Canning Green Beans

by GettingFreedom on September 23, 2009

Many home gardeners grow green beans. If you are anything like I was, when harvest time came I had no idea what I was going to do with all of them. I’m no fan of frozen green beans and I was terrified of the pressure canner. Something had to give somewhere.

I had to overcome my fear.

Honestly, and truly, there was no reason for me to be afraid of the pressure canner. As long as you follow the canner directions and pay attention to the pressure gauge–you are good to go. No worries!

First things first, harvest your green beans. Snap the ends off, and snap into manageable pieces. Depending on the size of the bean, I usually do them in thirds or halves. Once you have all of them snapped, you need to rinse them off, and drain off the water.

Now you need to get your jars, lids and bands ready. To me, this is where the guess work comes in. I never remember from time to time how many green beans I need to pick to yield a full canner load (which for me is 7 quarts). I just eyeball my snapped beans, and guess how many quarts I think they will make, and that is how many jars I sterilize. You can either do pints or quarts here, depending on what is effective for your family. A pint is roughly equivalent to a can from the grocery store.
Sterilize your lids by placing them in HOT water. Do NOT let these boil, as it can affect the rubber seals and they won’t seal properly.

To sterilize your jars, place in boiling water, and let boil for atleast 10 minutes.

While these are sterilizing, place your green beans in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a light boil.

Remove your jars from the boiling water, and get ready to fill them up.

If desired, you can add in ½ tsp canning salt to every quart and ¼ tsp to every pint before adding in your green beans. Pack in the green beans, and pour the boiling water over them, leaving 1 inch headspace. **TIP** 1 inch is roughly to the bottom of the threads.
Once you have your jars packed and covered in hot water, you need to remove all the air bubbles. Using a non-metallic utensil, gently push on the contents and move around to remove the air bubbles. In doing so, you may end up creating more room in your jars. If you have extra green beans, add them in, just be sure to remove any more air bubbles that made their way in. Oftentimes you can peer in and see if you got all of them out.
After all of the air bubbles are removed, wipe off the rim of the jars and add on the lids and bands. Now is time to load up the canner!
When using a pressure canner, you need to have 2-3 inches of water in the bottom. Add in your jars and put on the lid. Do NOT put the weight on, yet.

When steam escapes from the vent hole (located on the left) for roughly 10 minutes, then you can place on the weight. Basically what you are doing here is letting all the excess air escape from the canner.

After you have the weight on the canner, your canner will start to “seal up” and your pressure will begin to build. For green beans, you want your canner to reach 10 pounds of pressure.

You will notice in the picture that in between the weight and the pressure gauge, there is another thing sticking up. This is called the vent lock. It is naturally flush with the lid, but when it starts to seal up the vent pops up, then it starts to build pressure.

Your canner needs to maintain at 10 pounds of pressure. You will notice that in the picture my gauge is reading a bit over 10 pounds. This isn’t a huge deal, but you do not want it much over that..and NEVER under. If your canner ever goes under 10 pounds of pressure, you will have to start your timing back over. I’ve noticed, atleast for my stove, that once my canner reaches it’s pressure point, I can turn the heat down to medium or medium-low and it will stay there.

When processing green beans, you need to process quarts for 25 minutes, and pints for 20.

Once your time is up, turn off the heat and let the canner cool off on it’s own. Once the pressure has returned to zero and the vent lock has went back down, it is now safe to remove the weight. I must say, that nothing devastating will happen if you remove it before the vent lock pops down–just a massive amount of steam. Which is rather scary, and not recommended. :)

After removing the weight, let the steam escape, and remove the lid. Be very careful, the canner still contains steam.

Using your jar lifter, remove the jars from the canner and place on a towel to begin cooling. If you take a close look you will see lots of bubbles rushing to the top. Once they start to cool, you will hear the music to a canner’s ears.


The ping is letting you know that they have sealed properly. If you are uncertain if one has sealed, you can check them by pressing in the middle of lid. If it doesn’t give, then they have sealed properly. Let them cool completely before checking their seals, or you may cause them to “false seal.” The cooling process usually takes about 24 hours.

Now you are able to enjoy fresh from the garden green beans, all year long!

Home canned green beans work for me!

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