Boiling Water Bath Canning: Can You Stack Jars?

Stacking Jars in a Boiling Water Bath Canner

"Can I double stack my jars in a water bath canner while doing boiling water bath canning?" That's the question for today.

Video Transcript (Edited for Clarity)

Hi there. My name is Sharon Peterson. I'm with where you can find home canning tutorials, tips, and classes. Come visit me there, and I will help you get your pantry filled.

Today's Canning Chat question is regarding double stacking jars. Most people know that you can double stack your jars in a pressure canner, but let me tell you that briefly.

First, if you don't know that, you can. A pressure canner rack looks like this; it's in the bottom of your canner. You put your first layer of jars. You're going to put another rack on top of that with your second layer of jars, and then you go ahead and process.

If you're using a water bath canner, you're going to do the same basic thing, but there are a couple things to keep in mind.

Boiling Water Bath Canning: The Rack

A water bath canning rack looks a little different. It's like this, so it's on the side of your canner and you set your jars in there. You're going to lower those jars into the water, and then you're going to need something for that top layer of jars to sit on. It needs to be secure, because you've got water rolling, and you don't want those top jars to get jostled around and knocked over.

One thing that I would suggest you could use is a pressure canning rack. It's the right size. It'll fit right in there on top of those jars. And then you can set your second layer of jars on top of that. Now keep in mind with boiling water bath canning, the water does need to completely cover the top layer of jars by a couple of inches so that there's room for the water to boil and those jars don't stick up out of the water.

Jar Sizes & Layering Jars

Most likely, you're going to do it with smaller jars. You're not going to be able to do it with quart jars, because those jars are just going to stick up out of the top of the water and it won't be deep enough.

The other thing is make sure you have a full load of jars in that top layer--well, actually in both layers--because the water is rolling. I would worry about those top jars getting jostled a little bit. If they tip over, then that's not a good thing.

If you don't have enough jars for a full layer on that top layer, maybe just put some jars of water in there, something so that they're in there and it's all full and they're not going to just be spaced to where they're floating around and getting dumped over. Well, they don't really float, but you know what I mean.

Concluding Thoughts

That would be my two tips. Make sure that the jars are fully covered, and then make sure that they're in there securely, they've got a nice base layer like a rack to keep them level.

I hope that was helpful. You guys have a wonderful day, and we'll talk to you next time.

Related Pages

Water Bath Canning
Canning Fruits
Home Canning Questions

Would you like to receive notifications when more Canning Quick Tips are released?

Get access to full canning classes and tutorials at

More Canning Chats:

Page last updated: 9/8/2020

  1. Simply Canning Home
  2. Home Canning Questions
  3. Boiling Water Bath Canning

Simply Canning Newsletter

The Legal Stuff

by Sharon Peterson, Copyright © 2009-2020

 Advertising Policies

Privacy Policy

Join The Community

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites."

Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You are encouraged to verify all canning and food preservation advice on the USDA food preservation website. 

See my Full Disclaimer here.