Canning Green Beans

with Sharon Peterson
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Canning green beans is an easy way to get started if you are just learning how to can with a pressure canner. You will need to know how to use a pressure canner.

"Can I can green beans without a pressure canner? Can I can green beans in a water bath canner?"

I've been asked multiple times how to can green beans in a water bath canner, but that is not a safe method, so instructions are not here. Pressure Canning is the only safe option for preserving green beans, so let's get started with that method.  

How to Can Green Beans

This pressure canning page has more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.   

  • When canning green beans, you must process them in a pressure canner
  • These directions are for pressure canning.
  • Don't get this confused with a water bath. You must process in a pressure canner.

Please Note: Yes, I know I just said the same thing 3 times. It is that important. I have had several questions regarding canning green beans. All of them had something to do with wanting to use a water bath canner to can green beans. 

Water bath canning green beans - Is it safe? No. Click here to find out why.


Prepare

Gather Canning Supplies for Canning Green Beans:

Gather Ingredients for Canning Green Beans:

  • green beans
  • canning salt - optional

Pick fresh, tender pods. Picking first thing in the morning will give you nice, crisp produce. If you are picking in your own garden...go ahead and snack on a few beans. Yum. And oh, so good for you.  

When you are picking green beans, you want to get the beans while they are still a bit immature. I always told my sons to pick anything the size of a pencil. If you let them get too much bigger, you'll have to pick through and toss some, because they tend to get stringy and tough the bigger they get.  

You will need about 14 pounds of beans for a canner load of 7 quarts (or 9 pounds for 9 pints).

Happiness is... Snapping beans on your front porch with a great cup of coffee.

Wash beans in cold water and snap them to the desired size. To snap them just means to break off the ends and break into pieces.  've also heard it called "snitting." I bet there are all kinds of terms folks use for snapping beans.  

You can leave the pieces longer if you want, but I prefer to snap them into 2-inch pieces. They fit in the jars much better. I always just break them by hand, but my sons have been know to pull out some scissors as they thought it went quicker. If they are doing it, I didn't care, just so the job got done! 

Washing beans.

Canning Green Beans - Cold Pack or Hot Pack?

When you're canning green beans, you can either do them hot packed or cold packed. A cold pack is sometimes also called raw pack. Please, oh, please, don't think a cold pack means you don't process. Any method you use to pack your jars, you still must use a pressure canner. 

I used to always cold (raw) pack. I believed it was quicker, and at my high altitude, I need a higher pressure. Since I'd like to cook my beans as little as possible (while still remaining safe), I chose to not blanch before processing.

However, I now usually end up doing a hot pack. This allows me to get more in each jar. Either method is safe. It is your choice.

Putting salt into a canning jar.

For both styles of pack, you will probably want to add canning salt to your jars: 1/2 tsp for pints or 1 tsp for quarts. Salt is completely optional. It is for taste only, but I do recommend it for most folks. It enhances the flavor, so I always include it. 


How to Can Green Beans: Hot Pack

Boil beans 5 minutes before packing jars. Drain and pack into jars loosely and cover with clean, boiling water, leaving 1-inch head space. Easy peasy! 

How to Can Green Beans: Cold Pack (Also Known as Raw Pack)

Please note: Remember, cold pack does not mean you don't process in a canner. You will still process these in a pressure canner. 

Fill jars tightly with clean, raw beans. No precooking needed.  

Cover with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Whichever method you choose, after your jars have been filled, you will need to remove air bubbles by running a plastic utensil down inside the jar between the jar and the beans. Press lightly to release trapped air. I like to use a orange peeler. You could also use a plastic knife.

Wipe the rims of your jars clean and place canning lids. 

Raw pack canning green beans.Raw pack canning green beans.
Removing bubbles.Removing bubbles.
Wipe your rims clean.Wipe your rims clean.

Place filled jars in a pressure canner and process according to pressure canning instructions.

Processing times are listed below for how to can green beans. 

Remember, these are for canning green beans in a pressure canner, NOT a water bath!

Canning green beans.

Canning Green Beans: Processing Time

Process:

  • Hot or cold pack pints - process for 20 minutes.
  • Hot or cold pack quarts - process for 25 minutes.

"How long do green beans last once canned?"

The NCHFP says that canned foods last at least a year, if they're stored under proper conditions (cool and dry).

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Canning Green Beans

Source: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_04/beans_snap_italian.html


What Else Can You Do with Green Beans?







Reader Comments

Botulism
by: Marsha

Got green beans all ready, put in jars and canner. Pressure in canner never would come up. I tried
about 3 times. Never have emptied those jars.

Do I need to throw them away or will dishwasher take care of the botulism I know is in there now.
It's been over a year.

QUASAR

Sharon's Answer:

You are wise to be wary of eating those green beans.

What I would do is dispose of the green beans. Be sure that no animals or family pets can get at them. If botulism is present, they can get sick too.

Then sterilize your jars. Here's how:

  1. Place empty jars right side up on the rack in a boiling water canner.
  2. Fill the canner and jars with hot (not boiling) water to one inch above the tops of the jars.
  3. Bring to a boil and boil 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove hot, sterilized jars one at a time and drain.
  5. They will be hot!

More on how to sterilize jars for canning.

In Regards to Spoiled Canned Foods
by: Anonymous

I would also like to mention that in addition to sterilizing jars, it is very important to de-toxify the contents as well, so that no animals or waste disposal workers get sick.

The Joy of Cooking (if you have it) has a good article on this topic, is clear to understand, and no-nonsense.

And this is from the National Center for Home Food Preservation http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/general/identify_handle_spoiled_canned_food.html

Safe Canning, everyone!

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Page last updated: 8/1/2019.

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