Canning Outside with a hot plate or propane burner.

Canning Outside – The Best Hot Plate or Propane Burner

Canning outside with a propane burner. Why? Maybe because you don’t want all that heat in the house because it’s summer. What about a hot plate for canning (electric)… Why? Maybe for the same reason. Or, maybe you have a glass stove top (not recommended for caning) and you need a electric hot plate instead. But which one?

(I just updated this post to include the hot plate)

Naturally, your garden harvest will come during the summer – quite possibly when the weather is hot. Have you ever wondered if there is a way to avoid getting your kitchen and house from getting miserably HOT while canning?

Here’s what I do… and this is the propane burner that I use for canning outside (if I need to). I’ll show you the electric hot plate after that.

Canning Outside With A Propane Burner

Simple, right? Here are a few photos of my current setup for canning outside:

Camp Chef Explorer Series
(view on amzn)

Canning outside with a propane burner.
Dual burner propane stove for using outside.
Best propane burner for canning outside.

This outdoor propane stove has two burners, each capable of putting out 30,000 BTUs/Hr. That’s some serious heat for cooking with big pots (canning outside)! It includes a 3 ft. hose and regulator.

It is portable with removable legs. It also has a windscreen on three sides, if you choose to use it.

“I canned nearly 300 jars ( water bath and pressure cooker) on this! I am thrilled to have made this purchase. I could walk away when water bathing but you have to stay right there for pressure canning- but you pretty much have to with an indoor stove anyway.”

~ Marilyn

“I bought this specifically to use for using two large canners, and it surpassed my expectations! My two large water bath canners fit solidly on the burners with space between them, and the stove brought the water up to boiling very quickly. I even used it in the wind and rain with no problems. We will take the stove with us camping too, and it’s going to be a permanent part of my canning paraphernalia for sure.”

~ ‘K’

Hot Plate For Canning

Again, you might want an electric hot plate for canning outside for the same reason. However some people use a hot plate because their stovetop is glass. Or, they want to do their canning on the counter next to the sink for convenience.

Regardless, you need to choose the right hot plate. Now, I don’t have one of these because I do have a LP gas stovetop. However, I did the research for you. Here’s what I would get, and why…

CUSIMAX Portable Single Burner 1500W
(view on amzn)

hot plate

Why this one? Because it meets the following requirements:

The hot plate needs to be 1500 watts. Less than than that will take way too long, or simply will not be enough.

The controls need to be out of the way from a large pot setting on top of the hot plate.

It needs to have the best reviews by people who have used it for canning (inside or outside).

“I bought this to free up the stove and not have to worry about the glass top. This works quite fine. I can put it right next to the sink and fill my pot up without needing to lift it. Overall this is a win.”

~ Valerie

“The product heats quickly and heat stays consistent so I can use large canners for canning vegetables. This arrangement keeps me from damaging my stove and from having steam from canning in my house.”

~ Marie

[ Read: Can I Reuse Canning Lids? ]

[ Read: 12 Lifesaving Canning Rules ]

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51 Comments

  1. We have a single burner model that I bought as a fish cooker. It also came with a huge pot for lobster. No lobster here but its great for blanching corn or whatever. Makes canning better, heat and any mess is outside. Mine doesn’t seem to use much propane to get the job done.

  2. I have a single electric burner and an electric two burner.
    I take them to the covered back porch and use them there. However, I only water bath can.

    I also dehydrate on the porch to keep the house cool in summers.

  3. I have an electric burner, I do it on the front porch. I also put the dehydrators (electric and convection) on the porch but do most of my dehydrating in the car.

    I’ve never used a gas stove so I hesitate to use a propane stove for my pressure canner. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to control the temperature and pressure, and fully loaded the thing is almost too heavy for me to move. Water bath on propane shouldn’t be a problem but I’ve never done it.

  4. @ Ken

    I see you have both an American and a Presto Cooker, besides the American (yours) being bigger, do you see much difference in the two?

    I have been thinking on a second, but the American is a bit pricey, over 4 times as costly. Have had the Presto for over 25 years now, so reliability seems not an issue as far as I can see.

    Keeping the House cool, welllllll that’s a no brainer HAHAHA…….. $60,000 Summer Kitchen built onto the existing house, will send the Contract…. hehehehe

    NRP

    1. I have both, I like both. The problem for me isn’t the canners, but the rubber seals that have to be replaced every year or two for the Presto. I can’t even keep a 20 year supply because rubber gets brittle. I got the All American last winter and I like it because I don’t have to be watching it every minute to keep the pressure in the correct range. The Presto has a more easily readable gauge and it’s not as finicky as far as closing, opening, use in general.

    2. @NRP, Yes the American is a lot of fiat paper for sure… With that said, my Presto is working fine. I did want a bigger canner, so when I bought the 2nd one, I decided to bite the bullet and get the big American. That thing will last a thousand years after I’m gone ;)

    3. I have the exact same set up as Ken except my double burner is a different brand. Definitely like the American canner better. The Presto is about 10 years old. We have used it hard for 5 years and have never had to replace the gasket. I do my canning in the pole barn with door mostly down, depending on the wind. Wind is a huge issue where we live. Miles and miles of open field.

      1. Maybe it’s the quality of the gasket, or how much we use it. I don’t know. I’m replacing the outside gasket at a minimum every two years. I have two in reserve because they’re getting harder to find.

  5. One huge disadvantage: My Mother self-discovered this tip, got a propane stove and did her canning outside. It certainly kept the house cooler, but she got heat exhaustion and never tried it again. An air conditioned house, warmed excessively from canning indoors, is still much cooler than canning outside when it’s 96° F :)

  6. We built a 16 ft screen porch on the back just for this sorta thing, my wife as long as she’s been pressure canning is still scared to death of them, we also use a two burner propane stove like that one.
    OFF TOPIC BUT I WANT TO MENTION THIS, COMPARED TO ANOTHER BLOG I GO TO THIS ONE HAS A LOT MORE PRACTICAL ARTICLES, I look forward to coming here everyday.

  7. @No Joke, I’m sure that .gov, the NSA, and the rest of them know exactly where I live, so with that said, I’m currently in northern NH. Love the mountains…

    1. @ Ken
      Hey buddy, those Mountains would look GREAT if you could see em through all those stinking Trees…..
      So as we say here in the desert “Hey buddy, cut those trees down so I can see the Mountain” SHEEEESH
      NRP

      1. NRP…my brother lives in colorado..I’m in texas (west Texas)..he is always bashing texas and telling how pretty colorado is…I told him that if they would cut down some of those trees we might be able to tell if colorado is actually pretty. He was not impressed.

        1. Texas Prepper:
          I agree with you, who in their right mind wants to look at a bunch of Trees, they block the view of the Mountains for sure.
          Actually I’m about |——-| that far from CO. and love the trees, the mountains, clean water and air that don’t taste like burnt oil and ‘City’.
          We now have a new saying here…

          “Whats the difference between a Texan and a Californian? The Texans go home”

          Been an all out invasion of CA. moving here, literally by the tens of thousands.
          Ahhhh well, Life is good here on Lightening Point for sure.
          Time to go cut a Tree down hehehe

  8. @ Ken….I have almost an identical set up. Love my camp chef (only I have two burners….4 pots going? I also use it for deep frying my turkey in November. Works great!

    Ken, love this site. Always good articles, lots of good people commenting. Keep it up!

      1. I use two for canning, and two for cooking the items to be canned…..last year 76 quarts of spaghetti sauce comes to mind!

  9. Temperatures outside at my house this time of year are reaching into the mid to high 90’s. Canning outside is not an option for me. I already spend enough time outside in the heat working in the fields, yard and garden.

    I installed an exhaust hood on my stove so most of the heat is sucked out of the kitchen.

    Also, several weeks ago I replaced my 23 year old geothermal air conditioner/heat pump so I’m able to keep the temperature in the kitchen comfortable. The old unit started going bad several years ago but I did not have the money to replace it until this year. I had to have the coil recharged every four to six months and the recharging didn’t always coincide with June canning.

    Canning was miserable the last couple summers but this year the new system keeps every room nice and comfortable… even when I’ve got two or three burners on the stove going full blast under water bath or pressure canners.

    I do like the two burner out door cook stove though, and I’m thinking of getting one. Thanks for the tip.

  10. Since we are on the subject of canning, whether pressure or water bath, has anyone else noticed the newer lids not popping down?? I say newer, but these cans are from 2011-2015, so not so new.

    I rearranged a lot of canned goods and so many had a center not down. I touched each one and sighed!!!

    But, when removing the rings found the lids securely glued to the jar. I could in no way remove those lids.

    1. @JJ

      I bought a bad batch of lids several years ago. All the lids had small air-bubble looking defects in the rubber all around the rubber seal. I discovered this after one batch of jars did not seal after pressure canning.

      That is NOT supposed to happen (one maybe occasionally, but not the entire load). I could not use the lids and had to throw all of them away and had to throw out what I could not eat of that particular batch. I now inspect every lid to make sure there is a smooth rubber seal all the way around it. If there are defects in the rubber seal, I do not use the lid and throw it out.

      I only discovered that in one large batch of boxes of lids I bought from Wally world and suspect it was a manufacturing defect on that batch. All of the other lids I have purchased have been fine.

      When you remove jars from a canner the lids are supposed to “pop” as the jars cool and the center of the lid will go down. Sometimes they pop as you remove them, sometimes they pop several minutes later and I’ve even had them pop up to 20 minutes later. If the lid centers are not down, then whatever you canned did not seal properly. Of all the time I’ve been canning, I’ve only had 2 or 3 jars lose their seal in the pantry. That’s my take.

      1. CrabbeNebulae
        I did a batch of peach pie filling, left it setting on the counter to make sure the lids sealed an 4-5 days later one popped. I have never had that happen before, placed the pie filling jar in the fridge right away.

        Here is the question do you think it is still safe to use?

        Having water bath canned a lot years and this is what the recipe called for, would like a 2nd opinion.

        1. @ antique collector
          Personally I would have no problem using it, because. 1) it’s probably got a LOT of sugar in it, 2) you processed it either Hot-Water bath or Pressure killing most everything in it, 3) it was not open to the “environment” to get more bugs/mold/gunk into it, 4) it was sealed for 3-4 days, 5) you placed it into the frig right away, 6) you’re going to make a pie from it, and will cook at 350ish for a while…….

          Tell ya what, you make the pie and I’ll come over to eat it…. HAHAHAHA

          BUT!!! That’s JMHO I’m no Bio-Engineer, just hungry :-)
          NRP

    2. JJ, the newer ‘metal and rubber edge’ canning lids are different! They are not of the same quality as the older ones.

      Also, the new metal canning lids that are placed on new canning jars and then screwed down are being considered as ‘used’ lids by some.

      There is a YouTube channel, BexarPrepper, who has not only figured all of this out, but she took her concerns direct to the manufacturer. There is almost nothing written about any of this. Once she exposed how the new metal canning lids are ‘used’ lids, I have only used them for dry-seal items — never for canning. Her videos on canning lids can be found at her channel.

      In years past, I have had cases of canning jars in my vehicle during hot weather and they pop and ping continually due to the temperature swing from cool to hot to cool (when going into a hot vehicle and then into the cooler house). That much wear and tear on ‘new’ canning lids can’t be good for them.

      I use both Tattler and metal lids. I bought a case each of Tattler regular and wide lids when they were first available. They were very frustrating lids to work with and their directions were incorrect. Due to canning problems, Tattler made some manufacturing changes. Tattler lids are VERY difficult to use with anything that has fat/grease, so pressure-canning meats or meat-based sauces have a failure rate that is unacceptable. Some Tattler lids do not seal after canning, others fail to keep their seal. I’ve learned to just use metal lids on canned meats or meat-sauce or meat-soup foods.

      For me, using metal lids will give a ‘pop’ sound with jams almost as soon as they come out of the water canner. Fruits and veggies sometimes ‘pop’ soon afterwards, but not always. I usually use Tattler lids for fruits and veggies anyway. Pressure canned meats never ‘pop’, the contents boil after they have been pulled from the canner and the lids are slowly sucked into place.

      Be sure to look up BexarPrepper on YouTube and watch her videos on the canning lids. She’s a very skilled canner and has a great food ‘pantry’!

      1. I’ve learned to scald the Tattler lids–if you don’t scald, they have about a 50% fail rate. They certainly have a learning curve! It seems OK to use them for meats and such, they have the same success rate as everything else. The problem I have with them is that it’s much harder to know whether the seal is good. So I watch for the stuff inside to keep boiling. If it doesn’t, I set those jars aside to check the seal separately.

        1. Lauren
          I process the tattler as if they were the metal lids. I keep them in a pot of warm/hot water so that the rubber stays soft and will adhere to the rim during the processing. This trick to my canning was passed on by my mom and her mom…so it works. I also use a paper towel with white vinegar to wipe the gasket and glass rim before applying to the jar.

          Hope this helps everyone who cans either water bath or pressure.

          Like you I tried using the Tattlers without warming up the lids and rubber gaskets and had failure.

      2. “””In years past, I have had cases of canning jars in my vehicle during hot weather and they pop and ping continually due to the temperature swing from cool to hot to cool “””
        Not only in the car, they still do it now in the temperature-controlled room I keep them in!!
        Thanks for your explanation–I knew I couldn’t be the only one experiencing this and I buy lids bulk at Mennonite/Amish stores.
        Oh, I am 10 feet away from the counter and many times, never here a pop; but the seal is steadfast, unmovable.

        Lauren, yes, to opening my canned goods.
        Thanks, NRP for your information.
        Guilty as charged with tightening; however, I actually removed B&B pickles last week and the ring wasn’t even tight–totally loose and the rubber did its job…sealed with the heat.

        1. @ JJ
          I know many many people that remove the ring totally, the seal does the job, I don’t remove them if I’m going to stack the jars, but otherwise I have also started to remove them….
          NRP

          1. My understanding is that removing the ring is more of a concern in wet climates than dry. If moisture gets under the ring it can rust to the lid.

            I just know that if I have a ring on every bottle I have enough rings.

          2. One very good reason for removing rings after the jars have cooled is that leaving them in place may keep a failed seal from revealing itself. Spoilage that produces gas won’t dislodge the lid if the ring is still holding it in place.

      1. For me, if I don’t hear that vacuum ‘hiss’ sound, that food is dumped!

        “No hiss, no eat!”
        lol

  11. I use my propane barbecue grill to keep a large pot of water boiling on my deck just off the kitchen. In the pot I keep my canning jars hot and sterile. Inside on my gas stove is my pressure canner with hot water ready to receive the filled canning jars. My wife and I work as a team to blanch vegetables or pack meat into the jars. When the canner is full we are ready go!

  12. “””When you remove jars from a canner the lids are supposed to “pop” as the jars cool and the center of the lid will go down.””

    The lids I have from Amish and Mennonite stores haven’t popped for the last two or three years and I’ve been canning for over 40 years. I did read a warning to not boil the lids now for a long time because the rubber is not what it used to be–I never boiled my lids; just stuck in heated water for a few seconds to sterilize.

    I check my shelves of canned goods every 3-6 months depending on what I am moving or rearranging in my storage rooms. Many of these pop ups that didn’t sink in when sealed are from 2011- the present.

    If these canned goods are bad, I would have smelt the odor–in 40+ years, I have had a can or two unseal or turn bad due to a bad tomato, etc.

  13. We have a single Propane burner and set up on the back porch when doing the ‘canning marathon’ during the summer harvest season. Of course, apples abound here and so the applesauce, slices, and applebutter canning goes well into late October here and if it’s warm (usually is), I’ll can outside.

    I also have both a Presto and the All American. I have the Model 921 which only allows one ‘layer’ of quarts, but 19 pints! I bought the Model 921 since it would height-fit on the propane burner of our regular stove-top in the kitchen. The All American is the superior canner and I trust the pressure readings much more (since there is both a gauge and a pressure-dial at the top/lid). It is MUCH heavier and it’s a bit more difficult to wash out when finished. But with the fittings, the tight seal, and the pressure ‘check’ (and the heavy durability), I no longer even use the Presto canner. I now long for the BIG All American….lol

  14. As a note;

    I have also been canning for a great deal of time, I was having a slight problem with Canning Lids not sealing or “popping”. I came to find out I was starting to over tighten the rings. This cause the air inside the jars to just build up pressure rather than escape. So when the jars cooled the air would expand and not “pull” the lid down tight and form the seal (no pop).

    Since I have figured my fault I have not had a single lid not seal…..

    I posted this a few weeks back, but may need reposting;

    —-“The screw band should be tightened just to fingertip tight. It is important not to use force or to use jar tighteners when applying two-piece lids. During processing, air is forced out of the jar. If the screw band is too tight, air cannot escape. Air must be able to escape from the jar during processing. If air cannot escape, it can buckle lids. Buckled lids are deformed in some way by air in the jar trying to force its way out; they may not seal properly. Hot air needs to escape the jar to create a vacuum when the jar cools.

    A practical way to determine if the lid is fingertip tight is to place the band on the jar, turn it just until you feel resistance, then turn the band one-quarter turn more. For beginning canners, it may help to mark the band and lid with a marker at the point of first resistance and at the point that represents an additional quarter turn and to then turn the band to that point.” —–

    Sorry may be a little off subject, but I see a lot of comments on this.

    NRP

  15. I’m luck enough to have an ole summer kitchen at the rear of my home. There, we have our freezers, Hoosier kitchen cabinet, extra fridge, and a gas range. This is where we do our canning with the big canner. Set it up, and basically set the timer. Your good to go.

  16. Its a little side track, but durring the fall we blanch and skin and core what we are going to can. We then put it into freezer bags and freeze it. Come December and January when we are board we do our canning inside our old house we use for that chore, at that time we are also canning the previous deer from last year. The gass we are burning from the stove isnt wasted and used for heat in the house to keep us warm and not working in the cold.

    1. Ha! you stole my trick to cool weather canning. Especially for jams and jellies – I wash, freeze and make batches in January. Nothing like a fresh slice of homemade bread with homemade raspberry jam.

      I have canned outside with a similar set up as Ken. You need to watch the wind, though. As someone else mentioned it can prevent a steady boil.

      Usually, I’ll put my supper in the crockpot (who wants to cook after canning all day?) and start canning in the morning. I keep a fan going in the kitchen and drink lots of water. I usually play some podcasts to help pass the time. :-)

  17. We have a 3-burner propane Camp Chef and can in our garage early in the mornings. I installed an exhaust fan a few years ago which helps dramatically with the heat. Canning in the afternoons is possible but can be very warm in the garage.
    Prepare for the coming storm.

  18. TO Ken: I love the view off your back porch! That view would make the chore of canning a lot more fun.

    I still buy canned foods butt i cast my bullets on my back porch that is covered. Occasionally it will be windy enough that the convection will affect the pouring of hot lead. I would imagine outdoor canning would have the same considerations in dealing with winds and too rapid cooling as result of convection. Both bullet casting and canning require a certain amount of counter space too.

    I am thinking/and hoping that the actual canning is taking place under reasonably sheltered location and the photo was for display purposes. My bullet casting location is not very photogenic though it gets the job done and I can watch the birds at my feeders and the deer browse behind my house while I take a break from pouring lead and stacking BB’s. Both canning and casting bullets require good ventilation and shady location in the summer.

    My location is the Pacific Northwest.

  19. Many of you use the out door cooking unit(large BTU burner). Many of the sites I have read discouraging this usage. I have a cd on pressure canning where she uses a burner plate for reducing the direct heat.

    Which is the correct is the process. I have an All American unit ..brand new and I have never done this before and my neighbor is to train me on this processing.

    I know I am a little late to the party..(age factor)my mom would never let me
    help her or teach me with a pressure canner

    1. Sorry my fox fire is causing failure on what I am typing…what I wrote is a bit odd. Still trying to fix it.

      *Which is the correct the process

      *neighbor is going to teach me

    2. @ antique collector

      Of the 40 years + that I have been canning (yes I’m old) I have used everything from a small electric hot plate to a 100,000 BTU Bingo Burner even a campfire as a bet once.

      I have seen NO differences in the performance of the canning, except on the “speed” the cooker heats up, Electric Hot-Plate is rather slow, the Propane unit fairly quick. With that said, the temperature and pressure of the “steam” inside the cook is the main factor, so, once up to 15 pounds of steam pressure (or whatever pressure you use) is when the “cooking time” starts. A lot of people will argue that the slower the cooker comes up to temp will add cooking time to the continence. One needs to remember the cooker will not “steam up” to pressure with cold “stuff” inside for the most part.

      As far as “she uses a burner plate for reducing the direct heat” I would believe that an electric plate would actually have a more concentrated “hot spot” where the heating coil touches the cooker bottom, whereas Propane or Gas flame is more spread out. Hence ALWAYS use a spacer inside the cooker to keep the jars off the bottom. Most cookers come with that spacer, Please us it.

      This is something you are going to need to decide, but again I have used a varied array of burners and have had NO problems with any of them, just the amount of time required to pressure up.

      FYI I am now using a 50,000 BTU Propane double burner (50,000 per side) and it works perfect.

      As A side NOTE; 99% of the people say do NOT use a pressure cooker/canner on a solid surface glass top stove, I would tend to agree with them, but have no supporting reasoning for that; Just logic.

      NRP

      1. NRP
        Thank you for the information. It is a new All American and I want to make sure I sure it correctly. I still have my mom’s old canner, but it will need new parts which will be purchase so that the neighbor can train me on both units. It will be a win win as I am trying to show her how to put aside without a lot of work.

  20. A few years back there was an advertisement in either Grit or Mother Earth News for a company that was manufacturing a
    Rocket Stove specifically for canning. The photo showed it using an All American canner.
    Does anyone recall that or have any info on the company?

  21. Preparedness Pro used it – Zoom Versa. It is a heavy duty rocket stove that you are able to use for canning. My All American 921 fits nicely.

  22. My mom had a gas stove in the breeze way and would do her canning there. Still hot of course.
    We use our two burner camp stoves outside for blanching corn and tomatoes.
    Canning reminds me of haying time. Always the hottest days of the year/harvest.

    Canning meats we wait ’til winter.

  23. Convinced me. It will leave my stove a lot cleaner also. Old man said buy it so I didn’t hesitate!

  24. i have a fish cooker that i could can on but have never tried it. i’m worried about the heat coming over the sides and melting the plastic nobs on the top of the lid.
    thinking about getting a 16 or 18 inch piece of 1/8 steel plate and put under it so that it will get hot on the bottom and not the sides. the all american canners are great, but not cheap. i would hate to warp the top where it seals.
    any thoughts on this?

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