Friday, February 6, 2009

I Do So Want One of These!

I took this image from the site where I drool over it, Kitchen Krafts, but they are a bit pricey. This one, with the spigot, is $299.95 and without the spigot is about 40 bucks less. That is certainly the price or more for a very good pressure canner.

Why do I want this? Because I have a ceramic glass stove top.

For those who may be just getting into canning or are thinking about it, a ceramic glass stove top, especially that Star Trek looking thing I have, are not suitable to anything that doesn't have a flat bottom. They also have weight restrictions.

There is only one canner that I know of that is specifically for use with those type of stoves and it is the WalMart Presto version, the smaller one that can hold 7 quart jars, not the huge one. But that is a pressure canner. I also used it as a water bath canner this past year because no one said I couldn't. :)

The difference is the weight. To use that Presto as a water bath canner I put a LOT more weight in it to get the water an inch above the top of the jars. The result is that I feared I would crack my stove and did very little in the way of Quart Jar processing out of fear.

This little puppy above will eliminate that problem by allowing me to water bath can right on the counter top and hold water at a steady heat so that I can minimize time between batches and process more efficiently.

What do you all think? Anyone ever used one? Like 'em, hate 'em? Anything I should know about them?

As to why I have an electric stove and all that, well, when my house was being built I wanted an E* plus house and so it wound up being all electric but very efficiently so. Give and take, I guess :)

6 comments:

Aimee said...

I've never seen one of these. Can it hold water at low temperatures? I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to follow the directions in my cheesemaking book ("hold the milk at 86 degrees for 18 hours...") and if there were a device that could pressure can and cheese-make, well, that might be worth the investment.

ChristyACB said...

Yes, one of them holds from 80 degs and up and the other from something 85 degrees, with the lower temp being the one without the spigot.

This isn't for pressure canning, only water bath canning, but adding in the processing of dairy does put a new spin on the cost issue.

Holds 7 quart jars I believe.

Kristina said...

Christy, I'd never heard anything bad about using a water-bath canner on a glass stovetop. I canned incessantly this past year (like every day in September), and never had problems. And my canner isn't flat on the bottom! I'd be interested to read more about this issue. What are your sources? Thanks for the informative post!

ChristyACB said...

Kristina,

I get all my info from so many sources it would be hard to pin down. There are usually several long and winding threads a month during canning season on HomesteadingToday.com message boards. (By the way, great info on that site!) Also from Dave's Garden forums too. Both are searchable.

What finally made me realize that the problem is real, however variable with each person, was that my stove manufacturer finally responded and said it is a no-no, in many more words, due to weight and the heat build up between ridges on regular water bath canners. And once I started looking at every canner I could find, they all said not to use them on glass ceramic, except the Presto which is made for them.

It seems that proof-wise, it is a gamble. Some people get huge horrible cracks or burned out elements and some people don't. If you managed to do well, then your stove is a gem and trustworthy so maybe you will always be fine doing water bath canning.

To clarify, I also do water bath and pressure canning on a near constant basis during harvest, but I used the presto for both types of canning and limited my water bathing of quart jars and did most of those via pressure method for reduced weight.

Kristina said...

Christy-- I wanted to post a follow-up about electric stoves. Your post sent me to my owner's manual, to see if there were warnings about using canners.

Surprisingly, there were none! I have a 2007 GE JBP64. I was really happy there were no warnings. So, I guess not all glass-top stoves are created equal.

Now, the real question: how old is your stove, and could you get away with buying a compatible one? :)

ChristyACB said...

I have a 2006 Kenmore Elite something or other, so it is also fairly new and it was a whopping 3200 bucks so not looking to buy new. It is a convection also for my baking and I realllly love that.

As for the manual, mine had only the vaguest hint of a warning. Something about not all cookware being compatible with that kind of stovetop but nothing at all specific. It didn't even have the weight restriction on the top in there very clearly, which is why I wrote to the company and asked.

My homesteading home, less than 3 years and counting to go, will not have this restriction! I'm putting in a wood cookstove also as well as a summer kitchen outside. So it is really only the next few years I have to put up with it.

You got a GEM of a stove there! Excellent purchase! I was swayed by Top Chef in my choice..lol.