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.
I've been asked multiple times how to can green beans in a waterbath 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.
This pressure canning page has more detailed information and step by step instructions on how a pressure canner works.
Please Note: Yes, I know I just said the same thing 3 times. It is that important. I have had several questions lately 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.
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 as 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.
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. I've also heard it called 'snitting'. I bet there are all kinds of terms folks used 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!
Green beans can be either 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.
For both styles of pack you will probably want to add canning salt to your jars. 1/2 tsp for pints, 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 and I always include it.
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!
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 head space.
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.
Place filled jars in a pressure canner and process according to pressure canning instructions.
Processing times are listed below.
Remember these are for canning green beans in a pressure canner, not a water bath!
Hot or cold pack pints - process for 20 minutes
Hot or cold pack quarts - process for 25 minutes
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