New to all of this . . . Advice please!

my4cowboysDecember 23, 2012

I have been reading through this forum for quite a few weeks now, and read many library books on the topic of canning. I have kept a small garden the last few years, and this year, I really want to learn how to can. My plan was to wait until summer, maybe take a class if I can find it, and see what I can do in a few months.

However, my neighbor just gave me a huge box of apples for Christmas, and I am thinking it would be great to can some applesauce. I have made regular batches of applesauce for my family, so that doesn't seem too daunting, but I don't have any canning supplies.

My main question is what size pot should I get, 21 qt., 33 qt., ???, and then my secondary question is that I have a glass-topped stove, and I'm wondering if that will work OK with canning.

My plan for this summer is to can a lot of tomato sauce because we use it a lot in my cooking: spaghetti, soups, homemade pizza, etc., so I would like something big enough to work with big batches. But again, my glass-topped stove makes me nervous.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Hoping to maybe have my first canning adventure later this week!

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I'm sure several people with have recommendations for you, but until then, you can start learning by reading at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: National Center for Home Food Preservation

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 12:24AM
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There have been quite a few topics posted on using glass top stoves. I have no first hand knowledge as I don't have one (and I'm not sure I've ever even seen one to be honest).

Here's one: Canning on Glass Top Stoves

There's two main "types" of home canning:
BWB or Boiling Water Bath - for acidic fruits, jams, jellies, chutneys, approved salsa and tomato recipes
Pressure Canning - for low acid vegetables like beets, tomatoes (some prefer BWB, some prefer pressure canning), soups, etc.

Your investment in canning equipment really depends on what you want to preserve.

Besides the link that soonergrandmom posted to the NCHFP, which is excellent, another good basic resource to get you started is the Ball Blue Book (less than $10 and readily available in local stores or online booksellers).

For canning applesauce, all you really need is some canning jars and lids, along with a pot deep enough to submerge the jars in boiling water with 1" of water over the top of the jar. Not much fancy equipment for the BWB process - most beginning canners already have the essentials in their kitchen.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2012 at 12:19PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

As malna said, lots of discussions here about using glass top stoves. How well it works or doesn't work depends on the brand/type of stove.

But the most common restriction I have read about is that the bottom of the pan cannot be bigger that the burner on the stove. So the size of you large burner - 9 or 10 or 12 inches - will determine the size of stock pot you can use.

Some brands of glass top stoves are now coming how with variable size burners. I saw one LG brand the other day that had a 3 ring 10/12/14" burner on it.

So get the 21 qt if the size of the pan is right otherwise you may have to stick with only a 12-16 quart size.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Another option you might want to do if your worried about your glass top stove is a outdoor gas burner like I have seen some use. Although that might be a little hard to control the temperature good enough. I might eventually get one of those myself but having a screened in porch with a lot of wood, that scares me a little. But what I did was to get a hotplate that gets hot enough for canning purposes. I got for when I can in the summer to keep a little heat out of the house and when I'm making salsa or pepper sauce to keep the pepper smells outside.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 3:25PM
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