Homegrown and home canned green beans are my favorite. It’s one of my must grow vegetable in my garden, along with tomatoes and sweetcorn. I love the quality and taste of what grow at home of all three of these and will spend a lot of time in the summer putting them away in the summer. Now does this mean I won’t eat store canned green beans? Not at all. They may taste a little different, but that has more to do with the variety of bean and the canning process and not with the nutritional value of the bean.
I’ve been helping with green beans since I was little and started helping with the canning some time in high school and I graduated over 15 years ago. Man I’m getting old!
First things first: Green beans MUST be pressure canned!! A water bath won’t work because the are a low acid vegetable and you run the risk of botulism…..and that’s not something you want to mess with!
If you don’t have a pressure canner you can freeze them instead. I will talk more about that in another post and link to it. It’s super easy to do!
Things you need:
- Clean Canning Jars
- Pressure Canner
I got my pressure canner at a garage sale before Caleb and I got married for $10 and it came with some canning utensil and the manual too. The great thing about these is even if they are old you can replace all the seals and you’re good to go again.
If your canner doesn’t come with the manual then you will want to look one up on line and print it off or see if you can find one on ebay. Even though I’ve done it a thousand times, still refer back to the manual just so I don’t mess up.
Before you can ever get started you must get your beans…..that means picking your own, getting them from the farmers market, or from a friend.
*Do you see what’s wrong in this picture? There’s some grass growing there and I can’t pull it!!
Next comes the big task of snapping the beans. Make sure you get a both ends pulled off. And it goes faster if you have a helper!
You will also need to snap them into inch size pieces and…
then give them a quick wash off. You can do this before you snap them it really doesn’t matter, I just prefer to do it this way when canning them. If I’m freezing them I will do it before snapping them, but when I do it this way I can place them strait into the jars after pulling them out of the water.
If you don’t have a jar funnel, you need to get one. They are a must when doing any canning!
You will want to stuff as many green beans in the jar as you can. leaving 1/2 inch of head space at the top of the jar.
Next add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart jar or if you are doing pint jars add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the jar.
Now fill the jars with water a leave 1/2 inch of head space at the top of the jar.
Take a wet paper towel and wipe the rim of each jar to make sure it is free of any dabree so you can get a good seal.
Add the lids to each of the jars. They use to recommend simmering the lids in hot water first, but they now don’t say that. So just do a quick read through of the direction on the box of lids. If you do need to simmer them than this little magnet on a stick is a must have for getting them out of the water.
Next screw the rings on and place them into the canner.
You will need to add about2 quarts of water to the canner, put the lid on and turn your burner on high.
For green beans you bring the pressure up to 10 lbs and keep it there by turning the heat down to low. It will need to hold pressure there for…
- 20 minutes for Pints
- 25 minutes for Quarts
*every stove is a little different so you should always stay close by to make sure you aren’t loosing pressure or building too much pressure.
Once they have been in there for the proper amount of time you will turn the heat off and let the canner de presureize naturally. Once that is done you can take the lid off the canner and use some special jar tongs to remove the jars if they are still hot.
When they are fully done cooling off take your finger and press down on each lid to make sure it has sealed. If the lid is bouncy than it isn’t sealed and you can either try and seal it one more time or just stick it in the fridge and eat it…..I always eat them when this happens.
You will want to take a permanent marker and write at least the year on top of them. You can also write whats in the jar on top of the too, but I don’t bother with that.
And there you go, you are done. Store them on a shelf in your pantry and grab a jar when you need them.
I want to stress that you should always read through your owners manual before starting. It might tell you something a little different than what mine does and you should go with the one that came with you canner.
As always feel free to ask any questions you might have about this process and I will try and help any way I can or I will try and point you in the right direction.