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Canning Green Beans

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This step by step with photos guide on How to Can Green Beans – the wet pack method – is perfect for anyone new to canning. Simple, clear steps to canning garden fresh green beans to last all winter long!

 

main image for recipe of how to can green beans

 

Growing up, my mother was an avid Gardener. We grew up with our backyard looking a bit like the Garden of Eden yet with more edible plants than floral.

She has a green thumb that rivals anyone else I’ve ever met.

Despite her green thumb she is always looking for new ways, better ways, more efficient ways, to garden. 

Because of her extensive garden, and all the variety of berries and fruit that were all around our city, we canned a lot.

Every fall, the kids were all expected to help her can the bounty our garden had given. 

I hated it, as I suspect all kids do and swore I’d never can again once I moved out of the house. And it was true.

For many years I refused to can or learn to can fruits and vegetables. That is until we moved to Minnesota.

My Mother-in-Law, Liz always has a garden and she always cans green beans. Her green beans are delicious and two of the three kids go nuts for them.

Several years ago I asked her to show me How to Can Green Beans. 

We spent the day canning green beans from her fresh from the garden green beans and having a good time with one another.

However, my memory is pretty pathetic and by the next summer I can forgotten everything she had taught me.

So this year, I asked her to show me how to can green beans again. 

This time I was going to document it and create a blog post so that I would ALWAYS know just how to can green beans. I’m a woman in my late 30’s learning to can.  

I figured if I can learn, anyone can learn.

Though this is a long post about canning green beans, and it may seem overly detailed, I hope it helps others like me learn how to can green beans.

I have pages of chicken scratch writing down everything she told me and I hope I can do her directions justice.

Learn How to Can Tomatoes HERE!

Learn How to Can Carrots HERE!

 

Canning Green Beans Step 1: 

First things first, you want to pick your green beans.  If you do not have a garden then you can purchase them from the store as well.  The amount shown below filled 5 pint sized jars full.

 

garden fresh green beans just picked and in a dish

 

Canning Green Beans Step 2:

Always wash your green beans.  Soak them in cold water for about 3 minutes. 

Make sure to give a good swish to your green beans to get any bugs and dirt off.  Remove and place on a plate or dish.

 

washing fresh canned green beans

 

Canning Green Beans Step 3:

Start by trimming each end of the green bean then cut it into approximately 1 1/2 inch pieces. 

Discard the trimmed edges for compost or garbage. Placed sliced green beans in a bowl.

 

hands cutting green beans into bite sized pieces

 

Canning Green Beans Step 4:

Once you’ve cut your green beans, set them aside.  Now it’s time to clean your jars. 

You want them to be sterile and clean so you can place them in boiling water for a few minutes or if you are 100% sure they are clean, rinse them with very hot water. 

Set upside down to drip dry on a cloth.

 

jars sterilized and ready for canning

 

Canning Green Beans Step 5: 

After letting the jars drip dry for a few moments, fill cans to the top rim with green beans.

 

hand filling jar with cut green beans

 

Canning Green Beans Step 6: 

Tap the bottom of the jars on the counter a few times to allow beans to settle down into can and add additional as needed.  Beans should be filled to the rim.  Set aside.

 

green beans cut and in jars

 

Canning Green Beans Step 7: 

Place pressure canner on stove.  Place the canning base inside and fill with 2 quarts of water.  Turn burner on to medium. 

Canning works best with a gas or coil top stove.  Glass top stoves struggle to reach a high enough heat for canning.  Or so I’m told by the smartest Green Bean Canning Machine I know!

 

base plus water put into pressure canner

 

Canning Green Beans Step 8:

Place NEW flat lids in a small pot of water and bring to a boil.  It is VERY important that these are hot and sterile. 

You’ll want to have a pair of tongs ready for grabbing them out of the water or two forks would work too. 

DO NOT USE OLD FLAT LIDS.  They will not reseal.  New ones are required every time.

Tip:

I have gotten comments from several readers that they reuse old lids with no issues. 

I am not saying you should do this, simply that others have had luck as long as there aren’t any dents or deformities with the lids. If you try this, leave a comment and let us know if it works.

 

lids being sterilized

 

Canning Green Beans Step 9: 

While lids are coming to a boil, place 1/2 teaspoon of CANNING SALT into each pint jar of green beans.  Do not use table salt. 

Canning salt does not contain iodine which is why it is used for canning.  If you are doing quart jars, use 1 teaspoon of canning salt. 

Liz always add this before the water. However I know other people add their water first. Both methods appear acceptable.

One reason for doing the salt first is that if you get distracted you can still see which jars you already added salt to. 

If you add the water first, the salt begins to dissolve immediately upon touching the water.

 

canning salt being added to jars of green beans

 

Canning Green Beans Step 10:

Fill each jar with BOILING water.  You’ll want to pour water to the neck of each jar.  Do not fill to the rim. 

As you can see, you’ll need to boil another pot of water or you can microwave a large heat proof measuring cup (as shown below) until the water is boiling hot.

Place a butter knife inside the jar and go around the outside of the jar pressing in toward the beans. 

This will remove any air bubbles that may be hiding and help with the canning process.

 

hot water being added to teach jar

 

Canning Green Beans Step 11: 

Wipe each rim with a dry paper towel to ensure that there is no moisture on the rim.  To get a good seal you’ll want to have a nice clean rim for the lid to connect with.

 

hand with a paper towel wiping the rims of each canning jar

 

Canning Green Beans Step 12:  

Now place HOT flat lids on each jar.  You may need tongs for this.

 

placing the lids on top of each jar

 

Canning Green Beans Step 13:

Place screw lids on top and screw on.  Once you hit resistance, give them one more good tight twist.

 

pressure cooked green beans on counter waiting for the jars to seal

 

Canning Green Beans Step 14:

Place jars in prepared pressure canner.  Make sure that none of the jars are touching.

 

7 jars of green beans placed into a pressure canner

 

Canning Green Beans Step 15:

Place pressure canning lid on and lock it into place.  Let it boil until steam comes out of the top. 

This should take 5 – 10 minutes.  While waiting, begin prepping the next batch of green beans.

 

steam coming out of spout on top of canner

 

Canning Green Beans Step 16:  

Once steam begins to come out of side spout, let it steam for 10 minutes then place canning weight over the little steam spout. 

Steam will them begin to pour out of the center hole.  This is ok.  It will seal itself off after a few moments. 

Allow the pot to continue to boil until the Gage reads 10 pounds.

 

weight placed on top of pressure canner.

 

Canning Green Beans Step 17: 

Once the dial reaches 10 pounds, (which should take about 5 minutes), you’ll want to watch it carefully and adjust heat of burner to keep it at 10 pounds. 

Depending on the age of your pressure canner this may be a constant adjustment or you may not have to adjust it at all. 

It is ok if it get above 10 pounds but do not let it get anywhere near the black line of doom.

Once you reach 10 pounds, set your timer for 20 minutes for pint jars, and 25 minutes for quart jars.  Keep an eye on that pressure Gage!

 

how much pressure you should have for green beans

 

Canning Green Beans Step 18:

When your timer goes off, turn your burner off and allow your Pressure Gage to slowly return to zero. 

Once your Gage reaches zero, using hot mitts, remove the weight and then open the lid AWAY FROM YOUR FACE.  Do NOT open it towards your face. 

If there is any extra build up of hot steam it can hurt you.  So always open it AWAY from your face.

 

showing how to open a pressure canner away from your face so you don't get burned

 

Canning Green Beans Step 19:

Remove jars with a jar lifter (yes that is actually what it is called).  The cans will be BURNING HOT so do not use your hands.

Place jars on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature. 

As jars are cooling you’ll start to hear a popping sound as each jar seals itself. 

It is important that each jars lid pops and seals itself. If it doesn’t then you’ll be eating green beans that night from the jar that did not seal itself.

 

removing canned green beans from pressure cooker

 

Canning Green Beans Step 20:  

As you can see the beans cook inside the jar and go from a bright green color to a dull green color after being cooked. 

Our first batch took approximately 1 1/2 hours (with all the slicing of the green beans for all batches). 

However as each batch was cooking we prepped the next batch and each batch thereafter only took approximately 30 minutes.

 

before and after of canned green beans

 

Canning green beans is a labor of love.

It is not something you do on a whim and certainly shouldn’t be done in a hurry.

However, if you are willing to invest the time and effort into canning, you’ll not only have fresh tasting fruits and vegetables all year, you’ll have a life skill that can literally feed your family.

 

Cooked and ready to eat green beans in a bowl next to fresh picked green beans

 

Each year Liz cans enough green beans for her family, our family and many friends and family members.

Some of our favorite Christmas gifts are fresh canned fruits and vegetables and we feel so blessed to receive them.

So if you have a bountiful garden and aren’t sure what to do with all of it, I hope you’ll follow these easy step by step directions for how to can green beans.

Thanks Liz for always sharing your wisdom with me and teaching me all your secrets!

 

How to Can Green Beans

How to Can Green Beans - uncooked jars of green beans next to cooked green beans to show color difference.

This step by step with photos guide on How to Can Green Beans - the wet pack method - is perfect for anyone new to canning. Simple, clear steps to canning garden fresh green beans to last all winter long!

Inactive Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • Green Beans
  • Water
  • Pint or Quart Jars
  • Canning Salt

Instructions

  1. First things first, you want to pick your green beans. If you do not have a garden then you can purchase them from the store as well.
    Always wash your green beans. Soak them in cold water for about 3 minutes. Make sure to give a good swish to your green beans to get any bugs and dirt off. Remove and place on a plate or dish.
  2. Trim each end of the green bean then cut it into approximately 1 1/2 inch pieces. Discard the trimmed edges for compost or garbage. Placed sliced green beans in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Now it’s time to clean your jars. You want them to be sterile and clean so you can place them in boiling water for a few minutes or if you are 100% sure they are clean, rinse them with very hot water. Set upside down to drip dry on a cloth.
  4. After letting the jars drip dry for a few moments, fill cans to the top rim with green beans.
  5. Tap the bottom of the jars on the counter a few times to allow beans to settle down into can and add additional as needed. Beans should be filled to the bottles neck. Set aside.
  6. Place pressure canner on stove. Place the canning base inside and fill with 2 quarts of water.
  7. Turn burner on to medium. Canning works best with a gas or coil top stove. Glass top stoves struggle to reach a high enough heat for canning. Or so I’m told by the smartest Green Bean Canning Machine I know!
  8. Place NEW flat lids in a small pot of water and bring to a boil. It is VERY important that these are hot and sterile. You’ll want to have a pair of tongs ready for grabbing them out of the water or two forks would work too. DO NOT USE OLD FLAT LIDS. They will not reseal. New ones are required every time.
  9. While lids are coming to a boil, place 1/2 teaspoon of CANNING SALT into each pint jar of green beans. Do not use table salt. Canning salt does not contain iodine which is why it is used for canning. If you are doing quart jars, use 1 teaspoon of canning salt. Liz always add this before the water. However I know other people add their water first. Both methods appear acceptable.
    One reason for doing the salt first is that if you get distracted you can still see which jars you already added salt to. If you add the water first, the salt begins to dissolve immediately upon touching the water.
  10. Fill each jar with BOILING water. You’ll want to pour water to the neck of each jar. Do not fill to the rim. As you can see, you’ll need to boil another pot of water or you can microwave a large heat proof measuring cup (as shown below) until the water is boiling hot.
  11. Wipe each rim with a dry paper towel to ensure that there is no moisture on the rim. To get a good seal you’ll want to have a nice clean rim for the lid to connect with.
  12. Now place HOT flat lids on each jar. You may need tongs for this.
    Place screw lids on top and screw on. Once you hit resistance, give them one more good tight twist.
  13. Place jars in prepared pressure canner. Make sure that none of the jars are touching.
  14. Place pressure canning lid on and lock it into place. Let it boil until steam comes out of the top. This should take 5 – 10 minutes. While waiting, begin prepping the next batch of green beans.
  15. Once steam begins to come out of side spout, place canning weight over the little steam spout. Steam will them begin to pour out of the center hole. This is ok. It will seal itself off after a few moments. Allow pot to continue to boil until the Gage reads 10 pounds.
  16. Once the dial reaches 10 pounds, (which should take about 5 minutes), you’ll want to watch it carefully and adjust heat of burner to keep it at 10 pounds. Depending on the age of your pressure canner this may be a constant adjustment or you may not have to adjust it at all. It is ok if it get above 10 pounds but do not let it get anywhere near the black line of doom.
  17. Once you reach 10 pounds, set your timer for 20 minutes for pint jars, and 25 minutes for quart jars. Keep an eye on that pressure Gage!
  18. When your timer goes off, turn your burner off and allow your Pressure Gage to slowly return to zero. Once your Gage reaches zero, using hot mitts, remove the weight and then open the lid AWAY FROM YOUR FACE. Do NOT open it towards your face. If there is any extra build up of hot steam it can hurt you. So always open it AWAY from your face.
  19. Remove jars with a jar lifter (yes that is actually what it is called). The cans will be BURNING HOT so do not use your hands. Place jars on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  20. As jars are cooling you’ll start to hear a popping sound as each jar seals itself. It is importantly that each jars lid pops and seals itself. If it doesn’t then you’ll be eating green beans that night from the jar that did not seal itself.
  21. As you can see the beans cook inside the jar and go from a bright green color to a dull green color after being cooked. Our first batch took approximately 1 1/2 hours (with all the slicing of the green beans for all batches). However as each batch was cooking we prepped the next batch and each batch thereafter only took approximately 30 minutes.
Originally Posted: September 7, 2018

Minor Updates: July 12, 2022

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Michelle

Saturday 13th of August 2022

This is not dry pack

Janelle

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

You are right Michelle. I never say its dry pack method. In the first paragraph it says wet pack method. Sorry for any confusion you may have had.

Chris

Saturday 6th of August 2022

This year, I got a new batch of jars + lids. The rings were fairly snug on them. I opened each one to take the lids off, and had to pry them off. The rubber in the lids was indented as if they had already been used in canning. I just put them in hot water, and the rubber comes back to life. This always happens because I live at altitude of 4700'. Lids are put on jars at sea level or close to it, so when transported to altitude, it draws a suction. Only had 2 lids fail in 50 years of canning. I suspect that used lids will be okay to reuse if the lid and rubber are not damaged.

Kelly

Friday 5th of August 2022

Hi there, last year we canned our green beans using the water bath method and loved them! But I was worried about botulism so this year I bought a pressure canner. We processed them the way you described, but we found them really soft and mushy, not like the ones we did last year. Can we reduce the time so they don’t cook as much?

Janelle

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Kelly I suspect the softness comes from the type of bean you canned. Our favorite is Blue Lake pole beans. The canning book that came with the canner stated this amount of cooking time. Anything less could result in the jars not sealing. If you try it, let me know how it turns out. Sorry they were a little soft and mushy.

Beth

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

Can you trim the ends off before you soak them in water?

Janelle

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

Hi Beth! I don't see why not! If that's easier for you, then go for it!

Kevin Hanlon

Friday 15th of July 2022

Fantastic article! You have an awesome family! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Janelle

Wednesday 31st of August 2022

So glad you were able to find the article helpful (though long!). We also have recipes on how to can carrots and tomatoes too!

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