Canning green beans the old-fashioned way

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Food Blog Photos (19)There’s nothing like a home-canned green bean, and if you grow them in your garden, you know there’s a time of the year when there’s an abundance of green beans. The taste is fresher, and the texture is crispier than anything you’ll find in a store-bought can. Plus, green beans are a low-acid food! There’s a certain satisfaction that comes from knowing you did it yourself, and it can be easy even on your first time. If you’ve never canned green beans before, don’t worry. Home food preservation is not as difficult as you might think. With this step-by-step guide, you’ll be a pro in no time.

What You’ll Need

In order to can raw beans the old-fashioned way, you’ll need canning equipment. First, you’ll need a large pot for boiling the beans. You’ll also need some jars—either mason jars or Ball jars work well (of any size — pint jars and quart jars work well). Make sure to get new lids for your jars, as well as some rings to secure the lids in place. Finally, you’ll need a jar lifter so that you can safely remove the hot jars from the boiling water. And don’t forget your string beans from your own garden or the grocery store!


Step 1

First thing, wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water. Then, sterilize them by boiling them for 10 minutes. Keep them in hot water until you’re ready to use them. 

Step 2

Then, you’ll need to wash beans, preferably in cold water. Trim the ends off of your green beans and cut them into uniform pieces. If you want, you can blanch them by boiling them for 3-5 minutes before adding them to the jars. This will help preserve their color and texture. You can also add canning salt if you’d like.

Step 3

Using a funnel, fill each jar with fresh green beans, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top of the jar. 

Step 4

Add enough water (boiling hot!) to the jars until the green beans are covered, and there is still an inch of headspace at the top. 

Step 5

Remove any air bubbles by running a knife or chopstick around the inside of each jar. 

Step 6

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any food residue. This will ensure that the lids seal properly. 

Step 7

Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until they’re tight but not too tight. 

Step 8

Boil the jars for 10 minutes to seal them. Be sure to keep them covered with at least an inch of water while they’re boiling. 

Step 9

Remove the jars from the pot and let them cool on a towel or wire rack overnight before storing them in a cool, dark place. 

Now, it might really be that easy, but there are some issues to look out for: 

Overfilling Jars 

One of the most common problems people have when attempting to can green beans is overfilling their jars of green beans. This is an especially common problem for newbies who don’t fully understand the concept of pressure canning and how much room should be left in each jar for air and liquid expansion. Overfilling your jars may result in your jars cracking or breaking during the pressure canning process, leaving you with a mess to clean up and wasting food. To prevent this from happening, make sure to leave at least an inch of headspace in each jar before you start the pressure canning process. 

Undercooking/Cooking Too Long 

Another issue people often run into when trying to pressure can green beans is undercooking or overcooking them. Undercooked beans may not last as long during storage as properly cooked ones, as bacteria could still be present, which could cause spoilage if not handled correctly. On the other hand, if your beans are cooked too long, they may become mushy or turn a darker color than desired. To ensure proper cooking times, always follow instructions listed on products such as Ball® Canning Jars, which provide accurate cooking times depending on the type of bean and the size of the jar being used. 

Improper Sealing 

If your cans aren’t sealed properly after processing, there’s a chance that contaminants could enter your canned goods, resulting in spoilage or contamination issues down the line. To ensure proper sealing, always make sure that your lids are tightened securely before placing them in the pressure canner or water bath canner, and keep an eye out for any signs of leakage while processing (like water seeping out from around the lid). Additionally, when removing cans from the pressure cooker, let vertical cans stand upright for at least 12 hours before storing them to give lids time to cool and seal properly so your food stays fresh! 

Canning is Fun!

Overall, canning green beans is no easy feat, but if done correctly, it will yield delicious results that will last for months or even years! By following important steps such as leaving enough headspace in each jar before starting the process and making sure not to overcook or undercook your beans, you can ensure that canned goods stay safe and preserve their flavor for longer periods of time–giving you more bang for your buck! So next time you decide to tackle this difficult task, remember these tips! With practice comes perfection; don’t give up hope if it takes several tries–you’ll get there eventually and soon will be able to make your own green bean casserole!