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Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

Posted by lpinkmountain 5b/6a border PA (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 5, 11 at 16:24

While researching new stoves, I think I would like to just buy a separate induction burner for my canning pot. Are there any made out there large enough to handle a big canning pot? I won't be able to use "the beast" on it, which is my old enameled steel pot, but I'd be glad to ditch that in favor of something a little smaller. But I still want to be able to do a full batch of quarts if need be.
Anyway, I'd be curious to know if anyone has done this, canned using a stand alone induction burner for the BWB. These burners are supposed to be very efficient, and I use a ton of electricity during canning season. Don't bother to tell me about the propane option, I know about that but rarely exercise that option due to lots of other concerns/issues.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

First, you need a flat bottom magnetic pot

My old enameled canning pot is not magnetic enough, and has a ribbed bottom. So it could not be used. I also think they aren't tall enough for quarts, I hate having the water boiling - why couldn't they make them an inch taller (btw - ball has a magnetic one that is designed to use with induction burners)

The other problem is if you want to pressure can - the big ones are aluminum so that won't work.

I have used my induction cooktop for BWB canning often, I just take my big 22 qt stock pot and put a ring in the bottom and put my jars in. And if I have a smaller batch, I use a smaller stockpot. I have collected a few different round things I can use in the bottom of them - trivits, cake cooling racks.

I have heard that stand alone units don't always have as much power as the cooktops, so don't know how that would compare. It does bring the water to boil faster, but after that I'm not sure if the power use is much less. I use a coil cooktop for the bulk of my canning.

I love the induction for making jam - it really excells there with the rapid temperature controls.

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

We have considered it in our house while researching new stoves but ruled it out because of all the negatives I have read about them. We decided we aren't interested in having to buy all new cookware since except for our SS stockpots, 90% of what we own is aluminum and wouldn't work on them. Plus they are SO expensive!!! Could buy a whole stove for the price of one burner.

And as Macy said, pressure canning would be impossible.


RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

Well, I don't pressure can. I have a regular stove for that, coil burner, if I really wanted to. Plus a butane and propane stove that I use for camping which I could use for pressure canning if I was so inclined. No, I just BWB and I really don't have room on my stove for "the beast." I'm really interested in it primarily for boiling water, both for canning and for coffee.

I'm also considering an electric waterbath canner but not sure about that either. Looked from your photos of your canning kitchen that you are using an electric coil freestanding burner? What make and model might I ask?

Here is a link that might be useful: Electric Waterbath canner

Post script

I'm not sure why you say they are expensive, since I found one for under 100 bucks. The ranges, yes, 2K with the induction tops, but I didn't really want that anyway because of the cookware issue. I'm thinking of just a one buner unit, like what I linked below. I'll have to buy a new canner anyway if I go with a flat topped stove. And, I'd like to get rid of "the beast" anyway, it is unwieldy and corroded.

Here is a link that might be useful: Induction burner

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

Here are 3 examples of why I called them expensive. Check out the reviews on them too.

Google 'induction burners' for many more examples ranging for $250-600 for 1 stand alone burner.

But if getting rid of the beast is your main goal how about just switching to a good SS stockpot?

The electric waterbath canner has some previous discussions/reviews here if interested. Linked one of them below.


Here is a link that might be useful: electric waterbath canner discussion

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

I have been using a Fagor portable induction unit, it cost about $150 I think. I prefer it to cooking on my electric range. Since it only heats the pot you are using, no energy is lost to the air and it is quite a bit more efficient; it doesn't heat the kitchen unnecessarily.

I do use enameled steel pots---because a magnet sticks to them. (Check your beast with a magnet, lpink.) One enameled cast iron pot with a ribbed bottom works fine too.

That is the only test of whether a pot will work or not. It is not in any way dangerous to use a non-magnetic pot, it just won't heat up.

What you have to check is the power of the unit vs. the power of the burner on your stove. My portable unit is listed as 1300 Watts and it is not really powerful enough for a very large pot. However, for smaller pots it heats rapidly and satisfactorily and it works great with a cast iron frying pan.

But it will not work with my wonderful copper preserving pan!

The induction site is extremely informative and should answer most questions.


Here is a link that might be useful: the induction site

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

I used one last summer when I taught a canning workshop. I bought the Ball stainless steel canner to go on it. The workshop was in a hoop house at a plant start business and I also had a 2 burner electric stove for the item I was canning. The only problem I had was I could not run both burners (the induction and electric) at the same time as it kept tripping the fuse. However the induction burner worked great. I am sure it was one of the cheaper ones.


Here is a link that might be useful: Ball Stainless Steel Canner

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

It's already a given that I want to get rid of the beast. I already have a nice stainless steel flat bottomed stock pot with an aluminum core that I use for small jam batches. I only use the beast for larger batches and taller jars. The fat half pint salsa jars I can't fit a lot of in the stockpot, nor is it good for pints and particularly quarts. I can do a few pints in it but not a lot, and it is prone to spilling due to needing to be filled so full to have 1 inch of boiling water over the jars. The other problem is, I also love to use the stockpot for making the jam, not just processing it. I don't have another nice even heating large pan. So yes, I am on the lookout for a taller canning pot for quarts, along with a somewhat heavier one for either jam or additional processing. What I really hate about the beast is the way my hard water stains it and I can't get it clean. I got my good stainless aluminum core one for a steal at my local grocery store years ago, for something like 35 bucks. Little did I realize how much I would like it, I should have gotten two!

So what's the issue with the induction burner--size? Like does it not work when the pot is larger than the cook surface? Is their a weight issue with a full BWB? And what is a recommended wattage since if not a lot of the energy is lost as heat to the room, can you get away with a lower wattage? And then I'm wondering about my voltage too, I live in an old house with old wiring.

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

if you go over to the Home side of gardenweb and check out the Applaince forum, and search, they have had several discussions about Induction, both portable and fixed units.

I've been working on my kitchen for several years, so I hang out over there a lot (and the kitchen forum).

I adore my induction, and don't see how I would ever go back to coil or radiant as my main cooktop power source. It is pretty amazing and I dearly love it. But I can't can on it, so that caused me a major delema.

My 1st resolution was to install a 220 outlet and purchase a heavy duty hot plate (it's called a portable range). I never found a 110 hotplate with decent power, and that is a similar problem with induction, a lot of the 110 units don't have adequate power so they don't compare to a radiant or coil range or cooktop that runs on 220 with a heavy draw. There is just no way a 1000 watt 110 unit is going to compare with a 2500watt 220 unit.

That is why my summer kitchen has a coil cooktop (my 2nd solution). I have two burners that are 2500watt, and two smaller ones that are around 1000watt, and it's on a 40amp 220 breaker, so I've got all the power I need.

For in the house, the hotplate works to power the big aluminum canners when I need to pressure can. I just bought a Fagor 10qt stainless canner (my 3rd solution). It is the smallest size approved for pressure canning, and it works fine on my induction cooktop. So now I can process small PC batches without hauling out the heavy equipment and/or going outside.

My hotplate is a Cadco LKR-220 with a 2000w hob (watch out for doulbe burner units, they often add the wattage of the two burners to make you think you've got more power), and after 11 mo 15 days the thermostate fried. Was under warrenty, which required me to box up the unit and pay shipping both ways, and they would look at it and let me know if it was warrenty or not (and who knows how long that might take). The replacement part cost less than the shipping, so I purchased that. The part was melted, so it was easy to see the problem, but they refused to ship me a part without me returning the ENTIRE unit.

DH found the place that supplied them to Cadco, and ordered it direct as it was cheaper. Hopefully it will withstand the heat better - it's suppose to as they market the unit as use on demonstration or sample displays where it would be used all day long. I probably only used the unit about 10 times, but when I used it, it was near high for a few hours.

RE: Anyone using a freestanding induction burner?

Agree that the primary issue is the power available. 2220 service has always out-powered 100 service be it an appliance or a whole house.

A 110 powered appliance simply cannot work as well, as fast, or have the durability of a 220 powered appliance. So no stand-alone unit be it induction or coil will have the power of an electric stove top even at maximum draw. Nor will it have the life-expectancy.

That is also the problem with the electric BWB and why it takes it so much longer to heat up and why it has to draw so much more power to remain boiling hot. A $$ spent comparison test of your electric meter while running a stove top burner vs. running a 110 powered stand-alone unit for the same amount of time will quickly show you the difference.

Convenient? In some ways. Efficient when it comes to energy use? Not at all.


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