In the last two days, I’ve gotten three different questions about canning on glass top stoves. And so, I figured it was high time that I added a blog post to the Canning 101 archive to explain why it’s not recommended and how you can potentially work around those warnings. Read on for more!
If you are the owner or regular user of a glass top stove, you may have heard that you’re not supposed to do any canning on your smooth, easy-to-clean stovetop. For long time canners who find themselves with these stoves, this news can be quite a blow.
There are three primary reasons why manufacturers recommend against canning on a glass top stove. The first is that many older canners have concave bottoms. When you combine a concave bottom with a flat surface, heat, and water, there is a risk that a seal will form between the canner and the stovetop. It’s not a huge deal until you go to move a canner that has suctioned itself to the stove. The seal can be strong enough that attempting to move the canner can result in a cracked or shattered stove top (this can also happen if you put a lid on your flat surface).
The second reason that it’s not recommended is that a full canner load of seven quart jars can be heavier that the stove top can bear. Even if your pot has a flat bottom, if it ends up weighing more that the glass surface can bear, you can still end up with a broken range.
The third reason is that some glass top stoves cycle the heat on and off, and so aren’t able to hold a steady boil. If you can’t hold a canner at a constant boil, you cannot guarantee that you’re getting the full level of heat penetration necessary for your preserves to be sterilized and safely shelf stable.
Happily, not all is lost for potential canners with flat glass top stoves. You can eliminate the risk of breakage through suction by using a pot with a flat bottom. A light-weight stainless steel stock pot (like this one) works well as a canning pot and will never seal itself to your stove. It also has the added benefit of being light enough to prevent the surface from cracking or breaking due to too much weight.
There is the issue of maintaining a rolling boil. Some stoves can do it and others can’t. Test your stove by bringing a pot of water to a boil and tracking the temperature with a candy thermometer while it boils. Does it stay at or near to 212 degrees F? Or does the temperature fluctuate a great deal? If you can maintain a rolling boil, you should be good to go.
And, if all else fails, get yourself an induction burner and an induction capable pot and run that as your processing station. Where there is a canning will, there is always a way.
I couldn’t have said it better, Marisa! When I got me new cooktop, I as appalled that the booklet said canning was not recommended.
I gave away my wonderful 30 year-old canner, but after a year I couldn’t take it. I read webpage after webpage of other’s experiences, and decided to chance it. I bought a smaller Presto canner (they approve theirs for a glass top), and started back up. That was seven years ago, and no problems. I do make sure I LIFT the canner so I don’t scratch the stove, and try not to can more than two loads at a time, so that I don’t cause undo stress on the heating elements.
Also, I pressure can everything, including fruits and tomatoes, as this takes less water and shorter cooking times.
What is the model of your presto cnner My cooktop is 50 pound weight limit. Argh. Its in a rental. I hate those stove tops.
We have burned out the element on a new glass top range while canning. Repair person said he replaces several elements/year caused by overheating. Now using a butane gas stove for canning.
My pressure cooker is convex not concave?
I guess that ignorance is bliss. I only knew about the flat bottomed pan, bought one and went right on canning. Never had a problem. No where did I read about not using it for canning.
Last year I canned 75 lbs of tomatoes on my glass top stove and never even considered it might be an issue! Everything seemed to work out fine- but good to know!
I also use the presto pressure canner on my glass top, but it can be a bit hard to keep the pressure consistent at the 11lb of pressure recommended for canning meat with a gauge. Since the presto only comes with 5lb and 15lb weights, I got an adjustable weight that can go to 10lb and it now keeps perfect pressure with minimum fussing.
I use a stockpot and one of these “mini” canning racks
It works great. I even have spares so I could potentially have two small batches going at once, but I usually do things in smaller batches anyway. (Which is how I found your first book!)
I’ve never had a problem with a rolling boil or auction problems with my canner, and luckily, the stovetop can bear the weight of a canner with a dozen half-pint jars!
I do want a new canner though, as mine keeps getting a white film on my jars. I can clean the jars after sealing, but I can’t imagine it’s good for sterilizing the jars, etc. I’ve read you can add white vinegar to the boiling water, but is that ok during the sterilization? I’m not sure if it’s the pot or the rack or the reaction between them that is causing this haze.
Rose, the white film on your jars is probably mineral deposits from your water. Do try putting the vinegar in the water. It’s fine to have it in there for the initial jar warming/sterilization.
It’s not your pot or your rack. You have hard water and the white is mineral deposits. I don’t sterilize my jars in my canner. I either use the dishwasher or leave them in a sink of hot water. I get the same film on my jars after processing but I just wipe it off. I’ve never had a problem with eating any of my canned foods.
Its lime in th water..I use vinegar in my canner to keep dodwn the lime deposits, jars stay nice and clean
If you add a couple to three tblsp,of vinegar to your water you won’t get the white film on the jars. if you are pressure canning you do not need to sterilize the jar’s but they need to be washed with soap and water and rinsed well . If you water bath can then you Must sterilize the jar’s . I hope this helps you out . You may find Youtube of help in canning and go to Ourhalfacrehomestead or Katzcradul,and The Kneady Homesteader and others .And Bexar Prepper has canned for year’s so check her out too .
It is probably your water, mine does the same so I always use white vinegar without any problems. It is a type of disinfectant anyway.
I always add vinegar to the water when I ‘m sterilizing. It helps to remove any impurities there might be.
A good and inexpensive answer is to buy a butane burner. They cost less than $30.00, fuel is inexpensive and they can be used indoors (as opposed to propane). They look just like a burner and actually work quite well – and fast. Nice to have an extra burner for holiday cooking time, portability to picnics, backyard, etc. Make sure to get one that is URL approved.
Or if you prefer electric, the plug-in “buffet burner” types are even cheaper! I used a $10-dollar single-burner one for all my cooking for about 6 months in a bare-bones rental, then later for about 12 years a $17, 2-burner model for all stovetop use, in a house we bought that came with an ANCIENT range – the oven just barely held a level temp., the burners were hopeless. What can I say, it worked. 🙂
What size canner do you use and what size electric burner. I have been canning on a kenmore glass top for 10 years with no problem, but just purchased a ge profile glass top. I can 450 lbs of tomatoes every year which is about 80-90 quarts. My canner is not flat bottom so I just purchased a ball canner with a flat bottom, but I would like to use my old canner on an electric plug in if possible, but I don’t know which one would be best for my needs. My enamel canner is 12″ across. I am also afraid of canning for too long on the new stove. I usually can 25-30 jars a day so the canner is running for about 2 hours.
Can you give a link to the model of butane burner you’re using? I’m having a hard time finding information on which ones are suitable for pressure canning. Does a can of fuel last long enough to pressure can chicken (75 min. not including warm up/venting)?
How long does a canister of butane last for a one burner stove?
They only last for 45-50 minutes of cooking time.
I canned on a glass cooktop for 10 years, but I had to adjust how I did it in order to make everything work out right. I bought a tall stockpot from Walmart that had a flat bottom and was the same size as the largest burner on the cooktop. I bought one of the Ball starter kits and used the green basket in it as a rack — it fit perfectly in the stockpot. I was able to do 3 pints or 4 half-pints at a time, so this was definitely a small batch operation. 🙂 I found a small pressure cooker and did pressure canning a couple of times, but it was a pain because the microwave was mounted too low in that house.
Now that we’ve moved to a new house with a gas stove, one of the first things I did was go out and buy a new hot water bath canner so I can do larger batches. 😀
I have wanted a new range for a few years and did want a flat top since I have a small kitchen (not Marissa-small, but still) and wanted the area for prep-work also. Getting an induction burner occurred to me and I looked at a few, but I wanted to know if they, too, may have a heat cycling issue. Do I need to be just as careful with THAT factor? If not, then I’m ready to move forward and get BOTH my new range and an induction burner so I can can worry-free. 🙂
I love my plug in induction burner and do all my prep in an enamel covered cast iron pot. However, my pressure canner is aluminum so I must use my glass top stove – but no issues.
As a renter, I don’t have much choice when it comes to appliances, and was dismayed to see a glass-top oven in the house we’re currently renting. The unit’s instruction book says not to use oversize pans, but I didn’t have the manual until after I’d canned a couple of batches with a large pan and wondered why even the edges of the stove top got too hot to touch. Scary, and lucky I didn’t destroy the stove or cause a fire. Now I just use my regular stockpot, which means I can only process five half-pints at a time.
But you’ve got me wondering about the consistent boil, though. I’ll definitely check that before I do any more canning. That’s scary, too. Thanks for the heads-up.
I have been canning like a fiend on my glass topped stove for over a year. At times I have even realized I had too many jars for one batch and fashioned a second canner with stockpot and silicone trivet and had both going at once. After I had been canning for a while I read that it wasn’t a good idea, but there is no turning back. I decided maybe since mine was new, they might be better able to do the job. Ha. I have had no trouble maintaining a hard boil at all. But I sure would be bummed if the stovetop cracked….
Another option is using a camp stove outside in a sheltered spot.
Since I’m canning (and canning and canning) sweet pickles for my husband, he’s the jar-sanitizer & canning-kettle guy, using his favorite propane Coleman camp stove in garage with the doors open & big fan going. That way, we can still use our venerable enameled canning kettles, jar rack, etc.
I said adios to my glass top stove yesterday. I had been canning on it all summer without any problems. Then, I had a pot of boiling water going for the canner and a pot going to blanch tomatoes and the whole thing overheated and I got an error that probably meant I’d killed my thermal circuit breaker or temperature sensor or something else related. I bought an induction stove an a Victorio canning pot that can go on it and I’m back in action. Glass-top electric was never meant for a serious cook and it’s a shame that they seem to be the wave of the future.
I, unfortunately (hate the thing), have a glass top stove and did can my first batch of jam on it, in a flat bottom pot. All went well, it does cycle on an off but the boil stayed strong. I hadn’t thought about the weight when canning, thank you for mentioning it. However, on my second batch I used a canning pot and the concave bottom (which I failed to notice, being a novice) did keep my water from maintaining a good boil…I am hoping for the best because it is super good blackberry jam! I will stick to small canning projects on the stove from now on!!! Oh, and a great reason to get that new gas stove!!! Thanks for this!
I’m surprised no one has mentioned processing jars in the oven like Rachel Saunders from the Blue Chair Jam cookbook. I’ve used that method when processing several small jars and it’s so much easier.
Unfortunately, this method isn’t approved by the National Center for Home Food Preservation for home use. It’s a commercial technique that Rachel teaches for home use, but it isn’t kosher in the eyes of most home canners.
We are moving this week and, after 6 years of apartments with gas stoves, our new place has a glass top stove. I am already disappointed to lose my gas stove but I hadn’t thought about this dilemma. Thanks for the information and I hope I can proceed with some canning this fall.
I’ve been using my glasstop for canning for a few years now, but I use a large presto pressure cooker with a flat bottom. I water process tomatoes and pickles and have had no issues — I usually do six or seven quarts at a time and have not had any issues. Two of my burners are adjustable, and one is the exact size of the canner — way too big for most other pots or pans.
I’ve owned 3 or 4 different glass top stoves since the 70s (we’ve moved several times), and I’ve canned on all of them. The most recent canning I did was with my 4th burner pot, but I’ve also used my stainless stock pot and my pressure canner on my 6 year old glass top! I have used my beloved cast iron skillets and Dutch oven on all my glass tops over these past 30 years, and nothing has ever taught me that any of it can’t be done. I LOVE my easy-cleaning glass top stoves! Sure, I’d prefer a nice gas stove, but it has never been available anywhere we have lived.
Have been canning and pressure canning with my Presto canner on my Sears glass top stove for years and have never had a problem. After fiddling with the settings the first time, I know the exact settings to use to maintain a boil or constant pressure.
I bought a glass-top stove a few years ago and have been happily canning on it since I started canning a few years ago.
I use a beat-up, tall aluminum stock pot (best thing left from my ex-fiance!) and can fit 7 half-pint or 12 oz jars at a time (they have the same footprint) or 4-5 pint jars, with plenty of room for wiggling and water around them. I don’t can in quart jars, so I can’t speak to them.
Honestly, I’ve never had a problem. I do vary the burners I use, so that I’m not always putting things on the same burner – that’s to save general wear and tear, though, not just for canning.
I moved a year ago into a house with a glass-top range (we’re renters) and I HATE them. I already knew that, and was devastated to give up my gas stove, but what are you going to do?
So I’ve been canning a whole lot less, but I have done it. I didn’t worry much about weight — and I’m able to maintain a rolling boil by turning the heat up enough and covering the pot with a venting lid. I can see and hear that I’m getting a good boil, even if my sauces and things are a disaster at lower heat settings because the heat oscillates wildly. It’s super fun trying to get to a steady 220 for set, also.
The main worry for me has always been etching the surface. Some things splatter quite a lot, and hot sugar is, well, really hot. You wind up putting little pits in the glass surface that not only weaken it but cause problems with heating.
So, yeah: these are easy enough to clean, if you want to spend all your time keeping them wiped. But they don’t actually do what I want a stove to do – evenly and reliably heat up food.
I lived with one of these terrible things in a rental for two years – my solution to the cylcing on and off of heat (which would cause jam to burn despite my enamelled cast-iron pan!) was to use a heat diffuser (I used the nordic wear heat diffuser from Williams Sonoma). It’s meant to sit on a electric coil stove-top, and it’s concave at the bottom, but I would put it over my burner to keep the heat more consistent, and I had no need to move it until after the surface cooled, so didn’t have the suction issue. It was a big improvement.
Hey – that’s my stove!! 🙂 I’m so glad to see it’s getting its 15 minutes of fame despite being an “antique!”
Andrea, your stove is terrific! 🙂
I guess my operation is an accident waiting to happen. I have canned with an American pressure cooker and a concave water bath canner on a glass top stove for 3 years in a row. I do about 135 jars a year pints quarts half pints. I have a Kenmore glass top range. It was new in 2011. I don’t try to move the pot around a lot while using.
Can you tell me which All American canner you use? I am new to canning and I have a whirlpool glass stove, so trying to decide which one to buy. Thanks!
I can’t agree with you all more….I hate my flat top. Power burner? Hah! I once tried to make jam without pectin….never did hit 220 even though I begged and begged. Ended up with the most rubbery mess. However, for water bath canning, I use a remote thermometer. I don’t have a sanitizer on my dishwasher. So I put the jars in the canner, turn it on high, set the thermometer for 208 and let the probe float in the water. Once there I set my timer for 10 minutes and voila…my jars are sanitized. Temperature cycling on a flat top? I feel your pain.
ok yall what is water bath canning;and i too have a glass top waiting to buy pressure canner im a little confused if i can use a stock pot to cook and seal my chicken??and then store??
Water bath canning is for fruits, pickles, and other highly acidic foods. You can not preserve chicken in a water bath canner. For that, you need a pressure canner. Here’s some information about canning chicken: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_05/chicken_rabbit.html
I have a glass top. I was so happy when we bought our house and I could get one, our old apartment had a gas stove and I hated it. I hate the smell the most and with gas I always feel like something is going to blow up. With regular electric stoves they are hard to clean, the glass top is great.
I have done lots of batches of jam, pickles, and tomato sauce on my glass top with a Presto flat bottom canner. I do leave the lid on all the time to get it to a rolling boil and to keep it there. I have not used the pressure can function of it, just BWB.
I have also made other temp specific things on my flat top stove such as fudge and no bake cookies. The only thing I ever hard to have a problem with was hard candy and I think I just needed a bigger pot since it kept trying to boil over.
I canned for three years on our glasstop without even knowing that you’re not necessarily supposed to use them for canning. All good things come to an end though! My first canning project this year, ketchup, I decided to try using my new pressure canner just as a water bath canner, and I had just filled it half way, turned on the stove and CRACK. Broken stovetop. And it was just as cost-effective to replace the whole stove than just get new glass piece. Also luckily my parents were out of town that weekend so I was able to bring my hot, giant pot of ketchup down the street and finish the project without too much of an inconvenience.
What’s canning , how do I do this?
The separate standalone plug-in induction burner is very appealing. And about the same cost as a NEW flat-bottom stockpot to replace the Ball “1884” concave enameled canner that doesn’t work well on my electric stove. If I had a separate burner to boil water, then I could use my ONE big burner to make the jam in a wide skillet.
– Does anyone know if this unloved canning pot will work on an induction cooktop? The Ball website didn’t seem to address my question, but I think it said it is enamel over steel.
– Will the concave bottom be incompatible with an induction burner?
– Will the pot’s fairly large diameter be incompatible with an induction burner? DO they come in “larger” burner sizes?
– Or I can just suck it up, give this pot to Salvation Army, and buy a tall flat-bottomed stock pot.
Concave bottom pots won’t work with a induction burner. You need to have the pot in contact with the burner for it to work well.
Thanks, Marisa. I was thinking that might be a problem.
I have a Jenn-Air with plug in burners. I wanted the glass top for cleanability, but want to be able to can. I solved this by replacing one side with the glass element, and now I can can on the regular burner side and still have the cleanability on the other. It works great for me!
I know I’m not supposed to, but… I can with an All American 941 on my Maytag glasstop with no problems. It’s been over 10 years and I can lots all year round. I lately started using a CampChef double burner for canning because I need to make meals on canning days and that was always a problem with the big canner in the way.
I have a glass top stove from Sears. The man who checks my stove every year, told me I need to use pots with smooth bottoms. Is this true?
It is best to use smooth bottom pots on a solid surface stove.
I know there has been a lot of questions about canning on glass stoves. So I’m heeding your advice and want to get that induction burner you suggested. I am still a little confused because I am reading from various places that it is ok to use with my new aluminum presto pressure canner, then being told you cannot use the induction burner with aluminum? I also read that my specific Presto pressure canner model was made to be able to be use on induction burners. I’m so confused and just want to start canning again and figure out what I can use in place of my glass stove and not pay a fortune for it…..Please HELP????
Could you tell me which model of Presto pressure canner you have? To the best of my knowledge, they only make canners out of aluminum, which does not work on induction. But if you have a new model, it might be different.
While I wasn’t the one who originally asked, I have a Presto 1755 Pressure Canner and it says in the description that it is “suitable for use on regular and smooth top ranges.” But, it says it’s made of aluminum, so now I’m confused.
Can a presser cooker work for canning …cause I am new to canning an I just brought a canner an will that work good to cause I am just canning hot peppers
You can use a pressure cooker as a boiling water bath canner if you plan on pickling those peppers. However, if you want to can them with no added acid, they need to be pressure canned in a pressure canner.
Thanks for this post. Good info and am sharing this post with my readers too!
I’m reading comments about the processing because the processing time for tomato sauce is so long and I have a glass stove top. I had a jar crack while processing pears and that was only 10-15 mins. Such a long time to water bath tomatoes I’m afraid I will loose all of my jars. I need some answers about what to do.
Jars are designed to withstand the canning process. The jar that broke probably had a small flaw in it. As long as you have a rack in the bottom of your pot, have filled the pot sufficiently with jars (so that they’re not banging around), and control your flame so that the water isn’t boiling too violently, jars should not break in the canning pot. Your glass top stove has nothing to do with jar breakage.
I just bought a new house with a glass-top stove, and I knew going into it that I’d have to do some problem-solving before I could start canning. I’ve ordered one of these – out of necessity, but I love the idea of freeing up all my burners for cooking! We’ll see if it’s as good as the reviews seem to indicate. Any opinions, Marisa?
Because of your post, I too bought the Ball electric canner. All went well the first day, 6 batches of 7 qt jars of sauce. The second day the canner stopped boiling in the middle of the second batch. I had a house full of tomatoes, some cut, some already made into sauce. My husband suggested unplugging it and giving it a rest. Later that evening we tried again and it was okay. Next day we managed 3 batches and were finished but we let it rest a half hour between cannings. Not the best, but it was great not to use the stove top. Thanks for the tip.
I have a all american pressure cooker can I can in it is have a glass stove what can I buy too can on thanks
The All American might be too heavy for your glass-top stove. Look into getting a commercial electric burner (but not an induction burner).
I just ruined my Mirro Matice eight-quart pressure cooker while canning five pints of venison. It was an older model (about forty years). We had never used it on a glass top stove before. All the water evaporated, and the bottom is now convex. After the water evaporated, the pressure sucked the liquid from the jars of venison, which exploded out of the vent. The steam was so thick we couldn’t see through it, but it had a wonderful venison aroma! It never occurred to us that something like that could happen.
That’s really strange. I don’t believe that that’s the fault of the stove top. It sounds like something went wrong with the canner.
I dont get it just got a canner.(not a pressure one just to boil.) I was using my stock pot and it is a lot heavier with out water than the canner is empty. And on my smooth top boils even never had a problem with it not keeping the temp. What am I missing
My outdoor propane grill has a side burner…would I be able to use a pressure cooker on that burner?
I don’t know..I have always just canned the “Old Fashion” way, the way they did it back before canners and pressure canners etc. I sterilize my jars, lids, and rings in dishwasher, then put them in a shallow pan of hot boiling water on back of stove. I keep them hot and my thing that I’m canning hot. As long as I keep everything hot, my jars have always sealed with no problems. Never had anything spoil and everything turns out tasty and I do this on my glass top stove. Works for me!
Do I need to remove the canner immediately after the time ends ? I’m makiing Smoke canned salmon, 100 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.
Once the time is up, you need to slide the pot over to a cool burner. Those burners stay hot for a long time and your salmon will over-process.
I have an 8 qt stainless steel stockpot with a flat bottom – thinking maybe I could use that to can my jam this year on my glass stovetop (in the past I’ve used my big canning pot outside on our grill burner – but our grill has since broken). Do they make racks to fit a smaller pot like this? Obviously the rack for my enameled pot is way too big. Trying to think through the whole process – kind of a rookie canner here! 🙂
It’s worth updating your information. Our current glasstop stove came with instructions for canning on glasstop. If you’re interested, it’s Frigidaire brand. A friend who’s sold major appliances since the 90s said only the first generation glasstop stoves were unsafe for either pressure canning or boiling water bath canning. They’ve been safe for the better part of the last 20 years.
Thanks for the information!
Wouldn’t using a silicone mat be a solution?
Where would you use a silicone mat? Inside the pot?
Would an enameled pot work to can on a glass top stove?
As long as your stove top can bear the weight of it and it maintains a reliable boil.