Growing your own string beans at home can be a very rewarding and productive pastime for you to enjoy.
I always try to maintain a patch of green beans growing in my backyard all year round and it has been a great experience.
Green beans are quite productive and I always have more than enough for my family’s needs.
However, fresh green beans do tend to go off rather quickly if they are not preserved right.
While popping them in the freezer is always an option, I find it affects the flavor that I want for some of my dishes.
This is why I have become somewhat of a “home-canned green beans” expert! While searching for great ways to preserve my green beans for future use, my pressure canner has come to my rescue.
Canning green beans is a very easy process that you can do regularly at home with the right equipment.
As a bonus, canned green beans are very delicious because the canning process preserves the natural flavor very well. This is still true for pre-packaged beans like canned black beans!
If you are looking for a worthy alternative to frozen green beans, you have found one. Pressure-canning green beans is an awesome hobby that will save you a lot of money down the road.
Grab your pressure canner and some pint or quart jars and let us get started!
Useful Tips for Canning Fresh Green Beans
Before you can enjoy eating green beans that have been pressure canned, there are a few things about this process that you need to know.
While canning green beans is a very easy process that I am sure you will not have any problems with, a few tips to help you along the way aren’t a bad idea.
In that regard, here are some things you need to consider:
Cold Pack Method vs. Hot Pack Method
When canning green beans, one of the first things you have to decide on is which packing method you are going to use.
You have two options here, either the hot pack method or the cold pack or raw pack method.
Now, a lot of people make the mistake of assuming that the cold pack method means you do not process pints. This is not true! You definitely need the pressure canner for both methods!
Believing it was the quicker method, I used to always raw pack my canned green beans which meant I significantly reduced the cooking time while remaining safe.
However, I have since moved over to the hot pack method because it allows me to get a lot more green beans into each jar.
Whichever option you go for, they are both tried, tested, and guaranteed to be safe options.
One thing you will need to remember is that with both methods, you will have to remove air bubbles before the pint jar is sealed. This can be easily done by running a plastic utensil along the inside of the jars.
Cold pack/raw pack
When using the cold pack method, the first thing you need to do is fill jars tightly with raw beans/snap beans.
You do not need to precook your green beans for this method but you do need to cover them with boiling water. Leave about one inch of headspace and that’s it!
Like I said before, hot-packed canned green beans are my preferred method these days because of the number of green beans I can fit in a single jar.
To start, you need to cook your green beans in boiling water for about five minutes. Drain the beans and loosely pack them into pint or quart jars before covering them with clean hot water, again leaving about one inch of headspace.
Use Clean Pint Jars
The main reason for making pressure-canned green beans is to preserve them for as long as possible without spoilage.
This means they must not be in contact with any microbes that cause food spoilage throughout their shelf life. It is for this reason that we use boiling water before sealing them in with a pressure canner.
One thing you must not forget is to use clean pint jars all the time. Canning green beans is very effective when done right, so I always like to boil my jars in hot water before pressure canning.
Canner Must Cool Naturally
Pressure canning green beans is a labor of love so do not try to rush the process otherwise you will not get the results that you want.
This means allowing the pressure canner to cool completely at room temperature without trying to quickly release the pressure by venting or removing the pressure canner load.
Use Fresh Green Beans Always!
It should go without saying that canning green beans should only be done on the freshest green beans available.
This means harvesting the green beans at the right time, when they are tender and not yet larger than medium-sized.
One thing you will quickly realize when growing your own green beans is that they grow very quickly under the right conditions.
I never go more than two days without picking beans in my garden and you should do the same.
When canning green beans, separate them carefully. Any large pods should not be canned, so you can leave those for cooking.
Any diseased or malformed beans should be discarded immediately because you do not want to add any unwanted flavors to your green beans.
Use a Pressure Canner
As a low-acid food, the preservation of green beans requires that you use a pressure canner to achieve high-enough temperatures that are required to kill microorganisms that cause food spoilage and food-borne diseases.
Some people always ask about using a water bath canner instead of a pressure canner but I would not recommend this unless you are using vinegar to pickle the green beans first.
As far as buying the right pressure canner, you cannot go wrong with most brands that have good reviews online.
Pressure canning green beans is not such a complicated process that you would need to worry about the type of pressure canner you purchase.
Any device with a pressure canner load of about 9 pint-sized jars is a great investment for your home canned green beans project.
Any Type of Beans Works
Pressure-canning green beans works very well with a wide range of green beans, which means that you are free to try out this recipe with any of your favorite varieties.
I have used this canning green beans recipe with yellow wax beans, purple beans, French beans, and Romano or Italian beans.
Surprisingly, the recipe works with mature dried beans as well, with only a few alterations here and there.
Canned Beans Shelf-life
Ideally, properly canned green beans will last about one year before you need to consider throwing them out.
However, this all depends on how well you managed the canning technique and where you chose to store your green beans.
One thing that most people do not know, and that affects the shelf life of their green beans, is that the altitude has a significant impact on the pressure canning process and should be considered when adjusting the canning pressure.
If the altitude for your location is anywhere between zero and 1000 feet, you do not need to make any adjustments to the pressures mentioned in this recipe.
When working in any pressure conditions caused by an altitude of more than 1000 feet, the pressure canner load will need to be adjusted to at least 15 Lbs.
Water Bathing Green Beans
Water bath canning is not ideal for canning green beans. However, if you do not have a pressure canner you may not have a choice but to consider it.
This method will require the use of vinegar to pickle the green beans first before adding them to the jars.
The pH level has to be lowered enough to make it safe to suspend the green beans in water.
If you are planning on using only salt and water, then you have no choice but to use a pressure canner. All other methods of canning green beans are not considered to be safe options.
Is Canning Salt Essential When Preparing Canned Beans?
When you add salt to canned beans, it is not an essential part of the process, so some people choose to forgo the addition of salt entirely.
However, the reason why I recommend that you add at least a little bit of salt is that the canning makes it very difficult to season the beans when you are ready to cook them.
A little bit of salt added before sealing the jars will ensure that your recipes will taste great when cooking with green beans.
Just make sure that you clearly label your mason jars, stating whether you added salt or not because the last thing you want is to add a lot more salt when you are cooking green beans that have already been salted.
Other Options For Green Beans
There are a lot more options that you can consider for green beans if you do not have a pressure canner on hand.
We have already discussed adding vinegar to make pickled green beans, also called dilly beans, but here are some other options:
- Freeze green beans that have been blanched in hot water
- Dehydrating your green beans in the sun using precise step-by-step directions from picking the beans to cutting and drying them
- Simply storing beans in a water bath is the traditional method known by most people. However, this exposes you and your family to a potentially serious botulism infection, which is why I strongly advise against it
Grab Some Pint Jars and Give This Canning Process a Go!
I love how green beans always add a little something extra to my meals which is why having a canning green beans recipe is so important for me.
Whether I want to fortify my chicken broth or I just want to enjoy some green beans and bacon, knowing how to prepare home-canned green beans has been a lifesaver for me.
The great thing is that the recipe, as you can see, is very simple and doesn’t take much of your time.
This means if you are growing your own green beans, this is something you can even do once a week during peak green bean season.
With this handy recipe in your pocket, you will be guaranteed some fresh and delicious green beans on your table all year round!
Canning Green Beans
Pressure-canning is an awesome hobby that will save you a lot of money down the road. These green beans are delicious and make a great side for dinner!
- 10 lbs. fresh green beans
- Canning salt (optional)
- Using hot soapy water, wash your quart jars and lids, rinse them well, and set them aside for the time being.
- Place your jar lifter onto the pressure canner and fill it with water according to the recommendations of the manufacturer.
- Half-fill your jars with hot water and place them on the pressure canner.
- On the pressure canner, turn the burner on to 180 degrees F and bring it to a simmer. Leave it hot until you need to use it.
- Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil.
- To prepare your green beans, rinse under running water, remove the strings, and trim the ends.
- Cut or snap the prepared beans into roughly one-inch pieces.
- If you are using the hot pack method, add the beans to the large pot of water boiling on the stove and cook for about five minutes
- The next step is to pack your beans tightly into the jars. If you are using the hot pack method, you do not need to pack the beans as tightly as you would for the raw pack method.
- Using a jar lifter, remove a single jar from the pressure canner and pour out the boiling water. Keep the remaining jars hot by leaving them in the pressure canner
- Use a canning funnel pack the beans into the quart jar, leaving about one inch of headspace above them. If you wish to do so, now is the time to add a teaspoon of canning salt per quart jar
- Pour boiling water over the canned beans making sure you maintain the one-inch headspace
- Using a bubble popper or any plastic utensil you can find, remove air bubbles from the jar
- Carefully lift the canning lids out of the hot water using a magnetic lid lifter, place the lids on the mason jars, and screw them on until the lid is tight.
- Use your jar lifter to place the jar on the pressure canner and repeat the process with the remaining mason jars until the canner rack is filled with jars or you have run out of green beans. Close the canner securely while making sure you leave the vent open
- Bring the pressure canner to a boil by increasing the heat and allow it to vent for about 10 minutes. Then, place pressure canner load on the vent.
- Bring the pressure canner to 10 pounds of pressure and process the green beans for about 25 minutes for a quart jar.
- When the processing time is reached, turn off the heat on the pressure canner and allow it to cool down until the pressure reads zero. Leave the canner for another 10 minutes before you remove the canning lid
- Spread a towel on the counter and open the jars with the lids facing away from you so as not to get burnt in the face. Allow the jars to readjust to the sudden drop in pressure and temperature
- Leave the jars as they are for 24 hours without checking or tightening the seals. After the 24 hours have passed, check to see if the lids have sealed by pressing on the center of the lids. If the lids do not pop up, it means the jars have sealed but if they do, then the canning did not work and you will need to refrigerate the green beans and use them within a few days.
- Properly sealed cans can now be stored for long-term storage by removing the rings, labeling the jars, and placing them in a cool and dark place. Canned green beans can be consumed safely within a year.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 59Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 3g