Monday, August 17, 2009

Heat Canning Heat

We have hit the mother load of heating solutions for canning! Finally a heater that boils water in the canner in 8 minutes and reduces the amount of fuel used. Tim says it's the cat's meow!

I enjoy canning outside on the patio. My kitchen is a small galley kitchen. I have perpetual hot flashes so canning outside is a great solution. We have a nine foot wodden table that was once a two tiered table used by a store for display. Tim cut it in two and the higher table is moved to the patio in canning season. It is the perfect height so that my back is comfortable and long enough to hold loads of cooling racks. The lower table lives in my garden and I use it for a planting table.
Last season we saw a new turkey fryer at a yard sale in the box and bought it for $25. There was a wrought iron stand, huge pot, lid, thermometer and regulator. Then we found just a stand with regulator for $10. Do you know the feeling when you can't get the money out of your pocket fast enough with a straight face at a yard sale? That is how I felt.

We have tried two and three burner wrought iron propane stoves but the breeze seemed to blow out the flame too easily. Tim made a wind shield out of metal flashing but still they were not suffient. I found the three burner stove was the best when I put a canner on each end and let them share the middle burner. The two burner stove was just not sized right to hold two large canners. Then we tried a a stainless steel two burner stove that also used propane. This variety did not create enough heat to keep the pressure canner at a consistant temperature and maintain pressure. Pretty stove but didn't work for canning. The last two stoves were a coleman camping stove which proved ok for one hot water canner but not good for the pressure cooker and a fancy alcohol stove made for marine use. The marine stove had to have added alcohol poured into it for long canning sessions and I was uncomfortable with that process.

So the turkey fryer has won the contest to date. I love being outside and having the steam and heat escape away from the house. The prep work is done inside on the kitchen table and any necessary cooking is done on the stove. I can now have two to four canning pots going at once to maximize my time and productivity. If I have a huge batch to do I get out the three burner stove and get two more canners going. When I do low acid foods I use two to three pressure canners.
These cookers are made to be sturdy and withstand the weight of a full size turkey and pot of oil. Both the hot water canner and the pressure canner fits perfectly. The only downside is there can be some black soot from the propane on the bottom of the pots if the heat is on high. The soot comes off easily with soap and water but this is an added step when time to put away the canners.
If you have found a great heating source for canning please leave a comment. Thanks! What did you can this week?


Be Prepared said...

This is a great post! I have posted part of it on a blog of mine--http://www.fresnoeaststakeemergency Thanks for the information!

Anonymous said...

Hey Frugal,
Lots of good tips.
Peaches were yummie!!!