Taking the intimidation factor out of pressure canning by walking you step-by-step through the process of canning green beans
Canning green beans is more of a process than it is a recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Canning Tools (tongs, lid wand and more)
- Pressure Canner
- Pint canning jars (or quart) with lids/rings (jars and lids should be clean and inspected for any damage prior to use)
- kitchen towels
- fresh, tender green beans – washed, trimmed, de-stringed and snapped/cut into 2 inch pieces
- boiling water
Here you can watch a video of me taking you through the whole process:
First of all, when you are canning any kind of food, always read through the entire instructions before even starting. That way you have an idea already of what will be taking place, and won’t forget anything.
Always inspect your pressure canner prior to use. Make sure the gasket is clean and not damaged, that all the parts are in good shape, and properly attached.
Here’s How to Do It:
- First, start a pot of boiling water. This will be added to the jars as you fill them.
- Place your jars in your pressure canner with some water and turn on the stove to get them hot. You don’t have to sterilize them because they are being pressure canned. However, they do need to be hot because you will be adding the boiling water to them. Use jar tongs to move the hot jars in and out of the canner.
- Line your work space with a kitchen towel. This does two things. First, it absorbs any water that drips from your ladle, keep the surface manageable. Second, it creates a buffer between the counter (which my be cold) and the hot jars.
- Fill each jar with green beans, packing them in tightly and leave an inch of head space. Head space is the distance between the top of the food to the top of the jar.
- If you are canning in pint jars, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the jar. If canning in quart jars, add 1 teaspoon.
- Ladle in boiling water, and fill to the head space.
- Using a “bubble wand” slide it in around the beans, pressing the beans into the jar and allowing any air bubbles to escape.
- Place your lid and ring on the jar, and tighten it finger tight. Place the jar back into the pressure canner. Repeat the above process with all of you beans.
Now that your beans are ready to can, fill the pressure canner with hot water to the fill line. Inside your pressure canner is a line that marks where the water should come to. Depending upon your canner, this might be difficult to see, so you may want to look for it and know where it is before you even start.
Place the lid on your canner, locking it into place. Turn your stove up to high heat to bring the water inside to a boil and begin building pressure.
As the heat and pressure build, the air vent/cover lock will wobble and eventually pop up and stay. Then the pressure will begin building. Watch the gauge.
Green beans should be canned at 10 psig. If you live more than 1000 above sea level, you will need to make a few adjustments. Adjustments are needed for both pressure and hot water bath canning, so know your elevation. For hot water bath canning, you adjust the time. For pressure canning, you adjust the pressure.
Pressures Based on Elevation:
- 1001-3000 ft – pressure can at 12 psig
- 3001-5000 ft – pressure can at 13 psig
- 5001-7000 ft – pressure can at 14 psig
- 7001+ ft – pressure can at 15 psig
Once the pressure has reached the appropriate level for your elevation, start your timer.
- 20 minutes if canning pints
- 25 minutes if canning quarts.
Adjust the heat of the stove to maintain the pressure at the appropriate level. This to me, is the only real hard part of pressure canning. Watching that gauge like a hawk and keeping the pressure at the right level.
When your time is done, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool and the pressure to come down naturally.
Do not vent the lid to release the pressure faster.
While that is something that is easily and safely done with pressure cooking, if you do it with a pressure canner, the pressure can drop too quickly causing your jars to not seal properly. Just be patient. You’ve hovered over the stove monitoring the heat & pressure – go get a cup of coffee, vacuum the house or do something else for a while.
When the canner has cooled and the pressure has dropped, the air vent/cover lock will drop back down. Once the pressure is low enough, open your canner. If it is too hard to open, just give it more time to cool.
With your jar tongs, carefully remove each jar, placing it on a towel-lined surface, out of the way and away from drafts. Now leave the jars untouched for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove the rings and check each lid to be sure it sealed. To do this, simply press down in the center of the lid with your finger. It should feel firmly pulled down into the jar. If it bends and buckles, the jar is not sealed.
Label your jars with the contents and date, then store them away in your pantry to enjoy all year.
The method above is called the “Raw Pack” method of canning green beans.