Why didn’t I do this sooner? Yesterday, for the first time, I moved the canning operation outside. It was amazing! It was perfect!
We got the Camp Chef 2 burner cooker. There’s a 14″ model and a 16″ model (based on the space on which you place your pots). I measured my biggest canner, the All American 30 quart, and knew it would fit fine on the 14″ size. We’ve had it since the middle of March but just set it up.
Each burner is 30,000 BTU. The front burner on my stove is 17,000 BTU so I was a bit worried about the extra power but I’m able to turn the burner to “warm” and keep the pressure steady on the cooker. When I was bringing the water to a boil for water bath canning, I turned the burner up and in no time at all, the water was boiling!
The cooker comes with wind “screens” for three sides and they totally block the wind so it doesn’t affect the flame. Everything was included with the cooker except the propane bottle. My biggest concern was whether it would be sturdy enough. I didn’t want to feel the slightest wobble or insecurity. There are sometimes 15 quart jars filled will food, along with water in the canner, and I didn’t want to have to think about whether that setup could topple over. I’m 100% happy with the stability. There isn’t even the slightest wobble or weak feeling to this stove.
The little patio table is perfect for the jars once they come out of the canner.
When I have this big canner on the stove, because I’m short, I always feel like I’m having to “stretch” to get the jars out and still sometimes burn my arm on the side of the canner. I’ve often wished I had a lower place for doing the canning. This cooker is perfect! It’s a great height for reaching down to get the jars and it’s so much more comfortable and feels safer to me to take them out at this height.
Another plus . . no extra heat or humidity added inside the house. Using a wooden tray with tall sides, I carried 4 or 5 jars outside at a time, then took them out of the canner and placed them on the little patio table to cool. From there, they went into the boxes and were carried to the sewing room where the canned goods are stored.
One more plus . . how much better can it get?? I can stand inside and look out and see the pressure gauge! The picture is a bit blurry but I can easily read the gauge from inside.
Last night Vince and I were talking about it and I told him that if they had a smaller model (less BTUs), I wouldn’t mind getting it and moving all the cooking operations outside! Heck, I could clean my stove in the house and not ever get it dirty again!
I can see this little cooker getting lots of use this summer. Thinking back on all the finagling I did in MO to try to figure out how to get a gas stove in the house, where we had no gas, and where the stove was in the middle of the house, this little camp stove would have worked perfectly and I never thought about doing that.