Canning on a Smooth Cooktop

There has been some controversy regarding the suitability of glass ceramic cooktops for canning foods. This is a guide about canning on a smooth cooktop.

Smooth Cooktop

I have an electric stove in my new house. I understand that it is impossible to use a pressure canner for canning foods. Any suggestions?

By Vickie from Lewes, DE

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There are new burners that get hot instantly, so I wouldn't worry too much about them not getting hot fast enough. Mine seems to cook much the same and heats up faster than my parent's electric stove (old kind). I can all the time and have never had a problem of any kind. I however, do not clean mine as often as I should and you really must be careful with sugary foods because they burn and leave marks on the surface that cannot be removed later. I figure that I bought mine to use, not just to set and look nice. I cook all meals at home and use mine mercilessly. It's held up really well.

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I have canned jam on mine and the only problem I have had is finding a canner (large pot) with true flat bottom. If they have a ridge at all on the bottom the "coils" on the stove do not touch the pot and it takes FOREVER to get hot enough. I ended up finding a deep pasta pot that has a flat bottom and works, but is not quite as big as a canner.

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I have canned multitudes of foods on my ceramic cooktop and would NEVER go back to the old coils. I have been warned about sugar, but actually it has not been a problem no matter how many jars of jam or jelly I put up.

I use a 'Steam Canner" and have never had any problems. As for leveling other pots and pans I have used a rather tough but effectual method. Take a piece of wood that fits about 1/3 the circumference of the pan, while holding the pan upside down lay the piece of wood over the pan where it is 'unbalanced'.

Then hammer the wood until the pan is back in shape.

Crude' yes; effective, yes.

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I just asked yesterday at an appliance store about this--I've always heard that you shouldn't can on glass cooktops, but not sure why. The salesperson said that the heating elements under the glass are a certain size, but canning pots (I use a steamer canner) have a larger diameter, and don't have a flat bottom. These cause the delay in heating, but more importantly can crack the cooktop by heating an area outside the element. She mentioned that her friend got a separate, table-top electric burner to use on the side for canning--that sounded like a good suggestion to me. It seems to me that, if you're careful, you can heat your fruits, syrups, jams, etc. on the glass cooktop (if you're careful about the sugar--it does burn and leave a mark, but can also "pit" the stovetop), but the processing should not be done there--at least not with the steamer canner I have.

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