Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
How to Can Green Beans
I love canning my own food. I can take advantage of various stores' great sales, stock up on the latest fruit or veggies that are in season, and pressure can away here at home, knowing that I'll have plenty of food for a while that's tucked away safe in our basement. When corn on the cob goes on sale for 10/$1, I really stock up.
One time, it was green beans on sale. When I'm at the store, I'm always on the lookout for items that I can preserve. We've been out of green beans for a while, and they were a reasonable price during this sale. So I snagged as many as my basket could currently hold. These are so easy to can and are perfect for just about any meal you can imagine.
How I Use My Canned Green Beans
They go great in chicken pot pie, a chicken and veggies crockpot meal, my hamburger vegetable soup, and they even make for a great quick side dish when you're short on time. They make a perfect addition to my preserved foods. I think this batch of 20 pounds of green beans made about 30 one-pint jars of green beans, and if I wanted them to, they would be good for at least a year. Unfortunately, we'll go through 30 jars of green beans way before a year comes. Thankfully, I love canning. Let me show you how easy it was.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
9 pints of green beans
- 4 pounds of green beans
- 4.5 teaspoons salt
- 4–5 cups boiling water
- With green beans, I started by setting up a green bean preparation station with my green beans, a towel and some scissors, and a bowl.
- I separated out all of the curly green beans to take care of at the end and pulled out a handful of straight ones about the same size.
- I line them up in my hands and cut off the ends from both sides to remove the bottom of the stem and any brown parts. Then I toss them in the bowl, ready to can.
- Repeat this process with all of your green beans.
- When finished, it's time to set up your canning station.
- You'll need a pressure canner and a large pot of water to boil.
- On one side, you'll need your bowl of green beans, your clean pint canning jars with lids and rings, a canning kit with all of the tools needed to can, a large ladle for the boiling water, salt, and a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, and a towel to lay everything on.
- On the other side, you'll need a towel to lay your jars on when you pull them out.
- Get your water boiling and let's start on filling your jars.
- I like my green beans long, but you can chop them into smaller pieces if you so desire. Loading them raw into your jars and filling them with boiling water is called raw packing. It's my preferred canning method.
- Load each jar with your green beans and squeeze them in as tight as possible without crushing them.
- Since they are likely too tall for the jars, I then cut them off at the neck of the jar. All of the pieces can go into another jar for canning.
- Once packed, spoon in a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into each one.
- Now, using your large funnel from your canning kit, fill each jar with boiling water only up to the neck of the jar.
- Wipe the rims of your jars with a damp washcloth to remove any liquid or food pieces.
- Top each jar with a brand-new clean lid and a ring. But twist your rings on only until you feel the slightest resistance. You don't want to tighten them.
- Use your jar lifter to load your jars into your pressure canner. You'll want to make use of the space in your canner without letting the jars touch each other or the canning pot.
- I'm assuming that your canner came with a jar rack for the bottom. If not, you'll need to lay a small towel in the bottom to set the jars on. My canner fits 9 pint jars.
- Fill the canner with 3 quarts or 12 cups of water only.
- Put on the lid and lock it in place. There should be directions on the top of your canner directing you on how to do so.
- Turn the heat to medium-high and let the pressure build. It should probably take about 10 minutes or so.
- You'll see steam at some point pouring out of the top spout, making the lid lock pop up. This is called venting. Let your pot vent for 10 minutes starting when you first see the steam in a column above your pot.
- Then put on the rocker. I have a weighted gauge pressure canner. (See the chart below to know how much weight to put on your rocker depending on your altitude.)
- You'll need to wait until the rocker starts rocking back and forth. This should take about 6-10 more minutes.
- Once it starts moving, set your timer for 20 minutes, and start turning down the heat. You'll want to turn it down enough so that the rocker is going as slow as possible but not so low that it stops, or you'll have to get it going again and restart your timer. With a little practice, you'll figure out where this is with your pressure canner. Mine is about medium heat.
- Let it "can" for the full 20 minutes, and then turn off the heat and gently push the canner to a cooler spot on your stove.
- It will take about an hour or more for the pressure to release naturally from your canner and the lid lock to lower. You never want to force this or try to open your pot early. It's bad.
- When the lid lock drops, remove the rocker from your pot and let it cool for another 10 minutes before trying to open the pot.
- When you open the pot, lift the lid away from you so the steam doesn't burn you and use your jar lifter to gently lift your jars straight out of the pot onto your towel.
- Leave your jars to cool for 24 hours.
- All lids should have popped and will ping if you tap them on top. If they thud instead and have not popped, you'll either need to put them in the fridge and use them in a few days if there are three jars or less. If you have four or more that didn't seal, you can remove the lids, refill the jars with water, replace them with a new lid and start the process over.
- If you have more green beans to process, go ahead and start the next cycle now.
- Label your jars with the date and what's inside, remove the rings, and store your jars in a cool location. The rings promote bacteria and may compromise your food. You'll want to remove them for storage. Enjoy!
Altitude Adjustment for Pressure Canning
More Canning Ideas
Yummy! Once you have mastered green beans, you'll likely be hungry for more canning experience. I don't blame you! I generally can a number of things every year, from refried beans, pinto beans, baked beans, lima beans, black beans, green beans, kidney beans, and even great northern beans to corn, diced tomatoes, salsa, pasta sauce, tomato paste, carrots, and tons of different fruit concoctions.
Next on my list is black beans. Be looking for my next recipe, or follow my profile to get access to all of my articles. By canning my own food, not only can I control the various ingredients that go into my jars, but I get to treat my family to a number of truly yummy foods at any time of the year. This is not to mention the great satisfaction that I get from preparing food for my family myself.
I hope you enjoy! Feel free to leave me any comments or questions.
© 2018 Victoria Van Ness