How to Pressure Can Green Beans

Our green beans are coming in nicely this year and not a moment too soon! We had to breakdown and buy a few cans of store bought green beans not too long ago. What a shame. But happily we have already canned our second batch of contender green beans this season. Contender green beans are string-less. That makes life a whole lot easier, but we also will have some half-runners coming in later. They have strings, but they are just such a tasty bean they are worth the effort. If you are harvesting your own seeds from your beans don’t plant contender and other varieties with strings at the same time or they will cross pollinate. There’s no telling what you’ll end up with the next year!

Snapped Contender Green Beans
Snapped Contender Green Beans

So, how about a little canning tutorial?

Ingredients

  • Green beans (Approximately 2 pounds per quart jar)
  • Salt (Optional)
  • Water

 

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Canning Jars
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Canning Lids and Rings
  • Jar Grabber
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
  • Jar Funnel
  • Spoon/Ladle
  • Pressure Canner

 

Pick, Snap and String (If Needed), Wash

Start with fresh green beans from your own garden, a friend’s, or possibly from the farmer’s market. Snap and string the green beans. If you have a string-less variety you get to skip that part. But every now and then we still have one with strings sneak in there probably from the accidental cross pollination. So, do pay attention. Watch out for any bad spots and cut them as you snap.
Snapped Green Beans
Snapped Green Beans
Rinse them thoroughly changing out the water a couple times. While rinsing look for any missed spots, strings, bugs, and other undesirables.
Rinsing Snapped Green Beans
Rinsing Snapped Green Beans
Tip: If you are pushed for time and can’t pick, snap, string, rinse, and can them all in one day you can put the green beans in your pot you are going to blanch them in covered well with water and leave them in the fridge until you can get to them. We have done this a few times by picking, snapping, stringing, and rinsing one evening after work and then canning them the next evening after work. However, I would not leave them in the fridge like this more than 24 hours.

 

Prepare Canner

Prepare pressure canner with the correct amount of water for your canner model and turn on heat medium-high. I fill mine with 3 inches of water.

 

Blanch Green Beans for Hot Packing

I prefer hot packing my green beans. It is not required, but it makes the bean a little more pliable and more can be packed into a jar easily.  In a large pot bring your beans to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.
Blanching Green Beans
Blanching Green Beans – These are Ready to be Removed from Heat.

Prepare Jars and Lids

While green beans are coming to boil, wash jars, rings, and lids. Heat lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Boiling excessively may damage the seal on the lids. Set rings aside until needed.
Warming Canning Lids
Warming Canning Lids

Hot Pack

Remove blanched green beans from heat. Pack beans into jars until full.

Hot Packing Beans for Canning
Hot Packing Beans

Because green beans are so large there will be a lot of unused air space in the jar. With a tablespoon pack the beans down to remove some of the air. Do not excessively pack them. Simply pack them down just enough to add a little more beans.

Gently Packing Green Beans Down to Remove Air
Gently Packing Green Beans Down to Remove Air

For a little extra flair you can add a few chopped onions and/or peppers. We didn’t with these. Some of our children do not like them that way so we only do a few jars of special “Fiesta Green Beans”. Add more green beans leaving 1 inch of head space. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to quart jars and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pint jars. This is optional for flavor and not required to preserve the beans.

Add 1 Teaspoon of Salt Per Quart Jar
Add 1 Teaspoon of Salt Per Quart Jar

See that string we missed? We didn’t see it until looking at the pictures. It’ll be ok, we’ll remove it when we eat them. It isn’t desirable, but it is not a catastrophe.

Fill with water from cooked beans to 1 inch headspace. Double check headspace and remove or add water as needed.

Checking for 1 Inch Headspace
Checking for 1 Inch Headspace

Wipe rims clean, center hot lids on jar, tighten rings until fingertip tight. Do not over tighten.

Pressure Can

Low acid foods (like peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, and meats) must be preserved in a pressure canner. Place jars into preheated pressure canner using jar grabber. Quart and pint jars can be combined in a single canning session. However, if you are using a tall pressure canner and are filling with a second layer of jars make sure your first layer are all of the same size (except maybe the center ones). Securely place the lid on the pressure canner. Turn heat to high and allow canner to vent for 10 minutes. Apply 10 pounds of pressure. Once 10 pounds of pressure have been reached process for 25 minutes for quarts and 20 minutes for pints. Adjust heat as needed to maintain 10 pounds of pressure.

Removal

When the time is up turn the heat off and wait for dial/gauge to register 0 pounds of pressure. Do not attempt to rush this process or remove the weight early. Once it has reached 0 pounds of pressure remove the weight and canner lid. Remove the jars with a jar grabber and set on a towel with an inch or so of space between them to cool. It does not take long to start hearing the pops of the centers sealing. Music to our ears! After 24 hours check all lids for a proper seal. Properly sealed lids will not flex up and down when pressed in the center.

6 Quarts of Canned Green Beans
6 Quarts of Canned Green Beans
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