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?

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Making Crab Apple Juice for Pectin

There are several varieties of crab apples. Most people do not use the ornamental crab apples because they are so small and tedious to use, but since we had them we thought we would not let them go to waste. Last year we tried making a batch of crab apple juice. I thought it was tasty, but everyone else thought it was just way too tart. Since it was not going to be a preferred beverage in our house, we decided to try making it unsweetened this year and store it to be used for its pectin for later use in making other jams and jellies where pectin needs to be added.
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How To Make Chicken Broth

What super-food can you make for pennies, maybe even for free? Chicken broth is healthy, very simple to make, and supports your immune system. And did I say it’s inexpensive?

Whenever I make chicken for dinner – at least once a week – I remove the bones and put them in zippered freezer bags. The bags go right into the freezer.

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Crab Apple Juice

We have a crab apple tree in our yard near the driveway. Every year it is loaded down with crab apples.

I do not know if it grew wild or if it was planted by the previous owners. It was here when we bought the house. It is beautiful tree in the spring when in bloom. I’ve never really known anyone to do anything with crab apples. I’ve seen them around, but always just assumed they were wild and had no use other than a home remedy for constipation.

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Pressure Canner From Outer Space

Our first rows of beans/peas we planted (pintos, dragon tongues, and crowder peas) we picked and dried.  This worked, but the drying process takes a while and I had cookie sheets with beans and peas all over the place.

I had already wanted to get a pressure canner, but originally thought I’d wait until next year.  This was our first year having a garden. I didn’t need a pressure cooker just yet, did I? But as our first round of beans were winding down, we decided to pull them up and plant a couple of rows of bush green beans.

The days following planting them we started talking about how we needed a canner of some sort, preferably a pressure canner for the green beans. Although we may cook some fresh out of the garden, we would need to either freeze or can the rest as they are not preferred dried.

Even though I had not canned anything since I was about 19 years old I had decided I wanted to go ahead and start looking for a pressure canner. I looked at Walmart, Kmart, Amazon, and Lehman’s. Pressure canners come in all sizes, quality, features (pressure gauge or not). Both of which impact the price of course.

The more I looked the more my heart got set on Lehman’s High Quality Pressure Canner. The quality was impeccable and the reviews were as well.  I must have this canner!  Then I had to decide what size did I need as it came in 5 different capacities from 10-1/2 Quart up to 41-1/2 Quart.

  • 10-1/2 Quart: Jar Capacity: 7 pt or 4 qt.
    Dimensions: 7-3/4″H x 10-1/2″ID (11-1/2″H with lid), 12 lb.
  • 15-1/2 Quart: Jar Capacity: 10 pt or 7 qt.
    Dimensions: 7-1/2″H x 12-3/4″ID (12-1/2″H with lid), 17 lb.
  • 21-1/2 Quart: Jar Capacity: 19 pt or 7 qt
    Dimensions: 10-3/8″H x 12-3/4″ID (15-3/4″H with lid), 18 lb.
  • 30 Quart: Jar Capacity: 19 pt or 14 qt
    Dimensions: 14″H x 12-3/8″ID (19″H with lid), 21 lb
  • 41-1/2 Quart:Jar Capacity: 32 pt or 19 qt
    Dimensions: 14″H x 15-1/4″ID (19″H with lid), 33 lb

I decided not to get the 41-1/2 Quart canner.  It was $419! That seemed excessive to me and I doubt I would need to can that much at one time. Then, I thought about how I would eventually want to be able to can half gallon jars for juice and thought I will definitely need a tall one.  I would not want to be limited. Obviously, I must have the 30 Quart capacity for $279! I love me some Lehman’s too by the way.

Wow, that is a lot of money, but it is an investment in our family’s future and I’ll never need to buy another one.  So, I rearranged the ole financial budget and found some room for this little gem of a purchase.  I would be able to get it mid August just in time for our green bean harvest!  I will have to can a lot of green beans to pay for this thing, but it was worth it. I was so proud of myself.

So just in time, this Gi-Normous box was delivered to the house. Yay, my canner has arrived. Wow, this thing was heavy. I proceeded to open the box and what I found inside looked like a pressure cooker from outer space! At a minimum, this thing should be in laboratory or something! I had never seen such a pressure cooker in all my life!  I thought my Mama’s was huge, but it was nothing compared to this thing.

It is gorgeous and pristine, but I think I may have been a little over zealous.

Bring on the beans!