Canning on a ceramic top stove

I have been canning for a couple years now and I keep coming up with a few questions that I can’t find answers to. First, I can on a ceramic, flat top stove. One of the burners is supposedly designed to be extra large for canning. I have used it without much problem for canning, although I know that it is not the ideal stove. Because of the cycling on and off of the stove, I am constantly adjusting the temperature. I have a difficult time keeping my pressure at 11 pounds (dial gauge canner and less than 1000 feet above sea level). My canner always wants to easily go up to 15 pounds pressure and seems to be able to maintain 15 pounds pressure without any problem. I have seen an old recipe for canning green beans that gives a time for canning at 15 pounds pressure. That time is less than the recommended time for canning green beans at 10 lbs pressure. Can I pressure can at 15lbs pressure for less time? If so, do you have a resource to recommend for times for various items? If I can’t reduce the time, is there anything wrong with canning items at 15 pounds pressure when the recommendation is 10?

Secondly, after I finished canning chicken broth this morning, I realized that one of the jars didn’t seal (I do seem to have a difficult time with that). So, I wanted to reprocess it. I know I can’t use the same lid again, but is it necessary to heat the broth up again or can I just leave the broth in the same jar, wipe rim off, replace the lid, stick the cool jar in a cool canner and process?

Rebecca Whisonant
Chester, South Carolina

Have you tried other burners to see if one of them might give you the 11 pounds you need? If so and that didn’t help, I think I’d just go ahead and can at 15 pounds pressure but for the entire required time, as there really isn’t much reliable information on canning at higher than required pressure for shorter times. But I really would try to find a sweet burner so you can process at 11 pounds as 15 pounds may tend to overcook some foods such as carrots or potatoes.

Sorry, but you should bring your broth up to boiling, then pack the chicken and broth back in the jar and process as if it were the first trip through the canner. — Jackie

Testing a used canner

I recently purchased a beautiful vintage Windsor A Montgomery Ward Canner #8. The problem is it only fits 3½ quarts instead of the recommended 4. I did a trial run and it works great! It took about 23 minutes on high to start to vent (I usually don’t vent on high but I wanted see how long it would take at that temp). I tested it for 15 minutes and the pressure maintained with the gauge and the weight I had put on (I added an all American vent and weight like I’ve done to my 2 larger gasketless canners). The weight jiggled like normal 3-4x/min at 10lbs. Once I turned off the heat it took about 23 minutes to reach zero. Apparently the recommendations are because a smaller canner would come up to pressure too fast for heat to penetrate, but this canner appears to come up and cool down like a larger canner. I only tested canning water for 15 minutes and it didn’t seem fast. Would like to use this one when I just want to can small amounts. Let me know what you think.

Michelle Neal
Buffalo, New York

Although I can not, obviously, say for sure, but I think you’ve got the canner all set to go. My All American takes about 25 minutes to exhaust and about that long to cool down, depending on how full it is and if it’s a cooler raw-packed load instead of a hot-packed load of jars.

You do know, don’t you, that you can process as little as one half-pint in a larger canner? It isn’t as economical, but it sure can be done. I often do not fill my canner but just process what is ready to go at the time. — Jackie


  1. When I get a new “used” canner I take it to the Extension Service for testing. So far all have been good to go.

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