Green beans are probably one of my favorite crops to grow at home. They’re usually pretty prolific producers and well, we really like to eat them.
If you don’t care for the tinned green beans from the store, I get ya. I’m not a fan of the metal flavor it kind of imparts into the beans. Usually by the time I’m finished seasoning them to get the tinny taste away, they don’t taste much like green beans at all. Even with that weird coating they put on the inside of the cans (not so sure I’m a fan of that either, but that’s another conversation) they still have a metal taste to them.
Home canned green beans, on the other hand, taste nothing like the things in cans at the store. They’re full of flavor and just taste like a cooked green bean.
In the past, I always froze our beans. I was intimidated by the idea of pressure canning and was afraid to tackle such a task. Yet, I have much more room in our pantry for home canned produce than I do in our freezer. I finally caved and bought a pressure canner. I did a few batches of different things and now, I’m totally comfortable.
In fact, now I can’t imagine canning season without that big beast. It’s amazing.
If this is your first time trying to pressure can, green beans are an easy start! Don’t be intimidated and not try. They don’t take long, crops are generally plentiful, and there aren’t a ton of steps involved to worry about!
You’ve got this….
How to Can Green Beans
Do I have to use a pressure canner?
You do. In the past I always froze our beans. The idea of using a pressure canner intimidated me. I was afraid I would screw something up more so than worried it would explode. I finally caved and bought a pressure canner, though. Best investment of my life.
Canned green beans, to me, taste a lot better than frozen ones. Most varieties we grow in our gardens are made to can, not to freeze. So, unless you purchase a variety specifically meant for freezing, you’re going to end up unsatisfied with the results.
You have to, have to, have to use a pressure canner to safely can green beans. They are a low acid food and that means water bath canners are out of the question. You don’t want to feed your family botulism, so don’t take the chance. Just do what needs done, it’ll be okay. I promise.
What quantity do I need?
Since this is a crop that needs pressure canning and that can take up a bit of time, I like to can them in large batches all at once. You could obviously do small quantities if that’s all you have, but the more the merrier when it comes to canning sessions in this house. I like to get it done in one big session over the course of a day or two.
Green beans will yield approximately one quart jar for every 2 pounds of beans. So, amounts will look something like this:
- 14 Pounds will yield 7 Quarts
- 1 Bushel (30 pounds) will yield approximately 15 Quarts
- If you choose to can in pints, one pound of beans will fill approximately 1 jar.
Ways to use canned green beans
You can use canned green beans in recipes for soups and stews, or throw them in the pan with a little butter or bacon grease and eat just like they are. It’s really up to you. They do not have a tinny taste like their store-bought counterparts and they aren’t particularly mushy. However, if you are adding them to a dish that needs cooked for a while, add them toward the end since they’re already cooked.
What special tools do I need to can green beans?
You don’t need much to can them, just a few basic canning tools, jars, a pressure canner, green beans, and salt.
How long does it take to can them at home?
Canning is the easy part of the whole process. Most of the active time involved is the actual prep work to get them ready for the jars. I do use a raw pack method (some use hot pack), which saves a bit on time. They just have to be washed thoroughly and packed. The actual canning process takes less than 45 minutes (25 minutes at pressure).
Canning green beans is an easy way to preserve your harvest and save valuable freezer space.
- 2 Pounds Green Beans, per quart
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt, per quart
- Prepare by sanitizing jars and washing lids and rings.
- Put on a 5 qt pot of water to simmer. It doesn't need to boil, just needs to be hot.
- To prepare your beans, you need to gather your green beans and wash them. Discard any rusted or diseased beans. Next, snap off the tips and discard. Then, cut or snap the beans into 1-2 inch pieces. Rinse again.
- Pack jars tightly with prepared green beans and 1 teaspoon of salt. Ladle water into canning jar leaving a generous 1" of headspace. If you see air pockets, use a plastic utensil to remove them, adjusting headspace if necessary.
- Wipe jar rim with a clean cloth, and center lid on jar. Tighten the ring finger tight.
- Carefully place jars back into the pressure canner. Adjust the water level so that you have about 3" of water in the canner around the jars. I also add a teaspoon of vinegar, this helps the hard water deposits from forming on your jars of food and in your canner.
- Place the lid on canner and tighten it down, but do not add the weight to the vent yet.
- Begin with high heat until the water begins to boil and steam begins escaping the vent. Allow it to vent for 10 minutes before placing the weight on the vent.
- Place the 10 pound weight on the vent if you're below 1,000 feet, place the 15 pound weight on if you're over 1,000 feet.
- Process quart jars for 25 minutes ensuring you maintain appropriate pressure the entire time.
- Once processing time is up, turn off heat. Allow pressure to release naturally. Once your pressure gauge reads zero, you can safely remove the weight. Wait two more minutes after removing the weigh before opening the lid.
- Once your weight is removed and you've waited two minutes, you can safely remove the lid. Allow the jars to sit in canner for another 10 minutes before removing.
- Place jars on towel lined counter to cool overnight. Do not disturb.
- After the jars have set for 12 hours, check seals. If it didn't seal, don't fret, just place the jar in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
- Remove rings, label, and store appropriately.
Green beans are a great crop to can up to enjoy year round, and it’s not all that scary or time consuming once you get going on it.