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Canning outside with a propane burner?

December 6, 2006

I know this subject has been talked about at length, but if you would indulge me on one more question, I would be grateful! :)

This year was my first into the gardening and the canning world, and I am hooked. I only used a BWB this year, but would really like to buy a pressure canner for next year, as I am expanding the garden to include more veggies.

I have an electric coil stove which is not up to par for canning, and I think I have decided to get the 22 qt Mirro canner, so I am looking at another option for canning. I am thinking of getting a propane burner to can outside, which will be nice also since we don't have ac in the house.

My question is, has anyone used a particular kind of propane burner for the same kind of canner (or one its size)? I am a little concerned about how the burner will hold up to the weight of the canner.

What did you like/dislike about using the propane burner?

Thanks for all your help!!


Comments (19)

  • mellyofthesouth

    There are several threads where folks asked that question. Try putting propane into the search engine - the search engine is temperamental but the threads I was thinking of actually seemed to be at the top of the results, so you should give it a shot.

  • readinglady

    As Melly said, there are a number of threads on this issue, some quite recent, and you can get a lot of information from those.

    I've used a propane burner with a huge 60-quart canning kettle. It's not what I do most frequently but more a convenient alternative for prepping beets or blanching big batches of corn.

    Not all propane burners are equal. When you look at them you'll see there's a considerable difference in the weight and stability of the base. Speak to the salesperson and be clear about what you intend to use the burner for. Don't go for the cheapest choice. Go for a sturdy, quality unit.


  • John__ShowMe__USA


    This is what I use: Hurricane Model #63-5112

    It does need a hose and regulator such as listed below the carrying case.

    I do all my cooking outside. Yesterday I canned garlic cloves and will do the same today. My soup/chili pot is 5 gal and it's weight is not a problem. The double burner model that I have sits on top of ceramic tiles (Home Depot, Lowes etc) to protect table from the heat. It does need wind protection at low temperature settings.

    Manchester Tank Propane Cylinder - 20 lbs.

    Worthington Cyl Propane Fuel - 4/16.4 oz. tanks

    My canner has a 15 lb weight and heat can be adjusted to keep it moving around just right.


  • gardenlad

    Can't stress enough the importance of the support base.

    Water, alone, weighs 8 pounds/gallon. Which means if you filled the canner, the base has to support nearly 50 pounds.

    Keep that in mind as you make your selection.

  • gladofit

    Hi Lisa,
    I do my canning outside, and have great success using a propane Turkey Fryer base.....VERY strong and stable. Another plus is that this heats up many times faster than my kitchen propane stove inside the house. I may never go back to canning inside again after buying this setup - it was less than $50.00 for the base, hose, valve, and a pot (i do not use that pot for canning).I do both pressure and BWB on the base and it serves so well.
    Good Luck - hope Santa can bring you one this XMAS!

  • ksrogers

    Four legged burners are much sturdier than a three legged ones. For indoors, an electric stove fitted with the heavy duty canning burner can also offer you a choice that would not be affected by weather outside. These electric elements are raised about an inch and a half above the stove surface. For propane burners, look for ones that have several burner 'rings' that can be individually controlled for lowering temperatues. Its important to get a burner that can offer a very low simmer setting, after the pressure canner comes up to the right pressure. I don't recall the leg type on the one selling at BJ's but it was only $40. Northern Tool offer some very good choices, and one can even be set on a table top for a more stable surface,

  • buckeyefan

    Thanks everyone for the replies-

    Melly, thank you for the advice. I had already looked at the other threads from doing a search before I posted, but I just was hoping that someone could give me a specific model that they use, because I couldn't find much info on handling the weight of the canner.

    Carol, good advice to ask the salesperson. Now if I could only find somewhere around here that sells them, I'll be good to go....I can't say I was ever in the market for something like this before! :) Someone told me that Dick's Sporting Goods carries them, and they just built one here, so maybe I will try that.

    jt- thanks so much for the link! Exactly what I needed. Hmm, Cabelas is about 3 hours from me, maybe I will have to plan a day trip, lol. You said that you have the double burner- what size canner do you have? Is one burner big enough for a 23 qt Mirro?

    gardenlad- my thoughts exactly. I have been trying to find info on how much weight each base will support, but I am finding it difficult to come by.

    gladofit- I think I am leaning towards the turkey fryer myself- I figure if it can hold a turkey, it shouldn't be a problem with a canner! Thanks for letting me know that you like canning outdoors- just validates my thoughts to try it too.

    ksrogers- I actually looked at the coils first, but I would really like to trade in our current stove for a flat top one if possible, and this would give me one more excuse to do that, lol.

    Again, thanks everyone for the advice, and I will keep on looking so I can make my list for Santa! :)


  • silver_creek

    Lisa, I switched to outside propane canning just this year, and will never go back! I bought a Camp Chef 2 burner stove- very sturdy 4 legged model that hooks up to a 5 gl. propane tank. I have a covered but open concrete floor porch just off my kitchen, so it works great. With a sturdy table set up beside the stove, and a chair, and a good book, I can can for hours. The only thing I would do differently, were I to buy the stove today, is to buy a 3 burner model (they make them!) That way I can be cooking my jam, heating my jars, and heating the lids all seperately. But it works with 2 burners, just have to put the lids in the hot water as the jars come out to be filled. I do both BWB and pressure canning on this stove- much more control than my pitiful electric stove in the kitchen.

  • belindach

    Silver creek, love the picture.

  • John__ShowMe__USA

    Silver Creek,

    That could be me in your picture! I love reading, cooking and vegetating on my 2nd floor deck. Only things missing would be some container-grown capsicums in the background.


    Here is a link that might be useful: I love Cabelas!

  • shammierock

    Silver Creek, You sure look like a happy canner! I can outdoors, but I use the side burner on my Weber natural gas grill. Saves heating up the kitchen. Shammie

  • tietie

    My experience has been completely the opposite.....

    I hated canning outside! and there is no amount of money that could intice me to do it again. Maybe it was my burner, maybe it was the location or maybe it was just me, but it was awful.

    First I tried putting everything together in the kitchen and then just bringing a filled canner outside. Besides the safety risks of transporting a heavy hot pot, I had to sit outside and watch it like a hawk. It took forever for the water to boil (like 45 min) and the wind(I guess) made regulating the pressure a nightmare. I was regulating the flame every 2 min. even after moving to an enclosed area (3 walls and a roof). Never could get any reading done. After fighting with the gauge for 2+ hours then coming back inside, all the pots and pans still needed to be cleaned up.

    So then I tried moving the whole canning operation outside. What a pain. I only had the one burner and a regular gas grill. So there was a lack of heat sources. Then, it was hard to keep everything clean, bugs and leaves would fall into a pot of jelly (no trees in my back yard!) No water source, lugging all the supplies back and forth. Couldn't keep the pots from getting sooty and eventhough I soaped them first, I always managed to get soot all over me before it was through. I canned this way for an entire year. It was the same year we had 47 days in a row of 100+ temps (that's not heat index). It is my only bad memory of living in TX.

    My mom on the other hand will do large batches outside on old coleman camp stoves setup on picnic tables. Never had a problem, has even had 7 canners going at once. Maybe canning outside is something I am just not meant to do.


  • ksrogers

    Sometyhing like canning outdoors does require a lot of forethought. Wind is the worst part of it, not to mention if there are bugs that sting nearby. Unless you have set up a covered, but well ventilated area outdoors, and have water, a sink, a big work space and a good controller for the burner(s), it would be quite a battle. For me, in summer, canning is not an option outside as I do have AC and even if it gets warm indoors with aC going, I still manage to can without excessive heat. It also is due to the fact that I use a steam canner which has less time on the stove to recover to boiling once its filled.

  • John__ShowMe__USA

    Wind can be a problem for sure. My Coleman campstove has only one side open, however with the built-in screens in place there is not room for a big pot. For my main burners I use a makeshift windscreen using heavy duty foil.

    My kitchen opens right onto the deck so only a couple of feet from sink to where I cook, can, smoke, grill etc.

    Works for me.


  • gigc

    Just as kind of a general heads-up, a portable outdoor sink that connects to the hose faucett might be a solution for you guys who need a sink closer to your work space.

    Target sells the "Reel Smart Outdoor Sink Station" in the garden section.

    I've never done any canning but I have been thrilled with the RS as part of my outdoor barbecue kitchen. The sink is lightweight and easy to move. I don't use the hose roller so I just drag it in and out of the laundry room as I need it. Honestly, for me at least, it changed outdoor cooking from a chore to a joy.

    I don't really know what's required for canning. The sink might not be deep enough, although it's pretty deep for a portable. I don't use the side shelves for anything heavy (or at all), I use a folding table for heavier things and as a work space.

    Still, the RS is reasonably priced and worth it's weight in convenience, it might be worth a look.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Outdoor Sink Station

  • gardenlad

    One question Gigc: Where does the water drain to when you're using this sink?

  • silver_creek

    I agree that an outdoor sink would make my outdoor canning setup complete, but the kitchen is only a few steps away. I don't carry the canner full of jars out to the stove. If I am filling jars inside, I carry them to the canner in a plastic washtub. But my outside setup was prompted not by heat in the kitchen (this is the Pacific Northwest, where 70oF is a heatwave!), but by my ancient Monarch stove. I have only one big burner, and I have shorted that burner out several times by moving a heavy canner across it. We have discussed replacing the stove, but the ideal replacement has not yet been found (this is a wood/electric combo stove, and we have used the woodstove in the winter, especially during power outages). The outside propane stove works great for me, but it is very wind sheltered, and covered from rain as well, so that makes it an ideal setup. Without the sheltered, wind protected area, it could be more of a challenge.

  • gigc

    @gardenlad: There is a drain hose included that you attach to the sink. I just put the end out in the grass and let it drain onto the lawn. It's easy enough to extend, however, as someone whose name shall remain mud demonstrated by putting the end of the drain hose into a plastic pipe. Mud then proceded to ruin my first sink by rinsing paint brushes in it and using the pipe to drain the water into the storm gutter.

  • nancypo

    Anyone tried using something electric? I have seen some fairly heavy duty units on amazon, not too expensive, and I have power on my patio. I can't can inside because of glass topped stove, sigh...

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