Monday, January 10, 2011

Seeking input

A reader posted this on my Canning Bacon post, and I thought I'd bring it up front.

I have a general canning question... I am planning on spending my Christmas money on a pressure canner. However, I've been reading that pressure canners should not be used on a glass top range. Is this true? Or just more internet hype?

I am totally unfamiliar with glass top ranges so I cannot speak at all on this issue. I welcome reader input from anyone with experience canning on these ranges.


  1. Hi Patrice,

    I have a glass top stove and did research on this subject. The best answer I could find is "most canners should not be used on glass top stoves". The link below has a ton of good information on the subject.

    Hope this helps :)


  2. I also would love to know, since I have a glass top range and am thinking of doing some pressure canning in the near future....

  3. Most glass top range and canning manufactors do not recommend using theese items together.
    That being said my Mom has used her canner on her glasstop range. My Dad bought the range and my Mom doesn't like it so if it breaks she will get one she likes and Dad will pay for it. :)

  4. I researched this because I have a glass cooktop as well. Okay so here goes: the issue with glass cooktops and canning is the heating element in the stove. With glass cooktops, there's a sensor that prevents the stove from maintaining very high heat because if it does, the glass could crack.

    Water bath canning is considered okay as long as your stove will maintain a full, rolling boil. But, every stove is different. I'd check the manual if you have it.

    Also, glass cooktops require that pans/pots have a smooth bottom so the heat doesn't get trapped in and cause the glass to crack (kindof like we have to use canning racks or the metal rings to create a space between the pot and the jars).

    I use mine for water bath canning, but mine is okay for getting a consistent boil. Another thing to keep in mind is that the pots can't be more than one inch wider than the heating element on a glass top. Or the glass could crack. I'm seeing a pattern here. (I did NOT have anything to do with choosing the cooktop we have! I would have chosen a less finicky -and sissy- cooktop).

    I'd definitely invest in a little campstove or a separate hot plate to do canning (I've been using a 15-qt pot for my canning because I don't do a whole ton right now) if I were going to use a large canner. I hope this helps, but there's a great site: That's been very helpful to me for the past few years.

  5. I have canned on a glass top range with a canner that was "suitable for use on regular and smooth-top ranges". I have had success canning on my glass top, but was most often frustrated because it was very hard to regulate the pressure. Over the holidays we switched to a gas range and the difference is night and day.
    Here is the canner that I have, although I am sure that there are other makes and models out there:

  6. I received a pressure canner from my parents for my birthday and used it for the first time last night. I chose an All American model 921. One of my goals for 2011 is to learn how to can a variety of produce, so I'll be blogging about our journey.

    We used it for the first time last night but we think our issue was user error, so I won't pass judgment quite yet. We're giving it another test run tonight. =)

    It says clearly on the box "NOT to use on a glass, ceramic, or flat top ranges." Reading through the users manual, it gives two reasons -- one is the weight of the full canner can crack or break the range and two the diameter of the canner will often be larger than the cook surface and can damage the surrounding glass on the range.

    Hopefully that helps answer the question! I don't know about any other options, but that's what the manual said. Good luck!


  7. We have a glass top range. I'm not sure why "they" say not to use a canner on it, although I may suspect it is because the electric ranges (glass or not) cannot keep a canner up to pressure (heat), at least on our glass top electric range. I've canned stuff on our range, but it is very difficult get it up / keep it up to temp / pressure.

    I'm not sure if it's just the heating element isn't strong enough or if it's because the bottom of the pressure canner is not flat, it has several large "rings" on the bottom, and not all actually touch the range itself.

    Hope this helps!

  8. I was always told not to since you can not adjust or regulate the heat affectively. What a bummer though!

  9. I use my canner on a glass top range with decent results. You have to be careful about sliding it because of scratching. The other concern is weight.
    My canner is 21 quart, and I've had no problems.

  10. Save the Canning JarsJanuary 10, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    I have no experience canning on a glass cooktop. However, I would like to point out why I suspect this would not be a prudent thing to do.

    Even a small, 12 quart sized pressure canner, loaded with 7 quart jars, would be very heavy. I would think that if this were to slip out of your hands, just the force could break the cooktop and that could be expensive to replace.

    Just a thought.

  11. It's my understanding that it depends upon the brand of stove you are using and different manufactures have different recommendations.

    Most manufactures recommend flat bottomed canners that don't extended more than 1" beyond the coils.
    Some ranges get into trouble with the burner heat sensors turning off and on intermittently which can make it hard to maintain pressure when canning low acid foods.
    The top on some ranges will crack under the weight of a too heavy canner - greater than 50lbs.
    Even regular electric ranges with coiled burners will give out in newer model stoves when canning.
    There is a special coil canning burner that can be ordered to fit standard electric ranges.
    I bought one 6 years ago for $75 and it didn't last through one season of canning
    (in fact when it blew up it took out part of the electric box and the bottom of my 2 gallon kettle).
    I was told by the dealer that I "canned too much" and that's how I ended up buying a Camp Chef LP stove(my dealer recommends them to canners & the local Amish).
    I use my LP stove in the kitchen during the summer. It is not dangerous per say as long as you keep adequate ventilation(I called Camp Chef).
    If it were me I contact the manufacture of your stove.
    Maybe things have change since I went stove shopping :-)

  12. There is a propane open flame burner made for outdoor use that I've seen people use for canning. It's a steel frame bench, a little more than knee high, that will hold a very large pot. I believe it was originally intended for heating water tubs for hand laundry washing, scalding fowl for plucking, and other outdoor icky work.

    I am very short, and think the low height would work well for me. My neck and shoulder get tired from lifting jars UP and out of the pot on the kitchen stove. Also, doing this outside under a shady tree or awning would be nice if there was no indoor cooling. Most canning is done in August, when it's just too hot.

    My original point was intended to be; this could be something of interest to those with glass topped stoves. They come in double burner. I'm pretty sure you can find them at Lehman's Country Store catalog.

  13. Are there any pressure canners with a built-in heating element? Just curious.

    Anonymous Patriot

  14. Here is my trick. I have a glass top. SO I quickly purchased myself a HOTPLATE> Problem solved. I sit it on the counter and pressure cook away. I do still water bath on my glass top. I have been lucky. No problems so far.
    HOTPLATE>>>>> great solution.

  15. There's a German one made by Glashaus.

  16. I have an All American 921, and a 7yo glass/ceramic top range. Canned hundreds upon hundreds of jars - stocks, beans, corn, carrots, stews, soups, tuna, all kinds of wacky things.

    1) Once the canner is on the stove, it is *not* moved.
    2) I have a giant dual burner that it sits almost perfectly on - it has a small circle inside of a big circle (so I can have just the little element going for a small pot, or all of it for a big pot). It's not a tiny or too-small burner for the diameter of pot.
    3) My hubby reassured me time and time again that it was okay, that our Whirlpool range could handle it. So if it breaks, I can blame it on him and we go shopping for a gas range. :D But it hasn't broken yet, and I will not purposely do so.

  17. get yourself a hotplate or use a gas topped ranges do not get hot enough..mostly because of their saftey features. an electric range will...but you will find that the burners will have to be replace often.

  18. Emma -

    I took just bought an All American 921 pressure canner. So far I love it, and it is built like a Sherman tank.

    Besides the reasons you mentioned, the manual also warns that there is some sort of issue with using a pot that does not have a flat bottom on a glass top stove. The 921 has a slight recess in the center of the bottom of the pot.

    My solution was to dig out the Coleman Powerhouse Dual Fuel stove we had from back when we went camping. Because of concerns with using a gasoline stove in the house, I use it in our detached garage. The garage is insulated and semi heated which is good for evenings like this when it is 3 degrees out and headed for -1 F. Running the Coleman on regular unleaded gas is fairly cheap and way less expensive than Coleman fuel at $8.88 a gallon at Walmart. I get at least two canning sessions out of a tank of gasoline.


  19. I have a "young" Kenmore glass-top stove - its 4 years old. I have been water bath and pressure canning on it for over a year. I have the 16 qt. Presto canner.

    Supposedly, the manufacturers of the stoves made them stronger in the last few years to accommodate both water and pressure canning.

    My advice - check with the manufacturer of the STOVE.

  20. There are glass top stoves made that have a special burner that can be used for canning. I have one, but have not yet canned on it(still working up the courage to can in general). The special burner is larger and has higher heat capabilities.

  21. Here's why you don't can on a glass stove top. They will explode on you! Ask me how I know. August 14, I was canning pears - waterbath, not pressure. The canner had been going about 7 minutes. Luckily, I walked away from the stove, otherwise I might have received a stomach full of schrapnel. It sounded like a shotgun going off. The stovetop literally exploded into a million pieces. Fortunately it was tempered glass so that helped to contain it some. It was a Whirlpool brand. It was only six months old and rated for canning. I had been following all the directions.

    When I was getting it fixed, the repairman stated, "sometimes, you can follow all the rules and they just go off. Don't know why." With that attitude, I just don't trust a glass top anymore. If you've had good luck with yours congratulations, but if I could replace mine I would.

  22. I contacted our manufacturer when we moved to a house with a glass top stove and asked them this very question. They said they are not safe for any canning at all!! Reason: the heat turns on and off and does not maintain a perfectly even temp, in order to keep the glass from getting too hot and breaking. SO your canner will not maintain an even temp while canning....dangerous. Yes, many people can on them anyway, but get yourself a propane burner and do it outside.. or even a campstove works well, and the heat is outside in the summer!!

  23. I've been canning with a 21 qt canner on a glass-topped range (using the largest burner) for three years without a single problem. I use the max heat setting until pressure is reached and then reduce to about 3-4 for the duration. The medium burner works also but takes more time to reach full pressure. Guess I was lucky to not have heard all those who say it can't be done.

    Steve in MN

  24. My Girl friend has one of these and I hate it with a passion.
    My friend had one too.

  25. I've used my glass top stove for both water bath and pressure canning, no problems. Its a 10+ year old Kenmore, keeps the pressure up on the pressure canner too. I am very careful to only use the largest heating element and not move the canner once I've loaded it. Always let the pressure drop before even thinking of opening it. Usually "over" pressure the recommended amount, and usually extend the time too, but that has more to do with altitude than with the stove.

  26. Years ago I had a glass top stove and decided that I would use it for canning any way. I got away with canning for awhile but eventually the glass top cracked and was several hundred dollars to replace. After that I looked around for a used stove and found one that had working burners, but the oven did not work. We had this stove wired to work in the garage which is just outside my kitchen door and I have been using this stove to can on now for many years. The heat of canning in the summer time is out of my kitchen and the older stove seems to have a hotter main element which makes canning easier.

  27. OK, I have to chime in. I have a Maytag Performa. The owner's manual states, "All canners and large pots must have flat bottoms and must be made from heavy-gauge materials. This is critical on smooth top surfaces. The base must not be more than 1 in. larger than the element."

    I have a Presto 23 qt. pressure canner. That manual doesn't mention smooth tops at all, but states, "Do not use pressure canner on an outdoor LP gas burner or gas range over 12,000 BTU's.

    So, you should read the literature that comes with your specific equipment, and decide based on that whether you should can on your smooth top or not.

    It is a pain, that the burners turn on and off randomly - you have to really watch that pressure gauge and adjust the heat level several times during the canning time.

    I've canned a few things without any trouble so far. But if there's a catastrophic failure, I can only hope no one gets hurt. And then, I will put my foot down about installing a gas stove! (as long as it's not more than 12,000 BTU's of course!)

    And if anyone reading this is considering purchasing a smooth top, let me dissuade you from that. They are a pain to keep looking good, and you might have to replace all of your pans if their bottoms are not perfectly flat.

    Off topic, don't buy a front loading washing machine either. That's a purchase I regret bitterly.