Green beans are one of our favorite vegetables on the homestead!
Green beans come in all shapes and sizes. There’s nothing better than opening a can of green beans from your very own garden that you preserved. Beans you started from seed, watched grow and picked at just the perfect time.
There are a couple of ways to preserve green beans. Some like to freeze them, others like to can them. It doesn’t really matter which way you preserve your beans. I personally like to open my cabinet doors and see jars and jars of green beans lining the front row!
Two schools of thoughts are used in canning green beans.
Raw packing and hot packing.
Raw packing means you pack the mason jars with the raw bean, add salt, pour boiling water over the top, remove the air and cover with lid and ring. You must still place a raw packed can in a pressure canner to complete the canning process.
Hot packing means you blanch the green beans before packing them in the jars. If you don’t know what blanching is continue reading, I’ll explain.
This post is going to focus on hot packing green beans.
First thing to do is wash those green beans! Give them a couple of good washes as the dirt likes to stick.
Next, you need to cut off all the ends. Also take this time to snap your beans in half or simply cut them in half if that’s easier for you.
Once you have them cut you’ll need to blanch them. Blanching is a fancy way of saying you cook them in boiling water. Each vegetable is blanched for a different length of time as they all have different physical properties. Green beans you boil for a full 5 minutes. Blanching does two things. It partially cooks the bean making them tender and shortening their cook time later when used, and it also kills any bacteria on the bean that might be lingering. When the timer beeps, pull the green beans out of the pan and immediately put them in an ice bath. This stops the cooking process.
Meanwhile, your pressure canner should be on the stove boiling 4 quarts of water and 2 tbs of white vinegar and your mason jars. The white vinegar will keep the canner from browning during the canning process. I also throw my rings and lids in too, to sterilize them.
Take your jars from your canner and add 1/2 tsp of salt to each jar (If you’re using quart size jars use 1 tsp of salt).
Now it’s time to fill your jars with those beautiful vibrant green beans!
Leave one-inch headspace. Carefully ladle boiling water into each jar. Again leave one-inch headspace. Slide your plastic spatula between beans and jar pushing the beans toward the center. Do this all the way around the jar. This pushes the trapped air bubbles out.
Wipe the top of the jars with a tea towel and place the lid and ring on. Tighten ring fingertip tight. Place jars into canner.
Cover canner with lid.
Gently slide the lid turning it until the arrows line up. You should hear and feel it click into place. Make sure your burner is on high. You should let the canner vent (without the weighted vent cap) for a full 10 minutes. Once the steam starts coming from the canner set your timer.
Now that your pressure canner is closed and venting, place the weighted vent cap on and watch the pressure climb. Green beans need to reach 10 pounds of pressure.
Please note: if you live at an altitude 1000 feet above sea level your pressure and times will be different.
Start your timer. For pints process for 20 minutes. For quarts process for 25 minutes. Keep the pressure stable. If your canner pressure drops below the 10-pound mark, you have to get your heat back up, pressure back up and then start your timer over again once you’re back at 10 pounds. You’ll find pressure climbs fast so watch your gauge and adjust your heat accordingly.
Finally when your timer beeps, turn your burner off. DO NOT remove the weighted pressure cap. DO NOT open your canner. The pressure is too great and it is dangerous. Allow the pressure to decrease on its own. When the gauge shows zero pressure, then you may remove the weighted cap. Open the lid by turning it and lift it from the canner being careful to not burn yourself from the steam.
Pull your jars out and set them on a towel to cool. Let them cool for 24 hours and smile every time you hear them ping!
Line your cabinets with beautiful jars of green beans and take pleasure in knowing you are growing your own food, eating healthy and living the old way.
What is your best tip for canning green beans?