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fresh preserved fruits and vegetables

Water Bath Canning - Smooth Top vs Electric Coil

I am from a family of women who have used the water bath canning method for centuries and I have had the honor of working with many generations in the kitchen, using the "water bath" method to can our fruits and vegetables. 

Some call it "preserving" and some call it "canning" but whatever word you use to describe the process, we all know they both produce the same results, great tasting fresh home grown treats all year round. 

Growing up we always had the electric coil stove, (elements), to put the big black speckled canner on to boil the jars filled with bright food. Today there are other stove top options. I have heard this conversation numerous times and thought I would share with you the benefits of both types. 

I will start with one that I am most familiar with, but it is very important to stress the fact that water bath canning can be dangerous, you are working with very heavy pots filled with boiling water. Please make sure you follow all safety precautions, use the proper tools, and keep all children a safe distance away. 


The Electric Coil Element Stove. 



This stove is perfect for the heavy metal canner. The large burners are great to ensure the heat is evenly placed under the pot, most fruits and vegetables take up to 4 hours of steady boiling so it is a lot of pressure on the elements. On electric cooktops, canners should not extend more than 1/2" (1.3 cm) beyond the cooking area or element. Do not place canner on 2 surface cooking areas or elements at the same time. 

If using a coil top stove you want to use flat bottomed canners so that you have even coverage of the heating element. In other words, avoid the “waffle” bottomed canners.


Smooth Top - Also Known as Ceramic Top/Glass Top


smoothtop stove

I have heard numerous times that you are not supposed to can on your Smooth Top stove, that it could break, shatter, or get scratched up. I have done research on this topic and here is what I have found out. That is false news. 

First, it is the best policy to actually read your product information leaflet as to the specifications of weight etc, you may also want to contact the manufacturer, ( I always use email when contacting any manufacturer so I have the answer to my questions in writing). This way you are perfectly safe and protected. 

In all articles I have researched and videos I have watched it is seems to be perfectly okay to can on your smooth top, following the manufacturers suggestions, especially the ones regarding the amount of weight you can apply. 

Do not use the rippled bottom canners on this stove, make sure your canner or stock pot is flat bottomed. You also do not want to place a pot on the burner that is more than 1" larger than the burner, and also, the same as with the coil element, never put a pot on more than one burner. You also do not want to have more than one pot filled with jars and water at a time, for safety and weight issues. 

This is an example of the "canner" I speak about.


In closing it is obvious to me that both types of stoves will ensure you and your family enjoy the taste of home canning throughout the entire year. To me, there is no better feeling in the world than going to my pantry and seeing the results of months of growing my garden in front of me to feed my family, it not only tastes good it feels good. 


 Stop into a City Furniture Kamloops and talk with our team members on getting you a brand new stove to start preserving food and memories today. 


Written for City Furniture & Appliances Kamloops by Laurie Turmel




CanningGardenMason jarsPicklesPreserving foodPressure cooking