Electric vs Gas for pressure canning?

bo_doc(7)June 7, 2010

Which is most prefer'd for pressure canning, electric or gas range's? Any tricks to using either?

I tried canning on our gas stove last year, and I couldn't ever get the pressure to regulate properly. Thinking of switching to electric if it would make a difference.

Thanks.

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jimnginger(9)

Electric has a much slower response time than gas and it will drive you crazy unless you have gotten used to it.
Some canners will not even work on all electric stoves. Pressure canners are heavy and some electric have glass tops.
Stay with gas! Get yourself a jiggler for your canner set to 10 pounds and you can't go wrong (if you live at 1000 feet or less).
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:52AM
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calliope(6)

When I saw the title of the thread I thought somebody was kidding. I had to can on an electric range for fifteen years and cursed it every inch of the way. It can be done, but you don't wanna go there unless you have to.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 8:36AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Done both over the years and there really is no choice - gas wins hands down.

As Jim said convert your PC to weights. Easy to do, more accurate and much easier to regulate. Gauges can be off by several pounds so safety is an issue.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:07AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

This was discussed very thoroughly a few years ago. The above comments are pretty well founded.

I finally bought a 5-10-15 lb pressure weight for my Presto, and it truly changed my attitude. Prior to that - I would have to stay near by in the kitchen - jumping to regulate my gas stove to maintain even pressure readings. The new weight is a real blessing - takes out the guess work.

Of interest, some canners purchased propane gas stoves to do their canning on - it gets the heat up there very fast -much quicker than "city" gas stoves do. We have a gas camping stove in our trailer - and I noticed it can boil water a good deal faster than my at home gas stove. Also, at home, I note when there are several burners going at once, the gas volume seems a lot less.

Would appreciate hearing from some of the folks who decided to try propane heat for canning - are they still happy with it?

Bejay

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:27AM
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roof

I'm very happy with propane for canning. Further, using a camp stove and being able to pressure can (and boiling water bath) outside makes the job alot easier. There are some considerations and preparations that are necessary, however.

Cheers

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 7:20PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I'm very satisfied with my set up. This will be the 3rd year for the outside kitchen.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: This is the burner I use

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 9:06PM
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bo_doc(7)

Sorry I'm late getting back everyone. Been havin trouble getting the site to load for some reason.

Looks like gas wins. I'll stick with it.
I have a 17qt Presto gauge type canner with a 15# weight. I fought the flame continuous last year trying to regulate the pressure by the gauge. I lost every jar of purple hull peas I had canned. Most of the liquid had cooked out of the jars when they were done processing. Heartbroken I was ready to throw in the towel.

I'll try the multi weight for the canner if you guys think the gauge may have been at fault.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 2:04AM
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jimnginger(9)

It really does not matter whether the gauge was at fault or not. The Presto part # in 50332 and it will cost you about $12.00 at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or any other place that carries canner parts.
Reason: It will free you from standing and watching the gauge and constantly fiddling with the setting on your stove. Get the temp. set properly, set a timer, and go do something else. The gentle rocking will assure you that the proper temperature/pressure is where your canner is set.
My gauge works perfectly on my canner, but I would NEVER be without the 3 piece weight set. My weight starts rocking at 10 1/2 pounds. I'd buy another canner first.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 3:40AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

bo doc -

You will like the 3 piece weight - for it's convenience. However, it also lets you know if your pressure gauge is working accurately. These sometimes will give faulty readings after much use, and it is reassuring to note that it will register OK - when using the 3-piece weight.

I'm not sure the "lost" jars of peas was due to pressure variation or not. It might be that there was some sort of "glitch" in the preparations. Did you close the rings down "finger" tight? It may be that they were too loose.

A little bit more information may turn up some clues on reasons for siphoning.

Just my 2 c's.

Bejay

    Bookmark   June 10, 2010 at 11:33AM
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pyxiwulf(7)

lol, I swear sometimes you guys depress me, me and my $1700 glass-topped range with dual convection ovens. ROFL! I suppose I'll look into these propane burners now too. someday I'll get to pressure can!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 7:53AM
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calliope(6)

Where there is a will, there is a way. Back on the family farm (hubby's folks) we had a 'modern' range in the kitchen, but also kept the wood burning cookstove and it was the one we canned on. If we can put up hundreds of quarts of food by adjusting the damper and stoking up with wood, you can find a way to make a fuel source work. LOL.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 12:02PM
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bo_doc(7)

Bejay,
I did in fact tighten the rings finger tight. Although after everyones comments on the regulator, I think I may have over cooked my peas. Reason I sort of think this is, I was trying to keep the pressure at 10lbs by the gauge using the 15lb regulator that came with the canner. The pressure would rise above and below the 10lbs constantly. Each time it fell below the 10lbs I would start my process time over.
I took you all's advice and ordered the multi weight regulator. I tried out the new regulator with just water in the canner and it held steady at about 11lbs by the gauge. So I tried it out today with some snap beans, and they came out great. Once I got the stove set, I didn't have to fight with the flame anymore. Thank goodness. :)
Many thanks to all who helped!
I'm still have'n trouble getting garden web's pages to load. Again I'm sorry I'm so late responding.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 6:38AM
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jonas302(central mn 4)

Dave can you give an idea how much gas a burner like that uses? Do you use a bbq tank or larger setup

I can on 2 electric stoves the old coil type and it goes fine but I might want to get another burner like that to really get things cooking

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 9:52AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

20 lb. grill tank is what I use and the tank will last approx. 6 weeks with an average of 2 loads a day but that is just an average - many days we do more, some days none of course - and most of the time only 1 ring of the 3 on the burner is needed.

The burner pictured above is currently on sale at Northern Tool for $39.00 and the pressure regulator for it is sold separately.

Dave

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:40AM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

It's always so nice to hear a success story. Most of us have experienced some of these problems also, and we appreciated those who gave us a hand up.

There are many things about canning dried beans - for example - that we have been through as well. One other thing is filling dried beans to full in the jars. Stay tuned for more helpful hints - you will be glad you did.

Bejay

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:42AM
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lucillle

Dave

My home is all electric and I am considering buying the burner you have pictured and doing my canning on the porch. I have a couple questions:
I've never used a propane tank before, is it easy to learn?
I want to buy a larger size canner, will this burner be adequate? Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:10AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Dave

I've never used a propane tank before, is it easy to learn?
I want to buy a larger size canner, will this burner be adequate? Thanks.

Using a propane tank does have a learning curve if you have never used a grill or similar set up. And with no experience, you may need some help setting it up, adjusting the regulator pressure, getting the air input and the flame balanced to blue, etc.

But once it is set up and the regulator is calibrated and the burner knobs adjusted for proper air flow then it is just a matter of turning it on and lighting the burner. From that point on you just unscrew the regulator from the bottle, get your bottle filled or exchanged, and screw the regulator back in. No further adjustments needed.

Keep in mind that no regulator or gas hose comes with this particular burner so if you don't already have one you'll need to order one when you order the burner. You'll want to set it to 20 lbs. assuming you will be using the standard grill-sized tank. Then each of the 3 knobs on the stove have an adjustment screw on the back of them to adjust the air flow. You want as blue flame as possible with no yellow. Increase the air flow to get blue flames.

Yes this burner will handle even the big ones. It is 35,000 BTU split into 3 separate burners and the 2 biggest ones are split in L and R halves os can be used on 1/2 a burner at a time. In other words, it is fully adjustable.

12,000 BTUs is the recommended max for canners so you don't damage the canner itself so you have plenty of room to work with. For the Presto 23 qt. I use only the center ring of the 3 burner rings (10,000 BTU) on medium to come up to pressure and then reduce it to medium-low to hold pressure. With my BWB pot (in the picture above) I use both the 2 smallest rings on low for boiling. So you never really tap into the power of the burner.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 3:07PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

One reason I am not as fond of the propane burner for canning is that here wind is an issue and it does take a bit more work to set up a shield without impeding the flow.

So you will find it can take some tweaking to work out the best setup for you.

It's a good idea to do a "test batch" of jars filled only with water, even if you've used your canner indoors previously, just to give yourself an opportunity to work with your burner and become familiar with it and the settings to maintain pressure.

As Dave said, it's important not to turn the flame too high, as excessive heat can crack the vessel.

Carol

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 4:28PM
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