Home Canning Green Beans

One of the easiest places to start when learning to home pressure can is with green beans. You only need a few pieces of specialized equipment.

Green beans are a low acid food and must only be canned in pressure canner. Do not ever try to can green beans in a water bath canner. Improper canning methods used result in not only wasted time, money and resources but also can have dire, even fatal, results to those who eat those foods. Be safe. Use the right method of canning for the task at hand.

The biggest part of canning that can’t be stressed enough is cleanliness. Everything should be clean, sterilized and hot.

You will need:

Specialized equipment:
a pressure canner
canning jars
lids and rings
a jar lifter
an accurate timer

Other equipment:
tongs
a bamboo skewer or a flat bladed butter knife (to help remove air bubblesfrom the jars)
a jar funnel
measuring spoons

Ingredients:
green beans
salt
boiling water

Start by setting out everything you will need so that you don’t have to stop and hunt for items in the middle of working.

Have your beans snapped and ready before you even think about setting up your work space for canning.

If you have potatoes to add to the jars wash them and have them ready and waiting with the beans.

When I begin the first thing I do is set up my canner. I fill it to the proper level with water and set it to simmer. As I fill my jars I place them in the canner with the simmering water to keep them hot.

Next I set my water to boil that I will use to fill my jars. Some people use a kettle but I don’t have a kettle large enough to boil water for 7 quart jars so I use a pot.

Next I set my washed and clean lids to simmer in another pot of water.

I keep my jars either in the sink with hot water or in the dishwasher fresh from a sanitize cycle. I work with seven jars at a time as that is how many quarts my pressure canner will hold at once.

One quart jar at a time I begin with 1/2 tsp salt.

Then I fill the jars with green beans. If I have them I dot the jars with tiny potatoes as I fill.

Fill the jar within one inch of the top with boiling water.

You want to wiggle them and use your wooden skewer to remove any air pockets in the jars.

Wipe the lip of the jar to make sure it is clean and free of any food particles. Apply the hot lid and ring.

I place jar in the canner as I go keeping them hot. Once the canner is filled on goes the lid and up goes the heat.

Once the water in the canner begins to boil you must allow the air to vent before you can bring it up to pressure. This is done by leaving the pressure regulator off and allow the pot to vent for a full 5 – 10 minutes. Once it has vented then I place on the pressure regulator keeping a careful eye on the gauge.

I tried to get a photo of the steam venting but I just couldn’t capture it. My kitchen is too bright even with the lights off.

Once the gauge reaches 10lbs I turn down the heat to keep the pot at this same steady pressure for the full 25 minutes processing time. Do not begin timing your pressure until it has reached 10lbs and if it ever falls below 10lbs you must start timing all over again. No short cuts.

Every food item has a set pressure and amount of time for processing. Processing time varies not only according to the food and the size of the jar but also according to the feet above sea level at which you are at.

Always check and recheck the processing time for the area in which you live. The above processing time is for MY area in which I live.

Once the canner has cooled down to 0 pressure it can be opened. Never ever try to hurry along the cooling process. This will cause your jars lids to fail to seal or it can cause the jars to leak around the lid. Allow the canner to cool on its own. Using a jar lifter move the jars carefully out of the canner on to the counter top. I use thick toweling to protect the surface of my counters. Keep the jars out of a direct draft to cool.

As the jars cool you will hear the “pop” or “ping” as the lids seal. This is music to my ears.

If your lids don’t seal you will need to remove them, replace with new lids and process again. Never reuse lids of this type. These are disposable singe-use lids.

Some of the jars will come out of the canner and the liquid inside will continue to boil. This is normal.

Allow the jars to sit undisturbed for 12 hours. Then you can remove the rings. Wash and dry the outside of the jars and apply pretty toppers to store them in your pantry.

Plain green beans process at 10lbs of pressure for 25 minutes. Potatoes require 40 minutes of processing. Green beans with potatoes require 40 minutes of processing.

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