Over the last decade, the Ball Canning folks have brought a handful of canning appliances to market. The first was the FreshTECH Jam and Jelly Maker in the summer of 2012. The FreshTECH Automatic Home Canning System was the thing during the 2014 canning season. And now, we have the Ball FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner and Multi-Cooker.
This electric canner is exactly what I know a number of you have been hoping for. It’s a giant pot that has an independent element so that you can move your processing pot off your stove top and over to the counter.
It holds 8 quarts, nine pints, or a dozen regular mouth half pints (that means that if you stack them, you can process 24 quarter pint jars at once). It’s particularly great if your stove is slow to boil water or if you’ve been warned off canning on a glass top cooktop. It works like any other boiling water bath canner, so if you live at higher altitudes, you will still need to adjust your processing time upwards.
It has a spout on the left side of the canner, so if your kitchen is arranged in a way where you can set the canner to the right of your stove, you can drain the water directly into the sink. The canner comes with a steaming rack as well as a canning rack, so that you can use it for all your high capacity steaming needs (I could see it being perfect for tamale parties).
It can also be used as a portable cooker, so can work for large amounts of soup, chili, or even something like mulled cider. Nice if you help with community potlucks or church suppers.
I’ve now run a number batches of jars through the canner and I am really happy with it. It’s not going to become my primary boiling water bath because I make a lot of small batches and it doesn’t make sense to heat up this much water for two or three pints, but for larger batches, it’s a boon.
It’s also incredibly useful during tomato season and I’ve started bringing it with me to my classes and workshops where I know we’re making multiple batches and so we’ll need more canner space.
This canner does cost $149.99, which is a pretty penny if you already have a canning set-up you like. If you like the idea of moving your canning pot off your stove top but can’t swing that price point, there is a more affordable way to create something similar.
Get yourself an induction capable stock pot (a classic speckled canner with a flat bottom will work) and the induction burner I have (it’s just $60) and you have a canner you can run anywhere (I highly recommend outdoor canning on really hot days).
My bottom line on the Ball FreshTECH Electric Water Bath Canner is that it’s a great tool for people who do lots of large batch canning. If you have the budget and storage space for it, I highly recommend it.
Disclosure: The folks at Ball Canning sent me a FreshTECH Electric Canner for review and photography purposes at no cost to me. They are also provided a giveaway unit. No additional compensation was provided for this post and all opinions expressed are my own.