Canning Green Beans

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Canning green beans is not difficult.  To learn how to plant, grow and harvest green beans take a look here.

Green Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow in a garden.  Before you know, you’ll have lots of green beans to harvest and then what can you do with them?

Of course, they can always be cooked immediately for dinner, but if you grow a lot of them, how can you store them for the long term?  Today we’ll talk about canning green beans so they can be enjoyed all winter long.  It’s much simpler than you may think.

fresh picked green beans in a basket

Canning Green Beans

Green beans are a low acidic food which means they do have to be pressurized.  If you are not familiar with pressure canning, Laurie, at Common Sense Home has this great article Canning Questions Answered – A Great Canning Resource here.  

Canning green beans can be a long process, but just know that all the effort is so much worth it.

Let’s get started:

4.5 – 7.5 pounds of green beans will yield 6 approximately 6 pints or 3 quarts jars

RELATED: Use “The Complete Beginners Guide To Home Canning” and get comfortable with home canning.

Prep Work:

After you have harvested your green beans, if they are not stringless, you will need to string and break them BEFORE canning. Also, you will need to wash them thoroughly.  I actually, string and break mine into 2-inch pieces before I wash them.  Either way will work just fine.  The Key is just to make sure they are washed well with plain water and all the “trash” such as leaves, bugs, etc is removed from them.

Green Beans Ready to Wash
Green Beans ready to wash

 

INGREDIENTS:

Beans

Water

Canning Salt (note: do not use regular table salt with iodine in it)

COOKING:

Cooking them can be done in a couple of different ways.  (I use the hot pack method).

Raw Pack:  Fill a large stockpot with water.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and keep water hot.

Hot Pack:  Place broken beans in a large stockpot and fill with water, covering the beans completely.  Bring beans to a boil. Boil them until they are blanched – changed to a lighter green; about 20 minutes.  Keep water hot and reduce heat to a simmer.

In the meantime, while water is heating, fill a large saucepan with water and place jars and lids into the pan.  They need to be heated in order to allow the jars to seal properly.  No need to boil, just bring water to a “hot” temperature and place jars in it. NOTE:  You will need tongs to lift jars out of hot water.

Canning Green Beans
Heating Mason Jars for Canning Green Beans

FILLING JARS:

Raw Pack:  Using a Jar Funnel, pack raw beans tightly as possible without crushing leaving 1-inch headspace. A great tool for measuring headspace is the Bubble Remover & Head-space Tool. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to a pint jar or 1 teaspoon salt to a quart jar.  Ladle hot water over beans in the jar, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Hot Pack:  Pack hot beans into a hot jar, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to a pint jar;  1 teaspoon salt to a quart jar.  Ladle the hot cooking water over the beans, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Remove air bubbles with the bubble popper tool.  Wipe jar rim clean using a dry clean cloth.  Center the hot lid on the jar and adjust the band to finger-tight.  Place jar on the RACK in a pressure canner containing 2 inches of simmering water. (This is the pressure canner I use)   Repeat jars until the canner is filled.

PROCESS:

Place lid on the canner and turn until locked.  Adjust heat to a medium-high. Pressure will build in your canner.  Vent steam from canner for 10 minutes BEFORE placing weighted gauge on vent;  bring pressure up to 10 pounds (psi).  Process raw green beans in pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25 minutes with consistent pressure at 10 pounds. (note: you will have to slowly adjust the temperature to keep at a consistent 10 pounds)

Turn off heat, very gently and carefully, remove the canner from the hot stove and allow to cool until pressure is down to zero, normally about 45 minutes. 

Remove weight from canner and after 5 minutes, carefully remove the lid, turning it “away” from you to allow steam, if any, to release in the opposite direction. Let jars cool for 10 minutes without the lid on the canner before removing them.

Using a jar lifter, remove jars from the canner and place them on a clean, dry towel on the counter.  Do not tighten lids if they are loose!  Allow jars to cool for 12-24 hours, without disturbing them on the counter. 

Check seals to make sure the jar is sealed.  (If not sealed, place them in the refrigerator to cook immediately. If doing another run of beans, pour unsealed jar into them).

Canned Green Beans
Canned Green Beans cooling on a towel

Label and store jars in a cool and dark area.

Canning green beans do take a bit of time but are well worth the effort.  Being able to enjoy fresh green beans all winter long is a treat.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below and I will be glad to help you.

Enjoy your home-canned green beans!

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14 thoughts on “Canning Green Beans”

      1. What if I use the hot water bath method. Is that OK? I don’t have a pressure canner. How long should they be left in? Thanks!

        1. Hi Gina,

          Please don’t water bath green beans. They are a low acidic vegetable that can ONLY be pressure canned and stored safely. In addition to the acid level, their shells and the bean are dense, and the 212° temperature of boiling water cannot kill the botulism spore inside them. There is no way of canning green beans other than a pressure canner. I’m sorry, but please don’t try this.

  1. I previously froze some clean, stringed and cut green beans. I don’t like the texture, when cooked. Can I now can my frozen beans, if I use the hot pack method?
    Thanks!
    Katie

    1. Hi Katie,

      I’m not totally sure what you are referring to when you say hot pack method. There are no safety measures to be concerned with by canning frozen foods. So yes you can “pressure” can green beans after they have been frozen, but I’m not sure you will like the texture of this either.

      Since they were blanched, then frozen, then thawed and pressure canned – they may be a bit soft. I’ve never tried this before. But, here’s the way my mind works…. If you already don’t like them frozen, most likely you are not going to eat them anyway. So, it is worth a shot to try pressure canning them. You just may be able to tolerate the texture better than frozen ones.

      I’d love to know if you try it and they turn out.

      Sorry you don’t care for the frozen texture – we are not a fan of frozen beans either.
      Dianne

      1. My pressure cooker has a plate at the bottom that has holes made to use canning. It also came with a rack. Mine is a hand down and I noticed new ones do not have this
        Is it OK to use this besides using a rack? What is the purpose of this then?

        1. Hi Dyann,

          It’s awesome that you have been given a pressure canner- what savings! What you have is parts for two 2 different types of canners. 1) The plate with the holes is what you use in your pressure canner. Since the amount of water you use is only 2 inches, your jars need to be close to the bottom. 2) The rack is used in a water bath canner. So in your pressure canner use the plate with holes.

          Here is a post that defines the parts of each type of canner. It has a picture of both the water bath canner and the pressure canner with all the parts marked. This will help. Let me know if you have more questions.

          Happy Canning

  2. HI,
    I have “canned ” green beans before with the regular hot water bath ( 15 mins).on slow boil. i added a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the top of the jar. and all was fine. I never heard that green beans HAD TO be pressure cooked!? How did the people do it in Early day’s?

    1. Hi Andrea,

      And thanks for the comment. While foods have changed over time, we now have safer ways of canning. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is the current and safe guidelines that I follow and recommend that everyone follows. Here’s a link to the NCHFP if you would like to follow up on it.

  3. Hello. I’ve pressure canned my green beans. But during the process it gave off a sulfuric smell. I did add white distilled vinegar to the pot water to reduce water spots. Could that be causing the smell?

    1. Hi Cathy,

      It could be, but I add vinegar to my canning water as well for water spots. Without smelling it, I can’t tell you with 100% certainty. Green beans do have a different smell when being pressured – I’m not quiet sure how to describe it. I will say this, if you followed directions exactly and your jars have have sealed – I would dare say they are good. One way to find out is to cook a jar for dinner and sample it. But I’m thinking all is ok.

      Sorry I can’t give a definite answer.
      Dianne

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