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canning on a glass top stove - can it be done?

hi chowhounds,

i'm new to the world of canning/preserves/jams/etc. i inherited a boat load of canning supplies - one canning pot, a rack, lifter, funnel, tons of different jars, bands, lids, etc.

i was hoping to try my hand at making some blueberry jam this weekend (seems easy enough) but now i'm reading that you're not supposed to use a canning pot on a glass top stove.

can anyone confirm this? and/or provide more information?

the canning pot that i have is a big black and white-speckled thing. it looks like something you'd boil corn in. it's very light.

help!

thanks!!!

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  1. Sounds like you have the standard water bath canner like I have. The house we moved into last October has a glass topped range. Didn't read the manual but I've been running my canner on it since jam season began in the spring. So far seems to be just fine. My canner is large so in order to heat it I have to sit it on both front and back burners on one side.

    Can't say I'm enchanted with this stove. I prefer gas above all. But I find I prefer a standard electric over glass topped. So if heating the canner on it eventually does something to it at least I'll have an excuse for replacing it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: morwen

      hi morwen,

      thanks for the note.

      i don't think my canner is big enough to require two burners ... but it's definitely LARGE.

      although, i've been re-reading some of my jam recipes and i don't think i even need the canner as i have a large stock pot that should do the trick. plus, the rack system that i have is one of those expandable/collapsible ones so the exact pot size isn't that important.

      however, i'm glad to hear that your stove has been fine with the canner. that's good to know if i want to make something in larger quantities.

      tks.

      1. re: lilaki

        I use my smaller stock pot and my Le Creuset dutch oven for canning small batches. My rack doesn't expand/collapse so I zip tied a set of canning rings together for each pot as a rack. Just be sure to have a minimum of 1" of water above the tops of your jars when they're submerged to ensure a good seal.

    2. hi all,

      just wanted to close off on this thread ... i ended up buying a 'mini' canning pot (7 quart, i think) at canadian tire. it has a flat bottom and came with a jar rack. it cost about $15 ... well worth it since we've made almost 50 jars of jam this weekend! one issue though ... it only fits 2-cup jars or smaller. i'm not sure what we're going to do with 1 litre jars ... but i'll figure something out. :)

      5 Replies
      1. re: lilaki

        Hello lilaki!

        I also have a glass top stove, and started water bath canning peaches and applesauce, and my theory is this: how can the stove top get damaged, when the burner only heats to boiling, which is what the stove is made for? I am a home renter, so buying a new stove isnt an option, but I have had much success and no problems with my 7-pint canner :) Speacking of which, I must go, I have a 20lb box of Freestones just waiting to be canned! Have a wonderful day :D

        1. re: Vallan

          The issue as I understand it is not damaging your stove...but rather that glass top/ceramic top stoves cycle the heating element on and off which increases the risk of the food not being canned properly...as in food poisoning.

          1. re: thetastytomato

            I've never heard there could be a problem canning on a glass cooktop, and have done so for decades. Whether or not the burners cycle, as long as they maintain a boil - and they do - that can't be the problem.

          2. re: Vallan

            Maybe the weight of the canning pot was thought to be too stressful to the glass top?

            1. re: Sharuf

              I dug out the manual for my Amana 3+1 cooktop range, which is 30 yrs old (knock wood). It has 3 Temp-Assure elements, which cycle off and on, and one Multipan
              element, which is a regular electric coil beneath the glass-ceramic cooktop surface. The manual says to use the Multipan element (which has a hotter "Hi" setting than the other elements) for canning and pressure cooking. Possibly the manufacturer didn't think the other elements produced enough heat to maintain a boil on a very large pot of water. I wasn't aware of that direction when I canned but since the large Temp-Assure element died long ago, I did can on the Multipan element most of the time. But I've used the smaller Temp-Assure element for pressure cooking, without any difficulty. Maybe this is an instance of "they don't make things the way they used to", but I see nothing in the entire manual that cautions against using heavy pots on the cooktop.

        2. I canned wthout problems on my glass topped stove.