It is possible to safely can on a glass top stove. But you must have the proper equipment to prevent either a broken stove top or an unsafe canning process.
Note: Most of this post is excerpted and updated from Seed to Pantry’s March newsletter.
Glass Top Stoves for Canning
Earlier this year my old stove up and died. It was time to replace it, but of course I wanted something the stove manufacturers don’t make; an electric slide-in convection stove with top coils so I can safely use my water bath canner. After many hours of research (sometimes I over-analyze a wee bit) I found a slide-in convection stove, a slide-in with coil top, a convection with coil top, but not all of the above. Until a random remark. “Oh,” the salesperson said, “all of the new glass-top stoves are safe for canning.” I was delighted, but skeptical.
So, it was back to Google (how did we live before Google?). I looked up several different stoves online. And according to the owner’s manuals, they are all safe for home canning. With a couple of caveats:
1. The canner must have a flat bottom. That means my old enamel canner with bottom ridges will have to be replaced.
2. The canner should not overhang the burner by more than 1/2 inch on any side. Therefore they don’t recommend large water bath canners. This will make it a little difficult to process large batches of quart sized jars unless I continue to do those outside on a camp burner.
Finding the Correct Canner
This step was much more difficult than I expected. Not only did I need a flat bottom canner, it could not be larger than 11 inches in diameter since my largest burner is 10 inches.
I finally decided to purchase a this 16 quart stainless steel stock pot. It has a flat bottom, is only 11 inches in diameter, and won’t rust! Plus, it is small enough to be manageable but large enough to process a two layers of jam jars at once. As a stock pot it also will easily do double duty. It is the perfect size for making soup this winter when the whole family comes over.
Finding the Correct Canning Rack
Next I tackled a canning rack. This was even more difficult than finding a water bath canner. But I am very pleased with this reversible canning rack from Sur la Table. It is heavier and of higher quality than most traditional basket type canner racks.
Other Canning Options
Using the stock pot/canning rack combination means that my stove top will not be harmed from too much trapped heat and that the canning process will safely stay at a boiling temperature.
Of course, Jarden Home Brands (Ball®) has recently come out with an electric water bath canner. It is reasonably priced and has good reviews. This might be the perfect option for those of you who have older glass top stoves, or who don’t want to do a lot of canning on a glass top stove.
As I mention in The Confident Canner, most Frigidaire® brand stoves have long been approved for water bath canning. However, the “no more than 1 inch diameter” rule has always applied, so beware that your canner may not work with your stove top.
Of course, a three legged camp stove is still a good option for water bath canning. And it allows us to enjoy the great summer weather while canning!
A Word of Caution
Don’t forget that you should always check your stove manufacturer’s operating guide before deciding to can on a glass top stove.
Do you have a glass top stove? What do you use for a canner?