Canning Green Beans

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It’s official.

I’m now a country girl.

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Nick and I canned green beans this week for the first time. 8 pints on Monday night and 7 quarts Tuesday night.

And we still have buckets of green beans to get through. Plus, we’ve only picked the first harvest of the beans, which means we have weeks of beans to deal with.

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Until Monday, I was terrified of canning. I knew it couldn’t be horribly hard to do, but I know that it’s one very long process that you have follow – to the letter – or your food will go to waste.

I think starting with green beans was a good idea. They weren’t hard at all!

First, the basics you need:

  • jars, lids, and rings
  • a pressure cooker
  • boiling water
  • green beans
  • timer

That list doesn’t look too scary, right?

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We started out by filling our clean jars with some hot water and letting them sit while we got everything else ready.

While the jars were warming from the water, we set the green beans out next to the jars, got the hot water going in the tea kettle, turned the pressure cooker on to start getting warm, and got the lids simmering in a small pan of water.

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Once the water in the tea kettle was boiling and our lids were simmering on low, we got started filling the jars.

We decided to do a raw pack with the green beans (not cooking them before putting them in the jars) because they cook for 20 minutes in the pressure cooker and we didn’t want totally mushy green beans.

Nick dumped the hot water out of each jar and filled them with green beans (to the bottom of the ring part of the jar, leaving a 1” headspace for cooking) before passing them to me.

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I poured some of our boiling water from the tea kettle on top of the green beans, filling to the same level.

Then we used this canning tool I got last year to press any extra air bubbles out of the jars before sealing. You could also use any other wooden or plastic spoon.

Once the air bubbles were out, I wiped the top of the jar off, put a lid on and secured the ring.

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Then once each jar is filled and the lids and rings are on, you put them in the pressure cooker and get cooking.

We followed the directions that came with our pressure cooker, which were to let the jars cook in the cooker (without the pressure seal) for 10 minutes with constant steam coming out of the cooker. After those 10 minutes, we put the seal on to trap the pressure until it got to 10-11 pounds of pressure.

Once it hit that level, we cooked these pint jars for 20 minutes at 10-11 pounds of pressure.

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Once the time is up, you move the pressure cooker off the heat and let it cool until the pressure is released.

By the time the cooker has cooled down and the pressure is gone, the jars have (most likely) sealed and popped and are ready for storing.

And now we have 15 jars of green beans! With plenty more beans to get through.

For our first time canning, I think it went well. It’s not a hard process, but it does take a long time from start to finish.

I seriously can’t wait to use these this winter when green beans are a summer memory. And tomatoes? Those will be exciting come January. But canning tomatoes will be a different adventure – coming soon!

 

Have you ever canned anything?

28 Responses to “Canning Green Beans”

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    1
    Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde — July 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    What a cool post, i totally pictured you out in the country canning your beans with cows grazing outside :)
    Thanks for the how to, i’ve always wondered how to can veggies!

    • admin replied: — July 20th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

      how did you know we want a cow? :)

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    2
    Amy B @ Second City Randomness — July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    I used to help my mom can stuff when I was growing up.

    And I currently make her give me canned stuff from the garden now that I am grown.

    Some things never change. :)

    • admin replied: — July 20th, 2011 at 1:47 pm

      That sounds like a good deal :)

  3. #
    3
    Erica — July 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    HOW cool! I have never canned anything- but would love to try. Our old roommates Mom was big into canning- she made so many amazing things…especially her various pickles (yum!).

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    4
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen — July 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I am so impressed! I’m going to bookmark this post for whenever I get over my fear of canning. [Probably not until next year. But you never know. :)]

    • admin replied: — July 20th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      You can do it! It’s not nearly as scary as I thought it would be.

  5. #
    5
    laura — July 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    what a great idea and a good way to minimise waste

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    6
    Lindsay@The Lean Green Bean — July 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    super impressed with your canning skills! i’ve always been too afraid to try canning.

  7. #
    7
    Tammy — July 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I am impressed!
    I am also embarressed to say your canning is as close to canning I will probably get!

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    8
    Sarah R — July 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Very, very cool! Those beans will taste a heck of a lot better than any bean you’d get from the store come wintertime!

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    9
    Maris (In Good Taste) — July 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    What a great job! You make it look easy!

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    10
    holly — July 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    gah, i wish i could be a country gal like you. so cool! i think canning is such a lost art…reminds me of laura ingalls wilder :)

    • admin replied: — July 20th, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Well, if you ever come visit me, we’ll can something together. Deal? :)

  11. #
    11
    Sophia — July 20, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I never canned anything in my life, but I wonder if kimchi counts…?
    If I were to can, I think I would can vats and vats of chunky tomato sauce.

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    12
    Julie @SavvyEats — July 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    I’m so proud of you and your canning!

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    13
    Lauren @ What Lauren Likes — July 20, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    how cool! I have never canned beans before :) its great that you have sooo many!

  14. #
    14
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — July 21, 2011 at 12:45 am

    so cool! those are going to be so great come winter time!

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    15
    Kelly — July 21, 2011 at 1:54 am

    A couple of summers ago I had a canning party with friends. It was quite fun. We did apple butter, various salsas, and apple pie filling. I’ve definitely been wanting to try it again even though it intimidates me a little.

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    16
    Lauren @ vegology — July 21, 2011 at 2:24 am

    I am so impressed! I am also terrified of canning but really want to try it. This post makes it seem way more approachable.

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    Shannon — July 21, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    wow, very cool. someday, I want to do this :)

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    Melissa @ TryingToHeal — July 22, 2011 at 1:01 am

    oh man! I wish i had a pressure cooker so i could do that! i’ve been getting so many green beans in my produce boxes for weeks!

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    Denise — July 1, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Why did the liquid in my jars of beand turn reddish brown?

    • admin replied: — July 3rd, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      mine does, too – i think that just happens because the beans basically cook IN the jars, in the water, while they’re in the canner.

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    AL — September 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    I’ve tried this method twice. Both times half the water boiled out of the jars. Do I need to tighten the rings more before pressure cooking for 20 minutes?

    • admin replied: — September 9th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      Half of the water? That’s not normal. There’s definitely less liquid – or, really, as the green beans cook in the jars in the pressure cooker, they just cook down from their raw state, so the beans + water take up less room in the jars. Mine are definitely lower in the jars than the level when I put them in the pressure cooker, but not by half. Are you packing the green beans in as tight as you can before pouring in the boiling water?

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