August 27, 2013

Canning Over An Open Fire

Yesterday I thought I'd try this little video to give you a little more than just pictures and words on a page to share with you what I was doing.  I get so nervous during any form of recording, I didn't explain too well the steps that led me up to this point.

As I mentioned before regarding this building project, we are doing it as debt free as we possibly can, which includes not going to the big stores and buying new appliances.

We already had a fridge, but needed a stove.  I really enjoy cooking over a gas stove, but even used, they are pretty pricey.  

Several Saturday's were spent traveling to the city to visit the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  For those of you who aren't familiar with what type of store that is, picture a Goodwill for construction items.

One thing you must understand is that we aren't attempting to do this as debt free as possible for our own purposes, scripture tells us not to be a slave to any man, which means several things to our family.  One of those things is that we should not have any debt.  That is extremely difficult to do, but very possible if you are willing and determined.  

So on this journey, we pray ... a lot.  We always want to provide the best for our children and God promises He will provide for us, so we pray about our needs.  Our need was for a stove.

We walked into the Re-Store and directly in front of us was a Whirlpool oven and glass top stove combo.  We circled it a few times and discussed it and walked around the store and returned to it.  We asked for information about it and the clerk stated it had just been put on the floor, donated by a home owner that had purchased a new one.  It had been tested and all of it worked.  If we purchased it, we had three days to try it and return it for store credit.  Price?  Barely over $100 for the combo.  A Whirlpool oven and glass top stove combo in almost perfect condition for barely over $100.  I almost cried.  To me, this was my Father in Heaven smiling at me saying 'See, I will provide for you'.  

My Mother has a glass top stove and it is a true blessing, especially in regards to cleaning it.  No it was not gas, but at that point I truly did not care.

Thankfully we had brought the truck that day.  It is now in our new kitchen and works great.  One glitch though.  I have to be very careful how I do my canning on it, which leads to my little video above.

If you look at articles online regarding canning on a glass top stove, they state that you can as long as your canning pot has a flat surface and the pot can only be 1" larger than your burner.  The burners are not that big on the stove.  I only have one smaller stock pot that would work, but no rack to fit it.  

Solution?  I had seen something on Pinterest about canning outside over a fire so I went back and found it.  

In the video I wasn't too sure about the whole process, but I can now tell you that it works extremely well and I am hooked.  I just might pick a cooler day next time though!

Just after I finished the short little video, the water began to boil, I fed the fire to keep the boil going and timed it for what I needed.  When the time was up, I simply removed the lid with a hot pad and removed the jars.  I found a flat board to place the jars on to cool and let the fire die out.  Simple!  Also I had a feeling of success at being able to do something without the need for modern things, which I happen to love.

I did not get to the pickles that I mentioned in the video, that is on the list for today!  


  1. Good. For. You. I'm so happy for you all -- hearing about your debt-free building project. I understand totally. We are doing well here, but still have a little bit on our home mortgage and in this day & age, I'd feel a lot more comfortable without a mortgage. I look at the real estate listings almost daily hoping to find just the right move for us. Perhaps someday. The LORD knows my heart.

    Oh dear. I've been canning for years on my glass cooktop stove without realizing there were any rules to it, haha. I enjoyed your video and listening to your sweet Ozark Mtn. accent. My canning has always done fine, but I do have to say the stovetop can take a beating. It certainly doesn't look new any more. Oh well, seeing all the jars of food in storage makes up for my less-than-perfect kitchen. Btw, it's been a hot one here too with 105-106° heat index. Harvest, canning, & baling hay always happens on the hotest days of the year, it's a rule. ♥ Blessings my friend!

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement Jane! A friend of mine cracked the top of her stove while pressure canning so I thought I would check online about it and found a few articles all saying the same thing. What type of canning pot do you use? Does it have ridges on the bottom? I haven't done any pressure canning yet this year and not sure how that would work over a fire, probably just the same process if the fire is kept hot enough.

      I can't believe it being that hot up there! I remember about two weeks of hot and humid weather around the 4th of July. I also remember hot and sticky hay fields, baling and loading hay...stacking it in the barn up there.... it sure is beautiful country as long as one can stay out of the cities, lol.

      With this building project, I haven't gotten as much canning done as I'd like and just this morning I realized I'm all of out jam. Tragic. Guess I'd better get busy! Blessings to you dear Jane!

    2. Hi Sharon, Okay, I took a look at my pressure canner. Mine is ancient! I inherited it from my aunt but it says it's a "Presto Deluxe". It is about 12" across and there is an 8" inner circle beveled ridge on the bottem that is about 1/4" higher than the rest. I try not to drag the canner across the surface of the stove. I think the worst "damage" that has occurred to my glass top while canning is once when canning tomatoes, somehow I had some tomato-water seeping out of the canner and it burnt down on the burner and I can't seem to remove the blackness -- it's smooth, but I'm not sure if I need to scrub harder to get the black off, or if I've wore the color off from scrubbing, haha.

      I was going to pick grapes today, but it's about 92° (probably our last 90° day of the year) and very HUMID, so that can wait until tomorrow. I don't think I'll make any preserves this year (we are all eating much less sugar), just freeze the grapes to snack on. And then do tomatoes in a couple days. Everything is much later this year due to a late spring, so I'm just glad I'm getting a harvest before snow falls. I'll be so glad when I'm all done -- it's great have the goods, but I'm really getting worn out doing all this. It must be my age. :) Have a great week!

  2. I've watched video from the Ball company on canning. In one of the video's it showed you don't need a rack. Just take a towel and fold it, place it on the bottom of your pot and fill the pot with water.
    The towel will prevent the glass from touching the bottom of the pot.

    My canning pot is bigger than my burner (coil burner) and I still use it for canning. Everything works out fine, I haven't had any problems.

    Using the wood outside is a great idea but may take forever to get things the way you would like and your pot will be totally black.

    1. A towel! Who'd have thought! I'll try that. My pot only ended up with a little black on it so it wasn't as big of a mess as I thought, plus I simply hosed it off and scrubbed it outside to avoid getting it all over my sink. Thank you for the information Sandy!


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