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How to Can Green Beans

How to Can Green Beans

Oft, people are apprehensive about the preservative content in canned green beans purchased from grocery stores. By canning the green beans at home, one can rest assured about this fact.
Priya Johnson
Canned green beans are commonly available in grocery stores, however, the taste of homemade canned green beans is far better than the store ones. Canning is better than freezing green beans because canned green beans has a greater shelf life as compared to the frozen ones. Frozen beans stay good for approximately 12-18 months in the freezer, while low acid canned green beans are in edible state for the next 5 years (when kept in a cool and dry location). However, oft people are bothered by the question of how to can green beans. Canning green beans is not a complicated and expensive process. By following some simple canning green beans instructions, one can have green beans canned at home itself.

Ingredients for Canning Green Beans
  • Fresh and crisp green beans
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Pressure canner
  • Jar grabber
  • Jar funnel
  • Large pot
  • Spoons, ladles and sharp knife
  • Canning jars with rings and lids
The best green beans for canning are the fresh and crisp ones, irrespective of the type. Limp old beans result in awful tasting green beans. One can either pick these beans from one's own garden or purchase them at the grocery store. As far as how many jars are appropriate for the beans amount, one can consider the reference: 14 pounds of beans makes 7 quart jars. The canning equipment used needs to be sterilized before use.

Steps to Can Green Beans

Step 1: Green Bean Preparation
Take fresh green beans and rinse them thoroughly in a clean sink full of cool water. Cool water keeps the beans crisp. Allow them to dry properly and then start stringing the beans. To string easily, it is better to start pulling the tip of one end and string one side. Do the same with the other side. Discard the soft, shriveled, overripe and overly flat beans. Break the beans into three pieces of approximately the same size.

Step 2: Jar Preparation
Washing the canning jars in scalding water is the first most important step in canning. One should ensure that the jars have no chips or cracks in the rim. New flat lids are to be used, which need to be sterilized along with the jars. To sterilize, place the jars and lids in the dishwasher (sterilize cycle) or in boiling water for ten minutes. Put the lids and bands in a pan of simmering water, when the time of canning comes closer. Do not boil the lids, and avoid stacking them one above the other; instead scatter them out in the pan. Warm jars and lids ensure a seal as the lids come in contact with water.

Step 3: Pressure Canner
Take the pressure canner and rinse it out. Place the rack plate at the bottom of the vessel and fill it with hot water to a depth of 4 inches. Place it on the stove over low heat, so that it gets heated up for use later on. Do not allow it to get too hot, so as to avoid breaking of jars. Depending on the type of pressure canner, follow the instructions for getting it ready.

Step 4: Raw Packing
This step is termed raw packing because raw beans are packed into jars and not cooked ones. Pack the jars with the chopped green beans, all the while ensuring the beans are packed fairly tightly. However, one must make sure one inch space is left free at the top of the jar. This space is important for expansion later on. Add 1 tsp of regular salt or ΒΌ tsp of canning salt per jar. Clean the brim of any salt particles that may have adhered to it. One can take the help of a ladle to cautiously pour boiling water into the jar packed with green beans. Pour in enough hot water to fill within one inch of the top. At the end, there should be one inch of airspace left at the top of the packed jar. Place the warm lids onto the jars, and use the rings to keep the seal firm.

Step 5: Placing Jars in the Canner
Lift the jars packed with green beans into the warm water in the pressure canner. Use jar tongs to place all the jars on the rack of the canner. Maintain the water level in the canner to a depth of 4 inches. Once all this is done, place a lid onto the canner and twist it to place. However, leave the weight off or the valve open. Put the heat on high and for the next 10 minutes allow steam to escape through the vent, so as to remove the airspace inside the pressure canner. After this venting time, place the weight on and allow the pressure to build. Once the canner gauge hits 10 pounds, start the timer going for 25 minutes. Keep adjusting the heat to maintain 10 pounds pressure. Then, take out the hot jars from the canner and place them on the cooling rack. Allow the canned jars to cool, without any disturbance.

These wonderful, canned beans can be prepared in several different ways. There are various recipes for canning green beans that can be used to prepare mouth-watering delicacies of these canned green beans. Canned beans should not be boiled or overcooked, but must be heated to merely serving temperature. They can be seasoned using herbs and spices, and also go well with other vegetables such as red peppers, onions, broccoli and cauliflower.