Canning Green Beans

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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. It’s a very beginner friendly project.

Pick or buy fresh green beans, snap them into lenghts you desire (I like about 2 inches) pack them in a jar, process in a pressure canner. Green Beans can be processed either hot or raw pack. I include full, step-by-step pressure canning instructions below.

Using an orange peeler to remove bubbles from jars packed with green beans.

This pressure canning page has more detailed information on how to use one. Read the step-by-step instructions on how they work before you start this project. It will help you to know how to set up and prepare all your canning equipment.

If you are really afraid and don’t know how to get past that… check out this video workshop. Afterwards you’ll be confident and ready to start filling your pantry.

Canning Green Beans: Extended, Step-By-Step Directions

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 use for snapping beans.

Sharon snapping beans on the porch with a cup of coffee next to her.

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. My teen 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!

A stainless steel bowl of fat freshly picked green beans.

Canning Green Beans- Hot or Cold Pack?

When you’re canning green beans, you can either do them hot packed or cold packed. This refers to how to pack your jars. A cold pack is sometimes also called “raw pack.” Please, oh, please, don’t think a cold pack means you don’t process. Most importantly, any method you use to pack your jars, you still must use a pressure canner.

I used to always cold (raw) pack my jars. 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.

Hot Pack Canning Green Beans

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

Raw Pack Canning Green Beans

Fill jars tightly with clean, snapped, raw beans. No pre-cooking needed. Pack them down pretty tight to get as much as you can into the jar. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Just a note here…. remember Raw Pack is NOT water bath. Sometimes I’m asked how to cold pack green beans and the person actually means water bath not pressure processing. It is a terminology difference. Cold pack simply means the beans go into the jars raw (cold) not cooked (hot). They are still processed in a pressure canner.

Whichever packing 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 any trapped air. I like to use an orange peeler. You could also use a plastic knife.

You’ll probably want to add canning salt to your jars: 1/2 tsp. for pints or 1 tsp. for quarts. Salt is actually optional. It is for taste only, but I do recommend it for most folks. If you add salt, it really does enhance the flavor, so I always include it. But if you are trying to lower your sodium consumption, leaving it out is acceptable.

After jars are filled be sure and wipe the rims of your jars clean before you place canning lids on the jars and add rings. You want the rim clean so no salt or bits of food interfere with the seal during processing.

Raw pack green beans in jars.

Removing bubbles with an orange peeler.

Wipe the Rims clean before putting on the lids.

After packing your jars, place filled jars in a pressure canner and process them according to pressure canning methods. If you need more instruction on how to use your pressure canner check this link. You’ll need to heat the canner, vent it and then process it properly. Plus there is information on how to cool the canner properly. Lots of details!

Don’t forget to adjust for your altitude. Processing times are listed below. Remember, these are for canning green beans in a pressure canner, NOT a water bath! (There I go again!)

Water Bath Canning Green Beans Is it an Option?

Many people ask if water bath canning green beans is safe. Many say their grandmother did it that way for years and no one got sick. The truth is, you can still get botulism. It is a chance you don’t want to take. Read more about my thoughts on waterbath canning green beans so you can consider the whole picture.

Canning Green Beans Tips & FAQs

Other Green Bean Options

Learn more about canning, dehydrating, pickling, or freezing to keep those green beans deliciously preserved all year round.

Can you use chicken broth for water and cooked bacon instead of salt?

-No, this is for water only.
-No sorry but you can’t add bacon. Add your bacon to the beans as you open the jar.
-The salt is optional so if you want to leave it out you can. We prefer to salt our veggies.

How to can green beans in half pints. I want to process green beans in half-pints for an older friend, but I can’t find out how long I should process them. Can you help?

Sure! Yes you can can beans in half pints. However you don’t cut the time short. There are no tested methods for half pints. It might seem logical but half the time might not be enough for the heat to fully penetrate the jar.

You want to process it for the jar size up. If you want to do half-pints for a friend (who, I assume, probably needs a single serving, which is a great idea), process it for the pint-sized jar.

You might want to try a batch and see how it turns out. It might be a little softer than what you prefer. I don’t think it’s going to be overly mushy, but do a batch to see if you and your friend like it.

Do green beans have to be pressure canned?

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 many questions regarding canning green beans. All of them had something to do with wanting to use a water bath canner to can green beans. Not surprisingly, I do not give these instructions. Click here to find an article explaining why I don’t recommend a waterbath.

How long will canned green beans last?

The NCHFP suggests that canned foods last about a year, if they’re stored under proper conditions (cool and dry). But don’t throw your food away if it has been more than a year. Check this article to read more about expiration dates for home-canned food here.

Recipe Card

Canning Green Beans

Home canning green beans is easy with a pressure canner. You’ll need about 14 pounds of beans for a canner load of 7 quarts.  
Print Recipe
Using an orange peeler to remove bubbles from jars packed with green beans.
Prep Time:45 minutes
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):25 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Start by preparing your jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. Including more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.

For a Raw Pack

  • Rinse beans in cold water. Snap beans to desired size. 
  • Add canning salt to jars (1/2 tsp. for pints, 1 tsp. for quarts). Pack beans tightly into jars. 
  • Fill jar with clean boiling water, leaving 1” headspace.  
  • Remove bubbles. Wipe the rim clean and place on seal and ring.  
  • Place jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars.  
  • Process in a pressure canner according to the instructions below.   

For a Hot Pack

  • Rinse beans in cold water and snap beans to desired size. 
  • Put beans in a pot of boiling water. Boil 5 minutes. 
  • Add canning salt to the jar (1/2 tsp. for pints, 1 tsp. for quarts). 
  • Pack beans loosely into jar (don’t squish). 
  • Cover with clean boiling water, leaving 1” headspace. 
  • Remove bubbles, wipe the rims clean and place on seal and ring.  
  • Place jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars.  
  • Process in a pressure canner according to the instructions. Processing time is listed below. Be sure to adjust for your altitude.

Notes

Processing with a Pressure Canner
Place the jars in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below) This is when pressure will start to build.  
When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below) that is when you’ll start your time.  Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
Processing Instructions (Raw Pack or Hot Pack) 
Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  
Altitude Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
Altitude – Dial Gauge – Weighted Gauge   
0-1,000 ft – 11 pounds – 10 pounds  
1,001-2,000 ft – 11 pounds – 15 pounds  
2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds – 15 pounds  
4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds – 15 pounds  
6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds – 15 pounds  
8,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds – 15 pounds 
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Colorado State Extension
Servings: 7 quart jars

A few tips for picking green beans.

The first thing to remember when picking green beans? 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 out. Green beans tend to get stringy and tough the bigger they get. In other words, the quality will be poor if you pick overripe, seed-filled pods.

What else can you do with green beans?

3 Bean Salad Canning Recipe

Pickled Three Bean Salad Canning Recipe is so easy and makes a great summer side dish. This one is husband approved! Step-by-step canning guide for a home canned version.
Pickled 3 Bean Salad Recipe for Canning
Top down view of a small white square serving dish with three bean salad, green beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, some onions, all on a blue plate with a fork to the side.

Freezing Green Beans

Freezing green beans picked fresh from the garden is a great way to preserve them. Bush beans or pole beans are all treated the same.
How to Freeze Green Beans
Packing blanched green beans into a freezer bag.

Dehydrating Green Beans

Learn all about dehydrating green beans here! Start with fresh, tender bean pods.
How to Dry Green Beans
A bowl of freshly picked green beans in the garden.

Dilly Beans

Dilly beans are pickled green beans, and they are oh, so good. Here's how to make dilly beans:
Pickled Green Beans (aka Dilly Beans)
An open jar of dilly beans with a serving of beans to the side.

Pin This for Later!

How to Can Green Beans

Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation, Colorado State Extension

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Shelby Ruby
Shelby Ruby
9 months ago

This year we planted more green beans than years past, and I have a question: Ball Blue Book for Canning says only prep as many beans as your pressure cooker can process, so that’s 7 quarts. How can I keep those extra quart of two of blanched beans safe for the next batch of beans getting canned? I do hot packs, and I am losing a quart or 2 that I’d like to can, every time I’m canning beans, which right now is about 2x a week. 🙂 lucky me, right?? 🙂 Thank you, Shelby

Amanda Herod
Amanda Herod
9 months ago

My weight never jiggle is it going to be okay as long as I cooked for the right amount of time

Sally
Sally
1 year ago

4 stars
I was told that pressured green beans need to boil 15 min before eating. Is this necessary?

Sally
Sally
1 year ago

That is great news! Thanks for your response!

Diana C.
Diana C.
1 year ago

Would the cooking time be the same in an electric pressure canner?

Gayle
Gayle
1 year ago

5 stars
I just want to point out that somewhere in your instructions, you say to cold pack or hot pack, then process in the water bath canner. I know you didn’t mean to say that (based on all your other statements), so you may want to proofread again and fix this.

Gin
Gin
2 years ago

I’ve pressure canned fresh green beans according to generally accepted instructions but have ended up with very soft finished product, unappetizingly so. How best to get firmer beans for my effort?

Gin
Gin
2 years ago

Thank you, Sharon; I appreciate your insight (=

Yvonne
Yvonne
2 years ago

I canned green beans today and when I took them from the canned the white beans were pink! I have canned for 50 years and have never had this happen. What is the problem?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Yvonne

Hi, Yvonne,

Hmmm…that is a curious question! What type of lids did you use? What kind of water did you use? You said they’re just plain green beans, right? Or some other kind of beans?

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Linda Johnson
Linda Johnson
2 years ago

I’m new to canning and did a dozen qts of green beans to someone’s method. Blanched five minutes water bathed thirty minutes. Now I’m reading it’s not safe and I should unseal and reprocess for three hours. Do I only unseal and reseal to reprocess? Do the jars of beans have to reheated and how?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Linda Johnson

You’ll just need to follow the process on this page, starting from the beginning as if they were fresh green beans. Unfortunately, I think the green beans would probably be quite mushy after processing again, so I would suggest freezing this batch and using the proper pressure canning instructions for the next round of green beans.

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Linda Johnson

And just to be clear about this, you’ll have to take the beans out of the jars and reheat and repack them using the hot pack instructions (since the beans have already been cooked). 🙂

Rian Kanzlemar
Rian Kanzlemar
2 years ago

I accidentally added 1 tsp canning salt to pints for green beans…. will they turn out okay?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Rian Kanzlemar

It’s not a safety issue, but they might taste a little salty. 🙂

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

OkieAnnie
OkieAnnie
2 years ago

My mother-in-law taught me how to can some 50 years ago. I would go to a “you pick” garden & pick veggies with my 9-month old daughter in a carrier on my back & my 4 year old daughter by my side to help. I then took everything home where my mother-in-law helped me can. I had two go to books (Kerr & Ball) to answer questions. However, your canning instructions have answered questions that the books didn’t. Thanks for the extra help! Excellent website! You are so right about green beans & onions processed together. If beans were processed… Read more »

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  OkieAnnie

It’s so nice to hear about families passing down their love of canning to multiple generations. 🙂 And Sharon is happy to hear that the book and website has been helpful as well.

Blessings,
Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Sherri Dilbeck
Sherri Dilbeck
2 years ago

I used the cold pak method to can my green beans. I am new to canning and followed a video to do this. I have found that some of my jars after taking them out of the pressure cooker have about 1/2 to 1 inch of water at the bottom with the beans floating to the top. What did I do wrong and are the beans ruined? Should I throw throw those jars away?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Sherri Dilbeck

It sounds like liquid loss. If there is less than half of the jar filled with liquid, they shouldn’t be kept on the shelf – just put in the fridge and use up ASAP. You can learn more here: https://www.simplycanning.com/liquid-loss-in-home-canning/

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Pearlene
Pearlene
2 years ago

Pressure canned green beans, raw pack method. First day after canning them found 2 jars with button in middle of canning lid down but when I tried to lift jar by lid it came off in my hand. Rest stayed on the jar and allowed me to lift them by lid. Moved rest to a storage area and just found 2 jars spoiled. Gone over step by step directions several times. Have been canning all of my life.Not my first time of using pressure canner. Don’t understand what went wrong. But something obviously did!! Have noticed seal in lids not… Read more »

Shelby Ruby
Shelby Ruby
9 months ago

Agreed. I have found generic brand lids aren’t sealing as well as Ball.

Judy Desetti
Judy Desetti
2 years ago

After canning my vegetable chicken soup, some of the peas are floating on top. The seal is good. Is this ok?

Rachel Abernathy
Admin
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Desetti

Yes, it should be fine. 🙂 Sometimes, food might float in the jars, and it would make sense with something like peas for sure. As long as you used a safe recipe and processing instructions, you should be set!

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

Barry Timothy Johnson
Barry Timothy Johnson
2 years ago

Yes my mom and dad and I with 7 siblings been canning food from the garden we had for years and never had a pressure canner that’s something new to quickly can your food which might not be safe because at least we knew our time limit was safe so please say you prefer to use the pressure canner not that it’s not safe for we know the devil is a liar