Whether you grow the bush or pole type, green beans are a beautiful addition to the home garden. One of the best ways to preserve them is to can green beans for great flavor after the harvest.
Green beans are typically prolific in any garden. Many plants will give you a harvest at least 2-3 times in a season, and 15 plants could easily yield several bushes of green beans. When you are knee deep in green beans, you are probably wondering how you will save them all. Canning them will give you more space in your freezer PLUS make them for quick and easy meals later on. Just open the jar, reheat and eat!
Green beans are a low acid vegetable and MUST be pressure canned for proper food safety. There really is NO amount of time you can process in a hot water bath that will be safe and high enough temps to avoid botulism. You may not know if your food is contaminated until someone gets sick, and it’s not worth the risk.
Here’s how to can your green beans for pantry storage:
- Snap the ends off the beans. They will get tough when canned, so you want to remove them.
- To snap, grasp the end of the bean with one hand and bend. Where it bends naturally is where it “snaps”.
- Remove the stem end and compost or give it to your chickens.
- Snap all the bean into one inch pieces. For uniformity in canning times, you want to get them as close to the same size as possible.
- Place in a clean, hot canning jar.
- Add boiling water on top, leaving 1 inch headspace.
- Wipe the rim with a clean towel to remove any residue.
- Add new lid and clean band, screwed on finger tight.
- Process in a pressure canner at 10lbs pressure for 25 minutes for quarts, 20 minutes for pints.
- Allow canner to cool, then remove jars. Let the canner cool on it’s own, and not by running cold water over it. This is for safety for you, the canner, and the jars inside.
- After 24 hours, check the seals on the jars by pressing down on the lids. Any that “pop” back will need to stored in the fridge and used within 2 days, or reprocessed.
You can normally get 10-12 quarts from a bushel, depending on how small you break the pieces into. The smaller the pieces, the more you need to fill the jar. The jars will store well in a cool, dry, place for up to 1 year before loss of nutrients and flavor can happen.
Want to learn how to pressure can other vegetables? Try these posts: