Can You Double Stack In A Water Bath Canner

Can You Double Stack In A Water Bath Canner? Answered

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Shari Mason

As someone who is well-versed in the culinary world, I have discovered numerous kitchen hacks that improve the preservation of seasonal delicacies.

Today, I’m excited to unravel the mystery of double stacking in a water bath canner – a game-changing technique that’ll revolutionize your canning experience. 

But, really, can you double stack in a water bath canner?

Let’s dive right in.

Is It Safe To Double Stack In A Water Bath Canner?

Water Bath Canner

Yes. Double stacking in a water bath canner [1] is safe, provided certain precautions are taken. This technique maximizes your canner’s capacity, saving you valuable time and effort. 

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”

– Wolfgang Puck, Chef

However, ensuring ample space between the jars is crucial for proper water circulation and heat distribution.

Adhering to the recommended canner capacity and using suitable jars, such as regular-mouth Mason jars, will guarantee a secure canning process. But can you cook in a pressure canner?

What Exactly Is Double Stacking?

Double stacking in a water bath canner is a technique allowing you to stack two jars instead of the traditional single layer.

It simply means arranging a second set of jars on top of the first, like a perfectly balanced tower of flavors. 

By skillfully nestling the jars together, you’ll optimize your canner’s capacity, enabling you to preserve twice the amount of delectable fruits, pickles, or sauces in one go. 

So how much water should you put in a pressure canner?

What Types Of Jars Are Suitable For Double Stacking?

Bottled Jars

Regarding the art of double stacking in a water bath canner, not all jars are created equal. Stick with regular-mouth Mason jars for the most reliable and successful results. 

Their uniform shape allows them to snugly nestle together, optimizing space and ensuring a stable tower of preserves. 

“Embrace this technique, and watch as your kitchen transforms into a haven of homemade delights, proving that in the world of canning, two layers are better than one!”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Regular-mouth Mason jars are tried and tested, making them the perfect partners for double-stacking kitchen adventures. 

Embrace the classic charm of these jars and unlock the full potential of your canning prowess. But do jars have to be fully submerged when canning?

Tips For Mastering The Art Of Double Stacking

  1. Choose Appropriate Jar Sizes: Double stacking works best with smaller jars, such as half-pints or pints, rather than larger quart-sized jars. Smaller jars allow for more even heat distribution during processing, reducing the risk of under-processing or over-processing.
  2. Use Rack Separators: Invest in rack separators to prevent jars from touching and potentially breaking during processing. These are specialized racks designed to fit into your canner and provide a buffer between the layers of jars. Alternatively, you can use small round cake cooling racks or canning bands strategically placed between jars to achieve a similar effect.
  3. Distribute Jars Evenly: Arrange the jars on the rack in a way that evenly distributes the weight and maintains balance. Avoid placing all the heavier jars on one side, leading to instability and potential jar breakage.
  4. Mind the Water Level: Ensure enough water in the canner to cover the top of the jars by at least one to two inches. The water level is crucial for proper heat transfer and ensuring all the jars are adequately processed.
  5. Consider Altitude Adjustments: If you live at a high altitude [2], you must adjust your processing time according to USDA guidelines for safe canning. High altitudes require longer processing times to reach the appropriate temperature.
  6. Stagger Processing Times: If you’re canning items with different processing times, stagger their placement in the canner accordingly. Start processing the jars with the longest processing time, adding the shorter ones later.
  7. Monitor Heat and Boil Times: It’s vital to closely monitor the canner’s heat to maintain a steady, rolling boil throughout processing. Any interruptions in the boiling can lead to under-processing and unsafe food preservation.
  8. Avoid Cramming Jars: While it might be tempting to squeeze in more jars, overcrowding can lead to uneven heating and improper sealing. Leave enough space between jars for hot water to circulate freely.


u003cstrongu003eAre there any foods I should avoid double stacking?u003c/strongu003e

Foods with significantly different processing times or densities may not be suitable for double stacking. 

u003cstrongu003eIs double stacking in a water bath canner suitable for beginners?u003c/strongu003e

Double stacking in a water bath canner is generally not recommended for beginners. It requires more skill and attention to detail to ensure safe and successful canning.

Key Takeaways

Double stacking in a water bath canner is a technique experienced canners use to maximize the canner’s capacity and efficiently preserve a larger quantity of smaller jars. 

While it is possible to double stack, it is not recommended for beginners due to the increased complexity and potential safety risks involved. 

Double stacking requires careful arrangement of jars, attention to processing times, and adherence to safety guidelines to ensure even heat distribution and proper sealing. 

Aspiring canners can eventually incorporate double stacking into their preservation repertoire by gradually prioritizing safety and building their canning skills. 

Remember, always follow trusted canning resources to achieve the best results and enjoy the rewards of safe and delicious home-canned goods.


Shari Mason

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