How to Can Green Beans in a Pressure Canner

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How to can green beans in a pressure canner.Green beans are a great candidate for a first-time gardener and for someone new to canning. They grow well in lots of different gardening zones. They grow and produce rather quickly, and the more you pick them, the more they produce.

They are easy to can and will provide your family with a green vegetable throughout the winter, making them a great choice for food storage. We love green beans in our house. It’s the only green vegetable my whole family likes, so we eat them about twice a week, with lots of bacon grease. You can find our favorite recipe here.

Equipment Required

  • Clean canning jars with lids and rings
  • Pressure canner with gauge and rack (you cannot use a water bath canner)
  • Canning funnel
  • Ladle or large spoon
  • Jar lifter
  • Magnetic lid wand
  • Non-metallic small spatula (I use a chopstick)
  • Large pot to heat jars
  • Large pot to heat beans
  • Colander

To Can Green Beans

Break ends off beans and then break into smaller, 1 – 1 ½ inch, pieces. I normally break beans at night while watching TV and can them the next day. It takes awhile to get them all broken. Rinse well in several changes of water.

How to can green beans.Gather your equipment and wash with hot soapy water.

Place clean jars in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer. Place the lids in a smaller pot and bring to a simmer as well. Do not boil the lids.

Add water to your pressure canner to the appropriate level (check the directions for your specific canner model) and turn the burner to medium. You want to warm the water to about 180 degrees, not boil it. Tip: Add a splash of vinegar to your water to help keep your jars free from residue while processing.

Bring another large pot of water to a boil and add the broken, washed green beans. Boil for 5 minutes and remove beans from cooking liquid. Reserve cooking liquid to cover beans in jars.

How to can green beans.Working one jar at a time, use your jar lifter to remove the jar from simmering water, dumping the water back into the pot.

Put the canning funnel on your jar and fill hot jar with hot beans, to 1 inch of headspace.

Add canning salt (optional), ½ tsp for pints, 1 tsp for quarts.

Ladle the hot cooking liquid over the beans, leaving 1-inch headspace.

How to can green beans.Slide your spatula – or any non-metallic utensil – between the green beans and jar; press back gently on the beans to release any trapped air bubbles. Do this a couple times, then add more cooking liquid if necessary to the correct headspace.

Into the pressure canner!

It’s now time to place each jar in your pressure canner. Your canner probably came with instructions for the amount of pressure and time for your particular location, but if you’re still unsure, refer to the Blue Ball Book Guide to Preserving or your local extension office.

Once your green beans have been processed, remove bands and check to make sure your jars have sealed by pressing down in the center of the lid. If the lid pops back up, your jar hasn’t sealed correctly and should be refrigerated and consumed within one week. Store your canned goods in a cool, dry, dark place.

Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor! You can enjoy the flavor of green beans all year long!

Want more information about canning? I recommend these resources:

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13 thoughts on “How to Can Green Beans in a Pressure Canner”

  1. I’ve been canning beans for over 40 years. As a family we prefer to blanch our beans prior to canning. Yes, more time is spent at the front end since the beans are heated in a large pot until they change color but it speeds up the process time because your beans are already hot and the canner will reach canning temperature much quicker. We also like the taste because they taste like you just cooked fresh beans and not like the ones from the cans in the store. Jars will hold more beans if they’re blanched and the beans last for years. We generally only can a few bushels these last few years but we have canned over 200 quarts of green beans in a year. We also can meats and rehydrate and can various types of dried beans.

  2. Sounds easy enough! This will be my first time canning anything. Hoping all goes well! What is the shelf life on canned beans? Thanks

    1. The shelf life depends on how long it’s stored. Store ALL food in a dark, cool location. Home canned foods generally have a shelf life of about 2 years. All foods will gradually lose nutrients, flavor, color, and texture over time, and that includes anything you can at home. As well, high acid foods will have a shorter shelf life overall.

  3. John E. Crane MD

    With pressure canning, presterilizing of the jars and lids is not necessary. The jars should be as clean as any other dish you would eat from, but boiling is unnecessary as the pressure canning process will sterilize EVERYTHING!

    1. Pressure cookers are NOT the same as pressure canners. Water bath canners are very inexpensive and the process is easy to learn. If you’re just starting out, begin with foods that can be canned safely using a water bath canner. These are high acid foods: fruit, fruit juice, jams, salsa, tomatoes, pickles, etc. Your best bet is to get a beginner’s book and start there. Simply Canning by Sharon Peterson is a very good book.

  4. I just, following your recipe, canned 6 qts of hot pack green beans yesterday. I noticed when they were done, some of the liquid had evaporated. They sealed good and look great, is it normal to lose some liquid? Also, my husband wants me to put onions in them next time. can I and do I par boil them too? Am loving this canning thing. Thanks for your guidance.

    1. Terri Hargrove

      I am having the same issue with the water evaporating from my jars while in the pressure cooker. They seal good and taste good but dont look too pretty with the water not full. Am I doing something wrong?

  5. So I canned green beans for the first time last season and when we opened them the beans were really soft, almost to soft to eat. Any ideas on what I did wrong?
    Thanks for any help!
    Crystal

  6. Kelly Mortenson

    I was searching for the one piece of info you left out… time. Mom’s Ball Blue Book is missing or stolen. She asked me to look up the time required in the canner. Just ran out of time on my break; back to work.

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