Continuing in the series on the basics of canning, let’s talk about stock pots. Almost any kind of large pot will work for canning potsregardless of price. A basic enamel stock pot shouldn’t cost more than $30 from a big box store. If you are looking for a life time investment, I would recommend stainless steel.
It is however important to use non-reactive pots for cooking your canning recipes. Pots made from aluminum and untreated cast iron react with the acid in the food and can leach a metallic flavor into your final product. Examples of non-reactive pans are ones made of either stainless steel or enamel-lined cast iron
Stock Pot Sizes
The important thing to remember in size of a stock pot is that it has enough room to hold your jars covered with at least an inch of water and room to boil. Naturally the size you will need is going to vary based on the size of the jars you are using. If you are looking for a pot to can quarts you will need a minimum of 16 quart pot. This will hold four jars at a time. By contrast a 21 quart pot can do 7 jars at a time, but keep in mind the larger the pot the harder it is to fit on a home range. My 16 quart pot barely fits.
My Stock Pots
I use two pots primarily. The first is an 8 quart pasta potwith glass lid, the reason behind a pasta pot rather than a normal pot is my budget and space constraints do not allow me to have a pot for every purpose. I try my best to get multiple uses from each pot, so this pot allows me to cook, can, boil and strain pasta and even steam vegetables. I highly recommend this kind of pot.
The second is a Tramontina 16 quart stock potwith a glass lid. I received this gem as a wedding present from my grandmother who was an avid canner. I have used this pot in so many ways, for so many things. It is ideal for pint jars, but will hold up to 4 quart jars, 5 if squeezed tight.