Have no fear, canning on ceramic glass cooktops works. First, let’s discuss correct canning pot selection!
This past winter, we enjoyed some great home-canned jams, pickles and peppers preserved from our garden the previous summer. Tomatoes and hot peppers grow prolifically without much fuss in our backyard garden. Our favorite home canning recipe is Habenero Gold Jam (see recipie), which is quite tasty on grilled cheese sandwiches. This jam is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, so an open jar won’t last long at our house and unopened jars are a favorite gift to friends.
You may be wondering if you can use your glass-ceramic cooktop for canning. It’s often debated on blogs and websites, and often incorrectly. The answer is… Yes! Of course you CAN! Both types of stovetop canning- waterbath and pressure canning are possible on your glass-ceramic cooktop.
In this post and others to follow, I’ll give some tips and tricks to optimize your home canning experience on your glass-ceramic cooktop. Let’s start with cookware.
What canning pot is best for canning on ceramic glass cooktops?
The choice of cookware is very important. Here’s how to be sure your canning pot is optimized for use on your glass-ceramic cooktop:
- 1. Flat Bottom & Tight Lid
Your canning pot (and all cookware used on the glass-ceramic cooktop) should have a flat bottom to ensure good contact with the heating element under the glass. Flat bottom pots will transfer heat better, which will shorten the time needed to heat up the contents of the pot water/jars/food, etc.
Pots with a tight-fitting lid will keep heat from escaping and shorten the heat-up time even further. Don’t forget to use the lid for all steps, even when sterilizing your jars, because the time-to-boil will be much shorter with the lid on.
Pots with ridges on the bottom should be avoided because they trap heat in the ridges between the pot and glass-ceramic cooktop, possibly leading to overheating of the electronic components inside the cooktop.
Non-flat, uneven cookware = SLOW heating
Flat, even surface = Faster heating
- 2. Use Hard Metal Cookware
The material of construction of the pot is another important consideration. Pots should be made of hard metal like stainless steel, hard anodized steel, etc.
3.) Size: Canning pots tend to be very large compared to normal cookware. In general the largest pot you can use on your glass-ceramic cooktop is 2 inches larger than your largest heating element, so that it overhangs the heating element by 1 inch all around.
Here’s how to measure: Using a ruler or tape measure, measure your largest heating element. You can use a canning pot with bottom diameter 2 inches larger than that.
Have I canned with a pot overhanging the heating element by more than 1 inch all around? Yes. If your canning pot is much larger than your heating element, it will still work for canning, but know that you are accepting a higher risk of overheating inside the cooking system. Plus you’ll have to wait longer for the pot to heat up because the heating element is not large enough to supply heat to the entire bottom surface of the giant pot.
If you are just starting home canning and need a canning pot, here are my personal favorite canning pots for glass-ceramic cooktops:
Ball Jar Collection Elite Stainless Steel 21 Qt with glass lid
- Stainless steel solid construction with sturdy handles
- Able to make big batches and handles multiple tiers of small jars
- Glass Lid fits snugly and allows you to monitor boiling status
- Ball provides helpful training and tips on their website and thru books and social media
Fagor 10 Qt Pressure Canner
- Small size fits nicely on heating elements, maximizing energy efficiency and space
- Not too heavy to lift when fully loaded
- Good for small canning batches to try new canning recipes or to use produce right as you pick it from the garden, even if your backyard harvest is small
- Small size fits in my sink so I can wash it easily and stores easily in my kitchen cabinets
All American Pressure Canner 925 25 Qt (and smaller models)
- Made in Wisconsin with thick aluminum and flat, solid bottom
- Transfers heat well for good boil-up time
- Most All American Canners fit nicely on 12-inch diameter heating elements
All American Pressure Canners come with a warning label that they should not be used on ceramic glass cooktops. However, my experience with these pots has been very positive. Of course, if you drop a heavy pot of this size on your cooktop, the glass is likely to break. If you slide a large, heavy pot across the surface, it’s likely to cause scratches in the glass. Instead, lift the pot straight up and sit it gently on the cooktop. Better yet, sit the empty pot on the heating element, add the water with a pitcher and place your jars inside, put the lid on, then heat it up according to your recipe. When you are finished canning, allow the pot to cool on the cooktop, then bail out enough water so you can lift the pot gently off the cooktop and pour out the rest of the water.