With the increased interest in home canning, the use of glass or ceramic top stoves in the process is in question. The areas of concern are the heat required for proper canning, the diameter of the pot, and weight. The best advice is to check the manual, or contact the manufacturer. Some of these stoves can be used for canning, within certain limits, and some cannot.
If the manufacturer says your stove is safe to use for home canning, there are still some areas of concern. A glass top stove has a sensor to keep heat in the glass from going above a certain point and cracking the top. This may not allow the canner to maintain an even temperature high enough to kill the organisms that cause food to spoil.
A canner with a completely flat bottom will help with this problem. A regular water bath canner has a concave bottom, so much of the canner will not come into contact with the burner. On a gas stove, this is not a problem, but with an electric stove, and especially a glass top, it is unlikely that the canning process will be successful. A flat bottom canner specifically labeled safe for use on a glass/ceramic top stove is essential.
For water bath canning, you might be able to use a flat bottom pasta pot that is deep enough to allow 2” of water to boil over the tops of the filled jars. Use a round rack in the bottom of the pot, and ensure the jars do not touch each other or the sides of the pot. Clean cloths may be inserted between jars for this purpose. Ensure that boiling continues throughout the water bath process.
The canner should not be any wider than 1” over the size of the burner. Using a pot that is too large can permanently damage your stove. White tops may be discolored, the burner damaged, the stovetop cracked, or the metal fused to the glass top.
Never drag a pot across the top of the stove, or move the pot around while on the burner. This will scratch the stovetop.
Start with hot water and use a lid to bring the water to a boil more quickly.
Spills, especially hot sugary liquids, may pit the ceramic top. Clean up any spills quickly and carefully to avoid being burned on the hot surface.
Be sure the canner is properly centered on the burner.
Total weight of canner and contents should not exceed 50 pounds.
Use recipes from reputable, reliable sources such as Ball, Kerr, or your county’s agricultural extension agent.
Some manufacturers offer a special canning kit to install if the stove will be used for home canning.
If you do not wish to use your glass or ceramic top stove but still want to can, consider purchasing a Coleman Camp Stove. It is large enough to accommodate either water bath or pressure canners, provides steady and intense heat, and is relatively inexpensive.
Two to three cylinders of fuel should be sufficient for a day’s canning on a Coleman camp stove. The stove folds for easy storage, and will be handy in case of a power outage, or for camping. The other advantage is that you can use it in a sheltered outdoor area and avoid heating up your house during summer canning sessions.
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