How to Can Green Beans Using a Pressure Canner: An Illustrated Guide

Updated on September 3, 2018
ButterflyWings profile image

Butterfly has been gardening and preserving food of all kinds for many years, and she thrives on the creativity involved in these processes.

Tasty and Prolific

Last summer (2009), I canned three different varieties of snap beans: two overgrown French Filet types (oops) and a Yellow Wax.
Last summer (2009), I canned three different varieties of snap beans: two overgrown French Filet types (oops) and a Yellow Wax.

The Necessary Equipment

Clean jars, lids, and rings; a small pan for the lids, and tongs to lift them; a jar lifter. Of course, you will need hotpads and/or an oven mitt.
Clean jars, lids, and rings; a small pan for the lids, and tongs to lift them; a jar lifter. Of course, you will need hotpads and/or an oven mitt.
The lids resting in scalding water until needed.
The lids resting in scalding water until needed.
A pressure canner, also called a pressure cooker. This is an old model that belonged to my great-grandmother.
A pressure canner, also called a pressure cooker. This is an old model that belonged to my great-grandmother.

Step One: Prepare Your Equipment

Estimate the number of jars you will need. This will depend somewhat on the size and shape of your beans (some varieties are curly, some are thin and straight), but a good rule of thumb is this:

You will need 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs. of fresh beans to fill each quart jar.

Select only jars (quarts or pints, usually) that are free of nicks, cracks, and other imperfections, as these could cause the jars to seal poorly, which can cause them to break during canning.

Select new, self-sealing lids whose seals are whole and even. Do not reuse lids, as they do not always seal properly a second time.

Wash all jars, lids, and rings in hot, soapy water, and set on a towel to dry. Place lids in a little cake pan and pour scalding water over them. Leave them in the water until you use them.

Wash or rinse your pressure canner, if necessary, and fill it with the recommended amount of water (usually 2 quarts). Add a splash of white vinegar if you have hard water. This will prevent your jars from collecting mineral stains. Begin heating the canner, with the lid off or set on loosely.

Now you are ready to prepare your beans.

Preparing the Canner

Filling the pressure canner with the appropriate measure of water.
Filling the pressure canner with the appropriate measure of water.
Adding a dash of white vinegar.
Adding a dash of white vinegar.

Step Two: Snap and Wash the Beans

Snap the ends off the beans, and remove strings as necessary. Break into pieces, if desired. If you like eating whole green beans, leave them whole.
Snap the ends off the beans, and remove strings as necessary. Break into pieces, if desired. If you like eating whole green beans, leave them whole.
Wash the beans, swishing them about with your hands to dislodge dirt, spent buds, and other matter.
Wash the beans, swishing them about with your hands to dislodge dirt, spent buds, and other matter.
Drain them for a few minutes. It is best to prepare no more beans than you can put in your canner at one time.
Drain them for a few minutes. It is best to prepare no more beans than you can put in your canner at one time.

Step Three: Fill the Jars

Lay the beans in close together. If you have broken them in pieces, you may wish to use a large-mouth funnel to help get them in the jars.
Lay the beans in close together. If you have broken them in pieces, you may wish to use a large-mouth funnel to help get them in the jars.
A nicely packed jar of whole French filet green beans.
A nicely packed jar of whole French filet green beans.
Here are the yellow wax beans. These are shorter and curlier, and lay horizontally more easily.
Here are the yellow wax beans. These are shorter and curlier, and lay horizontally more easily.
Using a funnel, pour boiling water into each jar to within 1" of the rim. With a plastic spatula, remove air bubbles if necessary. Wipe any dirty rims with a clean, damp cloth. Put on lids and rings, snugly but not tightly.
Using a funnel, pour boiling water into each jar to within 1" of the rim. With a plastic spatula, remove air bubbles if necessary. Wipe any dirty rims with a clean, damp cloth. Put on lids and rings, snugly but not tightly.

Step Four: Process the Beans in a Pressure Canner

Place jars in rack in your gently heating pressure canner.
Place jars in rack in your gently heating pressure canner.
Put on lid tightly. For lids with knobs, tighten two knobs at a time, in opposite pairs, to keep pressure even.
Put on lid tightly. For lids with knobs, tighten two knobs at a time, in opposite pairs, to keep pressure even.
Wait for steam to come out vent, then count 7-10 minutes, to allow the proper amount of pressure to build up. Add weight. Process quarts 25 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure, and pints for 20 minutes.
Wait for steam to come out vent, then count 7-10 minutes, to allow the proper amount of pressure to build up. Add weight. Process quarts 25 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure, and pints for 20 minutes.

Step Five: Cool the Canner, Cool the Jars

Allow the pressure canner to come back to zero lbs. pressure naturally. Remove the weight, then carefully open the lid...
Allow the pressure canner to come back to zero lbs. pressure naturally. Remove the weight, then carefully open the lid...
...tilting it open away from you to avoid steam burns.
...tilting it open away from you to avoid steam burns.
Carefully lift out jars with a jar lifter...
Carefully lift out jars with a jar lifter...
...and set them on a towel or board away from drafts, to cool overnight. Lids should "ping" as they cool and seal. When cool, check seals, and refrigerate or reprocess any unsealed jars. Store in a cool, dark environment.
...and set them on a towel or board away from drafts, to cool overnight. Lids should "ping" as they cool and seal. When cool, check seals, and refrigerate or reprocess any unsealed jars. Store in a cool, dark environment.

Professional Canning Advice

Questions & Answers

    © 2010 ButterflyWings

    Comments

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      • ButterflyWings profile imageAUTHOR

        ButterflyWings 

        7 years ago

        Peg, the beans were great to have around in so convenient a form. They did turn out nice. Thank you for your praise.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

        Nicely explained and illustrated. Those green beans really turned out pretty. I'll bet they're delicious!

      • ButterflyWings profile imageAUTHOR

        ButterflyWings 

        8 years ago

        That rosy bean sounds beautiful! It sounds like fun.

      • LiftedUp profile image

        LiftedUp 

        8 years ago from Plains of Colorado

        Very nice. Thanks for including the video; it was thorough and clear, and leant a further air of homeyness to the process. I am looking forward to a beautiful garden, and to a particular kind of rosy bean we have planned to include this year!

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