Canning Green Beans

Green beans are some of the easier things we have grown in our home garden. Being able to put food up for after season use is very important to us. Canning is the best way to preserve your garden’s harvest through winter. Many people choose to freeze for future use, but frozen beans only last a few months if not stored properly. They also lose their flavor and pleasing texture in a short time.

There are several varieties of green beans to choose from.  If growing your own, I recommend the bush bean variety so that you get a large crop at once. Pole beans tend to give you a few at a time over a season, where as bush beans come on all at once and you can preserve them in larger quantity. We use pole beans for eating fresh and bush beans for putting up for storage.

Make sure you remove the ends and strings if your beans have them. I found that our beans didn’t have strings. Maybe that is something they bred out of the commercial plants?

Be sure to review your pressure canners use instructions, and review my post on pressure canning before you begin.

Here is the process for canning your beans from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Beans, Snap and Italian – Pieces, Green and Wax

Quantity: An average of 14 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 9 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 30 pounds and yields 12 to 20 quarts – an average of 2 pounds per quart.

Quality: Select filled but tender, crisp pods. Remove and discard diseased and rusty pods.

If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash beans and trim ends. Leave whole or cut or snap into 1- 3 inch pieces.

Pick one:

Hot pack –Cover with boiling water; boil 5 minutes. Fill jars loosely with beans, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of canning salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Cover beans with hot cooking liquid, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Fill jars tightly with raw beans, leaving 1-inch headspace. Add 1 teaspoon of canning salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Add boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Adjust lids and process in a pressure canner following the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the type of canner being used. (There is no safe option for processing green beans in a boiling water canner.)

Table 1. Recommended process time for Snap and Italian Beans in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 2,000 ft 2,001 – 4,000 ft 4,001 – 6,000 ft 6,001 – 8,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints 20 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 25 11 12 13 14
Table 2. Recommended process time for Snap and Italian Beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 – 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints 20 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 25 10 15

Some people like to can their green beans with bacon or onions or both. What are some good green bean recipes you would like to share?

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