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2023 is the year of the beans! Don’t get me wrong, we had a good bean year in 2022 as well. In fact, we still have some in the basement from last year that we are working to use up. This year, we’ve added an extra mouth to the crew! We’ve canned so many green beans I’m sure that we will all be sick of them before next garden season. However, they are the perfect food for babies to eat and that means we are going to be eating a lot of them. I’m honestly thinking that it may be one of Oaklynn’s first foods! We’ve become masters and we’re ready to help pass on the knowledge of how to can green beans.
Part of the reason that our beans did so well this year is that we switched from bush beans to pole beans. Bush beans are great because they don’t take a lot of effort or space. The downfall is that they are close to the ground. That makes them more difficult to pick and also draws more pests who like to munch on them. The benefits of pole beans is that they grow upwards and that makes them easier to pick, which is important when you are in the thick of canning season. It also makes them a lot easier to weed because there isn’t as much in the way. The drawback is that they require some sort of infrastructure to be able to grow upward like they need to. Once you buy and install the infrastructure, it’s a one time deal though so it’s definitely worth the investment.
We recommend checking out Botanical Interests for your seed needs!
How to Can Green Beans
Now for the fun part, preserving the harvest.
After picking your beans you need to snap and clean them. You can do this in either order. Meaning, you can clean them first and then snap them or you can snap them and then clean them. We typically snap them and then clean them.
After they have been snapped and cleaned, you need to raw pack them into clean sterilized jars. Raw packing means you take the raw vegetable and put it straight into the jar.
*Optional- If you want to, you can add salt to your beans at this point. We choose not to add salt and we add it when we are ready to eat them. If you want to add salt the ratio is ½ teaspoon per pint or 1 teaspoon for quarts.
After the beans are packed into jars, you fill them with boiling (or hot) water. Fill them up leaving ¼” headspace leftover. To be clear, we use hot water out of the tap, we do not boil it.
After filling with water, add your lids and rings. They are now ready for processing.
Beans are not acidic, which means they need to be pressure canned. If you have not used a pressure canner, they are very different from a water bath. I highly recommend the Mirro canner for beginners!
Pressure Canning Process
Most canners will come with directions and will tell you what is needed for each thing that you are canning, plus directions on what to do for canning. However, I do recognize that a lot of us buy them second and for that purpose, I’ll go further into depth here. Each brand of canner does work a little differently so make sure to research your brand if needed.
Once your jars are full and have their lids and rings you can put them into the pressure canner.
You’ll need to add 2-3” of water to the pressure canner and then put the lid on.
Bring the canner to a boil and then let it vent steam for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes you will add the weight to the canner.
The processing time after the weight is added are dependent on your altitude. The chart is shown below, per the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
|Table 2. Recommended process time for Snap and Italian Beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.|
|Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of|
|Style of Pack||Jar Size||Process Time||0 – 1,000 ft||Above 1,000 ft|
|Hot and Raw||Pints||20 min||10 lb||15 lb|
Once they are done processing, turn off your burner and let the canner naturally come down from pressure. If you try to move it or force it to come to pressure by removing the weight it will siphon your jars and could potentially ruin all of your work. Ask me how I know!
In Conclusion: How to Can Green Beans
Canning green beans is a super easy process. The most difficult part is if you have a lot of beans and you have to pressure can them all. This takes a lot of time because they usually don’t all fit into one canner. We’ve stocked up on pressure canners to be able to can massive amounts of green beans all at once. Then when they are done we take the entire pot off the burner and move it over to a potholder where it comes to pressure. 2023 has helped us master our bean process. I’m already excited to see what 2024’s garden will help us master!
What is your favorite (or least favorite) thing to preserve? Let us know in the comments.
I think my favorite thing to can is pie filling. It’s so delicious and makes the house smell incredible!
** DISCLAIMER** Everything you read here may not be up to the USDA/FDA/National Canning Society standards. We do things a little differently and we’re comfortable with it. If it makes you uncomfortable, use the link above to follow the standard guidelines.