpot for a BWB rather than the standard BWB.
     
  6. AuntKitty

    AuntKitty Well-Known Member

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  7. IQhome

    IQhome Member

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    judylou -- what are the requirements for a separate coil or gas burner?? watts or btu, etc..... ?????
     
  8. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the coil burners but for a gas one the most you should use is 12000 btus. Some of the turkey fryers, etc. have a much higher btu rating than this. You can do a search for Utah state univ. and find a great fact sheet on using other heat sources, along with the flat top stoves. Very good article.
    Presto and AA have both set those btu limits for their canners.
    I would send the link but it is a PDF file and won't let me.
     
  9. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    My personal recommendations may be a bit higher than those recommended by the canner manufacturers. They recommend nothing higher than 15,000 BTU/1500 watts.

    There are several alternatives and there are some discussions here about them that include photos and links to models and sources. Some are electric and range from an stand alone, high watt (look for 1500 watt), counter top burner to installing a separate range top in the kitchen (or other location) devoted just to canning.

    The more common alternative is gas (propane) burners. There is a wide range of gas burners, both single and double, available on the market but again BTU ratings are important. I would look for 20-25,000 BTU rating minimum and infinite heat control ability.

    This burner http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Duty-Single-Burner-Propane-Stove/dp/B0000AXAAA comes highly recommended on some other canning forums. Primarily because it has such infinite control that the 35,000 BTU it is capable of can be easily controlled. One poster who has used it extensively for canning reports that only one - the smallest - of it's 3 burners is needed once it is up to pressure. So 15,000BTU may well be enough or something in the range of 20,000 BTU IF you have infinite controls.

    The problems with so many of the gas burners available like those for turkey fryers is that they have no heat controls or only minimum control of the heat source.

    As for electric the watts will all depend on what you want to spend for the burner. I have read good reviews on this 1300 watt one: http://www.amazon.com/Waring-SB30-1300-Watt-Portable-Single/dp/B000I14C7I/ref=sr_1_cc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1298051827&sr=1-3-catcorr but others report it takes forever to bring water in a canner to a boil and doesn't last long.

    This one http://www.amazon.com/Cadco-PCR-1S-Professional-Range-Stainless/dp/B00028X2Y6 at a much higher price also gets generally good reviews.

    In general, a propane burner is going to be less expensive, more durable, and faster than electric.

    Not to beat a dead horse but I can only stress that smooth/glass top stove manufacturers did not envision canning on them when they were developed. So if you bought one now you are stuck between a rock and a hard place and for that I am sorry.

    Personally I think they assumed that no one practiced home canning any longer or that they were still doing it over a wood fire. Just goes to show how limited their thinking was at the time. ;)

    So if you are a home canner and you are considering a new stove, please eliminate smooth top stoves from your consideration. You won't regret doing so.

    PS: Lucy - AFAIK the recommendation is 15,000 not 12,000. Have you heard something different lately?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  10. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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    The main reason the Presto works is the way it does not touch the oven over the whole bottom, only the part that fits on the element area. Most stoves get damage by having a pot bigger than the element.

    My glass top said it was safe to can provided the canner base was not more than 1" bigger in diameter than the heating element. I never had any problems using it.

    I have induction now, so no pressure canning on that one!

    Here is a picture showing the bottom of a 16qt Presto and a 21qt AA. This shows the raised smaller inner portion of the bottom of the presto - that is the only part that comes in contact with the stove and what makes it possible to use on some smooth topped stoves. If your stove says NOT to can on it, then I wouldn't try.

    [​IMG]


    Here the Presto is on top of the AA - if you look close you can see that the outside edge of the presto is not in contact with the flat bottom of the AA

    [​IMG]

    My DH sure gave me some strange looks while I had the canners out to take these pictures - but he's gotten use to me taking strange pictures to show things to friends online.
     
  11. fetch33

    fetch33 Well-Known Member

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    So here is my problem. My current stove is an almost 30 year old Kenmore electric. The rest of my kitchen has been redone in stainless steel. There are no new coil top SS electric ranges anymore. My choice would be to use one of those mentioned above OR have the kitchen fitted with gas. How would you use one of those range burners listed above... as in where would you sit it?
     
  12. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    Really? I haven't found that to be the case. Kenmore offers 2 different coil top SS ranges and so does Whirlpool. Jenn Air has one also. Only reason I say this is I happened to be stove shopping with DD last week and she too is seeking coil top SS. She settled on one of the GE models from Home Depot. And of course if you want to get into the really top of the line stoves at $1500 plus there are many models to choose from.

    But that issue aside, if you mean where would I use one of the counter top electric burners? Since they are self-contained and free-standing they can be used just about anywhere in the kitchen as long as it can be plugged in and you put something heat resistant under them to protect the counter-top. I 'think' it was Macy who posted pictures here of her's sitting on the counter right beside her stove.

    The propane burners require adequate ventilation of course so some use them outside or by an open window inside. Some have a canning kitchen set up in their basement or garage where they can use either electric or propane. It all depends on how actively you can and what space is available to you.

    Like you apparently, we are total electric here. No natural gas available. If I had my choice I would add propane to my kitchen as I much prefer gas cooking and canning over electric. My stove is coil so I can do it inside but I also have an outside kitchen set up in the screened in porch to use in the summer with this stove: http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200408996_200408996

    It uses regular grill type 20 lb. propane tanks and exceptionally infinite adjustments.

    If you don't want to mess with propane then one of the least expensive ways, if you can find a place to put it in the basement or garage or utility room is a coil countertop electric insert like http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02241202000P?prdNo=16&blockNo=16&blockType=L16

    You can often pick them up second hand or from appliance resale shops for less than $50.
     
  13. fffarmergirl

    fffarmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We use two large (23 quart?) presto canners at a time on top of our Kenmore glasstop stove. The canner bottoms look like MacyBaby's photo - the part that sticks out is 8.5" in diameter and the circles for the large burners on our stove are 9.5" in diameter. DH says the stove burner circles being bigger than the canner bottom circle thing is why the stove hasn't been ruined.
     
  14. fetch33

    fetch33 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for this info! None of the big box stores have SS electric coil stoves. In fact, a guy at Best Buy told me they weren't made! Sears is having a great sale this weekend and we are already buying a freezer. I am adding a SS electric stove to my order! They are a lot cheaper than the glass-top ones. :happy:
     
  15. judylou

    judylou Well-Known Member

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    You can go to their website and see the models. Your local store can always order it for you. At least that is what the salesman told us. :)
     
  16. Lucy

    Lucy Well-Known Member

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    If you get a coil stove you need a special canning element or you will fry the standard one or short out the wires. How do I know ? Learned the hard way with 2 stoves until I learned you need a canning element. Most appliance repair places have them. GE stoves can be more tricky trying to find one.
    I just got this stove a week or so ago... it is my dream stove. Love it !
    http://www.dcsranges.com/item_name_...sher-Paykel-RDT-305_path_10246_item_4656.html
     
  17. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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    Lucy - that is a fine stove!

    We don't have gas hookup on our property and no desire to install a propane tank, so I'm stuck with Electric cooking.

    Fell in love with Induction - but you can't can on it. So I bought a smaller coil cooktop and installed that in another location (not in the kitchen) and use that for my most of my canning needs.

    I wasn't willing to sacrifice the ease of use and other thing for my every day cooking so I could also can. While I do put up most of the food DH and I eat each year, I don't can near as often as I use my cooktop for other things.