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Mar 28, 2011 10:59 AM

Water Bath Canning Using an Induction Burner?

I canned some green tomato salsa at the end of last season and would like to do some more canning this year, but the amount of heat put out by gas stove over the long period of heating the water and jars, processing the jars..... my gosh, it was October and my kitchen was a furnace.

I had the idea to get a stand-alone induction burner and use this for canning, my reasoning being that you don't get all of that heat generation. But, DH went online to read the reviews of induction burners and he said it seems like most of the "heat" generated tends to be in the center of the burner. My concern with this "apparent" issue is that maybe only the cans on the center of the rack will reach the required temperature during processing. Is this something to worry about? I was wondering if any CH's on here have feedback or info that might help me.

Thanks so much!

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  1. How big of a pot would you be using? Diameter & height.

    Heat will be generated in a circle 6-7" in diameter. At a boil most of the bubbles will be generated in that area, but water moves around, so it is all going to be close to boiling, especially if the lid is on. With a water bath (and trivet) all the heat transfer to the bottles will be by way of the water, not direct contact with the pan bottom.

    9 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Well, I don't really have a dedicated canning pot, so last year I used my largest Stainless stock pot. It is probably 14 inches tall, 12 inch diameter (guessing). I had a suitable trivet that I put in the bottom, and with the pint jars, I had just barely enough height to contain the boiling water. I canned with the lid on.

      I guess I was concerned that the water would not circulate enough to evenly heat all of the jars..... that those in the center would be processed correctly, but those in the outer ring would not.....

      1. re: DMW

        Whats the height of the trivet?

        1. re: paulj

          It was probably 3 inches tall. I am planning on buying a shorter one to use - it's just what I had on hand.

          1. re: DMW

            I use my big stock pot for most of my canning too. You can make a rack for the bottom by zip tying canning lid rings together to fit the bottom of your pot. But what worked best for me was finding the right diameter holed plate that sits in the bottom of pressure canners for the same purpose. The local family-run hardware store here also carries canning supplies and they sell this plate in several diameters as a replacement part for pressure canners.

            You may want to look into one of those deep-fried turkey propane set-ups for out door canning if you don't feel comfortable with the induction plate. A number of people around here use those for canning instead of deep frying turkeys!

            1. re: morwen

              A 3" tall trivet should give plenty of room for circulation. The pressure cooker style of holed plate might not.

              1. re: paulj

                This is a very good point. I think the biggest concern with using the induction burner is water circulation. There are a number of trivets on Amazon so I am just going to buy one from there that is a little shorter -- aiming for 1-2 inches. If it slats, like my current trivet, I think that will allow plenty of circulation. I think I tried the rings and the sizing didn't quite work out.....

                On the other hand, maybe buying one of those thin-walled enameled water bath canning pots will reduce the heat in my kitchen enough to make it doable (by reducing time needed to heat water).

                1. re: DMW

                  And induction burner produces less waste heat when it is bringing the pot of water to a boil, because nearly all of its energy goes into heating the water. But with a longer simmer the energy savings will not be as great. The pot still produces steam, and the sides of the pot will be just as hot (near boiling).

                  1. re: DMW

                    I have a large enameled water bath and in order to use it on my stove top I have to sit it across two burners running full out to bring it to and maintain a rolling boil. There are smaller ones available but after measuring them they would still require two burners on my stove. That's why I went to the stainless steel stock pot. It holds 5 quarts at a time, more in pints and half pints, requires one burner. I used zip tied rings for awhile and though they didn't fit perfectly they worked until I changed to the pressure canner plate. When I'm doing 4 oz jars I can get away with using my enameled dutch oven and an upside down cake pan to elevate them. That's a little tricky though because you have to pin down the pan until the jars are in place on it. Once it's weighted they ride fine during processing.

                  2. re: paulj

                    If you mean in relation to using an induction burner, you may be right. I've never used an induction burner. But for water bathing on any other heat source it works just fine. The purpose of the rack is to get the jars out of direct contact with the bottom of the pot, otherwise there is enough circulation happening provided the jars aren't touching each other.

        2. I made fig jam outside on my portable induction. I cooked the jam, brought it back into the house put on reg burner to keep hot whilst the canning water was heating up, filled the hot jars (kept hot in dishwasher) capped 'em and then took them outside for the processing! Worked out great. Good luck..