How to can Green Beans

Learning how to can green beans is one of those procedures in life which is equally about learning how not to can green beans. There are certain procedures which must be followed and certain things which must be avoided if the process is to be conducted both effectively and – most importantly – safely.

The practical side of how to can green beans may unfortunately in the first instance involve some financial outlay, other than that which is perhaps required to buy the actual beans. There is no effective substitute when canning green beans – or anything else, for that matter – for a properly designed pressure canner. If you do not already have one, they can be purchased probably most cost effectively online from a company such as Amazon. Be sure to read the accompanying instructions thoroughly, immediately after purchase and again before canning. You will also have to ensure that you have proper pint jars, lids and seals which are suited to the purpose. If you already have these materials, ensure the canner is working as it should and that the jars, lids and seals are not damaged in anyway.

When picking or buying green beans for canning, it is important to ensure that the beans are still crisp and fresh. The green beans should then be washed thoroughly and about a half-inch trimmed off each end. The beans should then be chopped in to one inch to one and a half inch pieces.

Following the instructions provided with the canner, add the stipulated amount of water and switch it on to begin heating up. The jars should be sterilised in boiling water for at least ten minutes, while the lids should be added to some simmering water for at least five minutes. The items should then be removed from the water with the aid of either appropriate protective gloves or even a thick towel and laid out on another towel to be filled with beans.

When it comes to the stage of packing the beans in the jars, it is important to leave just over an inch between the beans and the top of the jar. This is to allow the water to be subsequently added and further room for pressure expansion to occur. There are many who now advocate putting some salt in to the jars at this stage but I prefer a different and simpler option.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil, allowing at least a half pint of water for each jar. Add a quarter of teaspoon of salt to this water for each jar and this eliminates the intricacies of trying to pour the salt in to the jars without getting any stuck on the rims. Fill each jar with water to an inch below the rim, ensuring that the beans are covered. Put the lids and seals on to each jar, moderately tightly but not overly so.

Again being careful to protect your hands, place the jars of green beans in the canner, place the lid on top and allow it to vent for the stipulated time, usually about ten minutes. After this time, weight and seal the pressure canner and allow the pressure to build to over ten pounds. Set the timer for twenty minutes for the one pound jars you are using and keep an eye on the pressure canner to ensure that the pressure remains between ten and eleven pounds for the duration. Adjust the heat up or down as required.

After twenty minutes, turn the canner off and allow it to cool down and the pressure to drop to zero. Even leave it overnight, provided there are no pets or small children likely to knock against it! The lid can then be removed and the jars carefully removed with protective handware and laid on a towel to cool, if they have not already done so. When the jars are cool, press on the lids to ensure that the lid stays down and that the jars are sealed.

The practicalities of how to can green beans are therefore not really complicated but do require a great deal of attention to safety. Provided this fact is acknowledged, you will soon have several jars of canned green beans which will hopefully see you through the winter.


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