canning on smoothtop "corning" stoves.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Chester71, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. Chester71

    Chester71 Guest

    I hope I am in the correct forum. My wife and I are contemplating buying a new kitchen range. She wants one of the "corningtop" or "smoothtop" electric ranges. However, we do a lot of canning in the summer and have heard from 2 seperate sources that these types of stovetops will not hold up under the weight of a heavy canner full of vegetables. Does anyone have any experience with this? Also, are the burners sufficiently hot enough to boil the contents of a heavy canner?
    And finally, every stove we've seen of this type that has been used for any length of time seems to have the burners scorched, scratched, or marred in some way. Is there anyway to prevent this?
    Thanks for any help/advice anyone has on this subject.
  2. Tana Mc

    Tana Mc Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    I had to buy a new stove last summer. I really liked the easy cleaning idea of the smooth top stove. I hate cleaning and look for every short cut that I can. Every place that I looked, the salesman advised me not to get one since we can and preserve extensively. These stoves were more expensive than the one that I bought so it wasn't a sales job.
    I have a friend who did buy one and basically said that she had to set up a canning kitchen in the garage because she couldn't use her smooth top....Also, even tho it is easier to clean, she is a fanatic about what she uses to clean it to keep from scratching it.
    Tana Mc

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I had one, liked it, but wouldn't buy another one. It's hard to keep the top really looking clean, even though it is easier to wipe off than a regular electric range. My grandmother had one of the earlier ones that came out and the top was quickly ruined by using canning kettles on it. I did can on mine, and heated water in large kettles, and had no problems with it, but it isn't recommended.

  4. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

    Jul 25, 2004
    Pell City, AL
    I hate ours. I can't wait to move so we can have a good excuse to buy a good gas range. I've never had an electric range before. The smooth top is extremelly difficult to clean. You can't use cast iron on it. Since we have parrots who are poisoned by teflon we can't use nonstick cookware. Frying an egg is difficult. The eyes of the stove heat up very fast but they don't stay hot. They turn on and off repeatedly. Ours won't even boil 8 quarts of water.

    Don't do it. Buy a standard range. Bells and whistles have no place in self sufficiency.
  5. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    I've had a smooth top for 10 years and have had no problem with it. I can with it each summer. It does take longer to heat up but I've had no problem keeping a consistent boil with a water bath canner. I haven't tried a pressure canner on it so I can't comment on that. I don't understand the cleaning part either, it's very easy to keep clean with a razer scraper and and the smooth top cleaner.

    I've been extremely happy with the stove.

  6. vicki in NW OH

    vicki in NW OH Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    I bought a smooth top last year and am happy with it. Very easy to keep clean; it is best to clean it every day. It keeps a steadier temperature with a pressure canner than the electric coils. (Although, I don't can a lot any more. I use the root cellar and drying of foods.) Maybe satisfaction with a smooth top depends on the model. I have the Maytag model that was recommended by Consumer Reports.
  7. EasyDay

    EasyDay Gimme a YAAAAY!

    Aug 28, 2004
    NC Arkansas
    I used to have one and I loved it EXCEPT for canning. Because it regulates the heat, I couldn't keep a rolling boil going. It kept turning off/on/off. I'm now told that there is some way (in the numerous digital options) to turn that option off, but I don't believe it. Otherwise, I would think it could crack the cooktop if the regulator was overridden. But, I can't prove it 'cause I don't have that stove anymore.
  8. lakecountrygirl

    lakecountrygirl New Member

    Nov 10, 2004
    We purchased a Whirlpool smooth-top a few years ago and absolutely LOVE it. It is so easy to clean. I've only used a razor blade a a couple of time in all those years (when the kids boiled over something and let it burn on for a long time rather than quickly wiping it up). Normally, all I have to do is swipe it clean with a cloth when I do dishes. If something spills and burns on a little, the cooktop cleaners you can buy in any grocery store or Wal-Mart will take off burned-on spills easiy with just a drop or two of the cleaner.
    Our acreage is all electric, so a gas range was not an option for us. However, after having the smooth-top cooktop, I would not buy a gas range if I had the opportunity. To me, the sparkling clean surface (as opposed to reflector pans or wells filled with burned-on grunge) is more important than the ability to have the quick on/off heat that you get with gas. Our range top is always clean -- even with four teen-agers cooking on it!
    One thing to keep in mind: The older smoothtops that came out before this current batch of innovations were VERY difficult to clean. We have friends who used to have one of those, and they said it was awful. They moved to a new home that had one of the newer smoothtops installed, and they loved it.
    On canning -- We received the same advice you've heard: Don't can on a smooth-top range. We followed that advice. Even though it might work OK, we didn't want to risk damaging an expensive new range. The reason that canners don't work on it is because canners are larger than the surface area of the burners and because of the flatness, there is no place for heat to escape. So the heat just builds up and can damage the range top after a period of time.
    We did buy new cookware. You have to have FLAT cookware because of the way the burners are designed to work. It was not a huge expense, and I've used it for several years. I bought the Circulon cookware and love it. It's flat for the range, and cleans beautifully.
    I can a lot of veggies, salsas, soups, jellies, etc., and I use one of those little gas burners outdoors that come with turkey cookers. If it's windy, you need a windbreak, and you can't can on rainy days, but it's worked fine for us. A better option would be to get a cheap range at Salvation Army and put it in your basement or garage, but our garage is filled with animal feed and hay (not a good place to be cooking!) and our basement is just as packed, so we do the "outdoor" thing.
    I hope this helps. If you don't mind using a basement/garage range, or an outdoor burner for canning, then the smooth-top range is wonderful. I figure it like this: I cook on the range every day year-round, and only a small percentage of my year is spent canning, so I went with the benefits that I wanted to enjoy every day of the year: a clean stove top.
  9. kate

    kate Well-Known Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    actually no, i would not buy one, if i did a lot of canning.............first one we had the top cracked and i put it in the vacation house, as it still works. it cracked when i turned it on high under an aluminum cast dutch oven. we bought a rather expensive ceramic top one , now that i use. it heats really fast and boils quick. but i would not take the chance to crack it. i believe they guarantee them for about two years, but time gets away. i would put another stove somewhere with the grid tops or gas to can on. when i was looking at a canner for daughter in law, it said right on box, not for use with ceramic stove tops, so i would pay attention to that..................
  10. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

    Dec 9, 2004
    I do not like my smooth top stove. The kids boil over and it burns takes a lot of elbow grease!!! even with the "cleaner." If you put spices on the top of the stove if they fall off it can crack the top. I had to go out and but new pans just for the blasted thing gurrrrr!!! I can out on my back porch I bought a 2 burner stove I love it!!! I cook outside more now than ever. I tried to like the glass top but I love my cast iron pans and I was told not to use them on the top. But you know I did it anyways and it seemed ok. But I still like to be outside watching my birds and fixing supper at the same time what could be better?? The heat off the gas stove keeps me plenty warm.
  11. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 4, 2002
    We had a smooth top in our last home. I canned on it despite the warnings, and it did work. But then, one day, the top all of a sudden cracked. Way too expensive to replace. When we moved, we had to have the stove/oven removed and give them an allowance for getting a new one.
    Since I do can, I would not have another one.
  12. angelak

    angelak Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    I HATE my smooth top, it's brand new, scratches if you look at it wrong. Even water spilled on a hot burner is a pain to clean up. I have water-bath canned on it and not had a problem. Have never used a pressure canner on it. BUY A SEALED BURNER GAS STOVE!!!!!

  13. limey

    limey Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2004
    Mid Michigan
    I had one in my last house and did not like it. It is too easy to scratch and too hard to clean. Plus I could not use my pressure cooker. The salesman never told me you couldn't use it for canning or regular pressure cooking - grrr! My new house has an electic stove with the rings, but I am planning to put in propane and then have a LP range. I just love cooking with gas ( well, actually, I don't love cooking, but I do like the gas stove).
  14. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

    Nov 5, 2004
    I don't have a smooth top stove, but this darn aprtment includes a standard electric stove........I just canned for the first time, and I thought the electric "burner", the biggest one at that, would break from the weight of the canner.........sure hope it never does on me! That'd be very inconvenient! I'd go for a gas stove, to be honest with you, or wood........more room on a wood stove! Not fun using a cheap electric stove for canning.......not enough burners! Takes forever to heat the canner up, too! Done with my rant........ :D
  15. Ann-NWIowa

    Ann-NWIowa Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 28, 2002
    A lot of new stoves are not supposed to be used for canning not just the smooth tops. One big reason that I haven't replaced my nasty 25 year old stove is I do a lot of pressure canning. The other being my gas oven works without electricity which none of the new ones do. If I were able to afford it I'd buy a commercial gas range.
  16. Chester71

    Chester71 New Member

    Dec 27, 2004
    My wife and I thank each and every one of you for your replies. I would have sent my thanks sooner, but I sent the orginal message as a guest, and had to join to reply back. Once I had that figured out, everything's a breeze. (By the way, I'm just now learning how to spell "www"!!!)
    Thanks again!