Portable Electric Burner for Pressure Canning

keithcindyAugust 4, 2008

I would like to try my hand at pressure canning some salmon. I have a Miele glass cooktop, and the Miele folks said they don't think it'll be a problem, but they can't guarantee the heat/weight won't break the top either.

So, I'm looking for a portable electric burner I can use on my countertop. Using propane outdoors really isn't feasible, I don't have a garage, and where I live it's usually too windy to sit outside for hours, or be running back and forth inside/outside.

I've been looking at portable burners, but none of the ones I've seen (up to $100 anyway), seem like they'd have enough strength to do the job, or they look awfully flimsy.

I plan on using an All American 21 quart pressure canner.

Any suggestions?



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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Some 50 different ones available from Amazon. Just depends on how much you want to spend. ;)

The link below might give you some place to start narrowing down the field at any rate. You'll need as many BTU's as you can get but they are all 110 rather than 220 like your big stove is. And a fireproof counter or something to sit it on because of all the trapped heat on the bottom.

Google 'countertop burners' for more sources. Good luck.


Here is a link that might be useful: Countertop electric burners

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:49PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Portable electric burners at best would barely boil water for a big canner. Sorry... Most 'portable' burners, are designed for 120 volts an because of this, they can't go any higher than about 1500 watts or about 15 amps. This a problem, as its not sufficient enough to heat any canner filled with jars. There are alternatives like a 220 volt burner, which has much higher wattage and amperage rating. Unless you actually built such a burner, none that I know of would work. Not only do they require a special socket and mounting bowl, and heat resistance, but also a 220 volt rated temperature control. Simply plugging a 220 volt burner into 220 volts is quite dangerous, unless you have high current controls to switch it off and on only. At 220 volts and 10 to 15 amps, you actaully double the wattage and amperage as its at 220 volts as opposed to 120 volts. Unfortnately, the 220 volt burners (types use in most stoves) are not designed to be portable. You can try finding a 2 or 4 burner range top that is usually mounted on a counter top as a custom install. Another issue is exteme heat buildup. The metal struts that hold the coiled burner flat, wil get red hot, soften, and then, after a short time, the burner will 'sink' into the bowl. Trust me, I have replaced 3 so far and now use a heavy duty canning elment that has a raised coil with more metal on the struts.

The link below sums it up. as an alternative, the use of a propane burner would be more suitable, and I have recommended one with 3 seperate burner controls (Northern Tools) as it can control heat much better than a single propane burner.

Here is a link that might be useful: Burner alternatives

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 8:49PM
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Thanks for your help. It looks like outdoors with propane may be my only option. bummer.

Too bad the canners aren't stainless steel. It'd be a good excuse to get an induction countertop burner!


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 9:20PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

I use the Cadco single burner electric countertop burner with a full size pressure canner.

It is also the best burner I have for boiling tomato sauce without it sticking to the bottom of the pot or simmering just about anything. It can easily handle a 20 quart stockpot filled to the brim. The cast iron burner cover and the thermostatic control make for very even heat.

It's a good addition to any kitchern. Don't waste your money on anything less.


Here is a link that might be useful: Cadco PCR-1S

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:07PM
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Cindy, You've gotten some good advice. Here are my two cents:

Your 21 quart AA canner only needs 3 inches of water in the bottom. Perhaps boiling that much water on your stove top in a suitable vessel (s), then putting THAT pre-heated water into the pressure canner may work with the electric element? When the canner is up to pressure, and during the long haul, the heating source is actually turned down quite lowÂ.The original boil, venting, and the build up to working pressure is the real demand and limitation for the 110 electric element, IÂd guess.

Can you get a large element so the canner is not precariously perched atop a teeny ring? That too is a consideration.

The salmon is most definitely worth doing, but folk here mostly do it outdoors or in a safe garage or something. I have smaller electric elements that I use in my smokers. Perhaps I should conduct an experiment. Those elements get red hot, and IÂve got the feeling they may keep the water boiling just fine were it preheated. But again, their small diameter may be a safety issue.

Good luck, Roof

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 10:15PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

With 1500 watts for the Cadco, it may be suitable for just pressure canning only because of the small amount of water needed. To get a full rolling boil in a water bath canner, its use may need a lot more time to get to boiling, once the jars are immersed. Additioanlly, if the jats are cold pack, they will take quite a lot longer than of the jars were filled with a boilng product.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:01PM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

It does take longer than my propane stove to heat up from scratch.

Once it is up to speed there is no difference except that the Cadco is easier to set at a constant temp with the numbered dial. There is a slight variation in the heat output as the electric burner cycles on and off. You can hear the steam venting faster and slower.

For both the Cadco side burner and the propane stove I pre heat water in an electric tea kettle. It is faster and more efficient to use the electric tea kettle to heat water. So the pre heat time is about the same. I have completely stopped heating water for tea in the morning on propane because the electric tea kettle is so much faster and is more efficient.

Yesterday I had four propane burners running and three electric side burners going. I liked the single burner electric so much I purchased the double burner too. The double burner has 1000 watt and 600? watt burners. I wouldn't try canning with the double burner model.

I used the electric double burners to make the ketchup, the single burner electric to cook the tomato sauce. I could have used the single burner electric to run one of the canners. However the Cadco does a much better job of cooking the tomato sauce than the propane.

I had two stainless pressure cookers going to pre cook the tomato sauce so that the water runs out when it is placed in a strainer. The sauce was like paste without boiling off any water. I had to add some undrained tomato because the sauce was getting too thick!

I ended up with another 21 quarts sauce (14 in the All American and 7 in the Presto) and three quarts fresh in the refrigerator for eating this week.

I had 24+ quarts of tomato water left over for soup stock.

I am running out of canning jars.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 11:42PM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

Zeuspaul: How many tomato plants did you grow to provide that many tomatoes to make that much sauce? What are the names of those you grew? Are they determinate or indeterminate?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 12:28AM
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zeuspaul(9b SoCal)

Greenhouser, any tomatoes that grow well in your area will do. I have about 150 plants with a mix of determinate and indeterminate, staked and sprawled. You could do it with far less. I experiment a lot hense the need for extra. I also give a lot to neighbors in exchange for blueberries, tangerines, grapes, wine:) avocados...

I like larger tomatoes (Sioux, Supersonic, First Lady, Celebrity, San Diego) because it takes less time to fill the basket and get them to the sauce stage. I like the smaller Maremmano because it is just the right size to fit the throat of my tomato strainer without cutting and it's round so it rolls right in. A good mix results in a richer more complex flavored sauce.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 10:29AM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

Zeuspaul: Thanks for that info. I think I'll grow a much larger mix of toms next summer since I'll be into some heavy canning from now on. There's a good nursery not too far from here that carries many varieties of toms and peppers. I also just bought some hybrids (supposed to be disease/heat resistant) to keep over in my greenhouse and use as "mother" plants for cuttings next spring. I doubt I'll get any toms from them this year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 6:05PM
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I am just starting at this home canning thing and have already run into a problem. I have a 21 quart canner and can not use it on my ceramic stove top. I have been looking for alternate cooking options and have come up with 2 electric burners; Cadco pcr-1s and waring sb30, both have about a 7" cooking element and the canner is 14" x 14", will either of these work? Also heard that you can use either a deep fryer or a turkey fryer, has anyone tried this? If anyone has any ideas I would love to hear them.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 5:50PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

skcason - is that a 21 quart pressure canner or a 21 qt. boiling water bath canner? Makes a big difference and the PC requires much less water and so much less BTU's to get it going.

As zeuspaul said above, he/she uses the Cadco PCR-1S with a full size pressure canner with no problem so that basically answers your question.

But electric burners don't have near the BTU output that propane burners do so take much longer to heat. Most of us use propane burners. Check out the discussion on them linked below.


Here is a link that might be useful: Propane burners

    Bookmark   November 11, 2008 at 6:39PM
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sapman(z5 NY)

I normally use a gas kitchen range for all my canning, but if that is busy I have two propane Turkey Fryers that work real good, lots of heat. They work best in an open shed or garage, but could also be used with a couple sheets of plywood (or similar)to shield from the wind.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 10:31AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I just posted a link in another thread about another source for propane burners that MUST be used outdoors or in an open garage. Northern Tool used to offer a decent one with three separate valves and rings to control the heat. None of the current stand alone electric burners will produce enough heat to get a big pot boiling quickly. The heating elements on the plug-in electric burners that are stand alones are just 120 volts about a 1000 watts. An electric stove uses 220 volts and amost the same wattage, but offers a lot more heat. If your doing lots of canning, you can also consider using an electric range top only (no oven), and mount it in a big plywood frame/box. It would also require a 220 volt connection, but no ventilation would be needed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Patio stove

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:14AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Just checked the BroilKing site and found they also offer a black colored version rated at 1650 watts (model PCR-1B). The Cadco model mentioned above is 1500 watts. That little extra can help to get heat in pots up to boiling a bit faster

Here is a link that might be useful: BroilKing site

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 11:26AM
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I noticed several people had very good reviews of the Cadco single burner- http://www.amazon.com/Cadco-PCR-1S-Professional-Range-Stainless/dp/B00028X2Y6/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 11:00PM
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