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Learn how to can green beans the easy way using the raw pack method. This is the perfect tutorial for beginner canners and those who want their fresh green beans preserved for year-round eating without a ton of prep work.
Choose freshly picked green beans, rinse clean, snap to bite-size pieces, place in jars and cover with boiling water, then pressure can for just 20 minutes! Easy peasy and no need to pre-cook or blanch your green beans.
Green beans were the first thing I learned how to can on my own as a newlywed over twenty years ago (I was 18-years-old when I got married, I’ll spare you the math) and I’ve never bought green beans from the store and neither will you after seeing how easy it is to can them at home. Especially once you taste them, they’re full of flavor! My kids refuse to eat green beans from the store or restaurants because they taste nothing like home-canned green beans.
Pressure canner (here’s how to pick the best pressure canner for your stove-type and budget)
Canning lids and bands (I buy my canning lids in bulk sleeves here)
Bubble popper/headspace measurer (or a ruler)
Fresh green beans – on average you’ll need 1 pound of green beans per pint (or 2 pounds per quart)
Canning salt (salt is optional but trust me, you want to add it or beans will be extremely bland tasting)
Place pressure canner on stove-top and fill with rack and hot water, water level should be 2 to 3 inches deep. Turn burner on medium heat to keep water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.
Wash Mason jars and lids in hot soapy water. DO NOT boil the lids. Canning lid guidelines changed in 2014 and boiling the lids can affect their ability to seal. You do not need to sterilize lids or jars as long as you’re processing jars for 10 minutes or longer (which you definitely are when pressure canning). Place freshly washed jars on a clean towel on the counter.
Fill Mason jars with green beans to a 1-inch headspace (space from the top of the green beans to the top of the jar). Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pint jars or 1 teaspoon salt to quart jars (salt is optional but does provide better flavor). Always use canning salt or sea salt with NO added anti-caking agents or ingredients, regular table salt is not recommended.
Pour just off the boil water over the top of the green beans until the liquid level reaches the 1-inch headspace.
Use a canner bubble/headspace tool (or ruler if you don’t have a headspace tool) to remove air bubbles by running it between the glass and outside of the food. Remeasure your headspace and add extra water if needed.
Use a damp cloth and wipe the rim of your glass jar clean. This helps to ensure there’s nothing that will inhibit a seal from forming. Place lid and canning band on and tighten to fingertip tight (over-tightening canning bands can cause lids to buckle). Place in the prepared pressure canner.
Place lid on the pressure canner and allow to vent for 10 minutes. Then place weight on pressure canner according to your altitude and process for 20 minutes for pint jars or 25 minutes for quart jars. Remove from canner following pressure canning protocol
Green beans are a low-acid vegetable and must be pressure canned. The only safe way to water bath can green beans is if they’re pickled, the addition of vinegar changes the pH level to 4.6, making them safe to water bath can.
The National Center of Home Food Preservation states that home-canned food is best used within 12 months for optimal nutritional benefits but provided you followed tested times/procedures and store canned goods out of direct sunlight and below 90 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be good for years. We practice rotation and try to use all of our home-canned food within 18 months but have had jars that are older and the food has been fine.
I prefer to use the raw pack (or cold pack) method of canning green beans. It requires less work on my part and is an approved and tested way to can. You can do a hot pack method if you wish, which involves blanching the green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes, before jarring and processing in a pressure canner.
Canning Problems and Solutions: Siphoning (Liquid Loss in Jars)
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.