To be honest, I really prefer canned green beans over frozen green beans. Many may not share my opinions but it is just that, my own. This year I had the privilege to can a nice amount of green beans. With green beans, since they are a low acidic vegetable they need to be preserved in a pressure canner. The idea of a pressure canner is a little daunting to some but is actually very easy to use. Here are the steps of canning green beans.
Always start by preparing your jars and gathering your needed utensils. Check your jars for any nicks or cracks along the edges that would prevent them from sealing properly. You will want to leave your jars in hot water or run them through a heated cycle on your dishwasher to get the jars nice and hot.
Gather your lids and screw bands. Place your lids in a small sauce pan with water on a low to medium heat. This will prepare the seals. I like to cover my countertops that I will be using with clean towels as I am pretty messy. Now would also be the time to gather your funnel, lid lifter, spatula or other non-metallic instrument used to remove air bubbles and your jar lifters.
This is the fun part, snap your beans and remove the strings or you can cut them if you want uniform pieces. The kids help me snap them so they are different size but we have fun doing it.
Next cover your green beans and boil them for five minutes.
Add 3-4 inches of water in your pressure canner and turn it on medium-high to begin to heat. (The amount of water may vary depending on the make of pressure canner being used so please check your manual that came with your specific canner).
Fill one jar at a time. Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart and then cover your green beans with boiling water. Make sure you leave a one inch head space for expansion.
Remove your funnel and use a non-metallic instrument to remove air pockets. With an up and down motion, go around the jar a couple of times. Wipe the top of your jar and the threads with a clean, damp cloth.
Place your canner lid on and seal according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Each pressure cooker again will be different, I have an older style but it works great!
If you have an older style pressure canner like myself, you may have a weighted gauge. If so, you will not want to start your timer until the pressure builds to the point that your gauge starts to vent and the gauge jiggle. My children say that it sounds like a choo-choo train. At this point, lower your heat until the gauge only jiggles 2-3 times a minute. On my cook stove I lower the heat to between 3-4 but each range will vary. (If you are uncertain about what I am explaining, don’t worry! If you watch my video below, you will see exactly what I mean by the sound. Sorry about the video quality).
If you have a dial presser canner, you will have a separate vent. Leave your vent open until steam has escaped for about 10 minutes. Close your vent.
If you are below 2,000 feet above sea level bring your pressure to 10 pounds. For pint jars process for 20 minutes. For quart jars process 25 minutes.
Turn off your heat or remove your canner from the heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally.
For the weighted gauge canner, this happens when you no longer hear the steam escaping the vent. With a potholder or an oven mitt, remove the weighted gauge carefully as steam will continue to escape. After it finishes, slowly remove the lid holding it at an angle away from your face to shield any possible steam still escaping.
For a dial gauge, after the pressure ahs fallen to zero on the dial, wait at least 2 minutes and open the vent carefully. next open your canner at an angle also to prevent steam from escaping.
Remove your jars from the canner and place them on a towel in an area free of drafts. Do nt tighten the bands. Allow to cool at least 12 hours and remove the bands.
Test the seal of each jar by pressing in the center of the lid. If a proper vacuum seal has formed then the center of the lid will have a small indentation and will not spring back when pressed on with your finger. If they do not seal well, then either place in the refrigerator to eat within a few days or re-process it.
Store your jars without the bands in a cool, preferably dark place.
Here is a video tutorial of pressure canning green beans. Please do not mind when the kids chime in or the laughter as a result. I am very new to shooting videos and I am sure you can see I do not like to be in front of the camera. I think sometimes, for visual people it is helpful.
There is nothing like being able to open your cupboards to look at the food that you yourself preserved for your family!
Although it may take a little time, in my opinion it is so well worth the effort. To read about why I enjoy canning, go here. If you have any questions or a topic you would like covered, please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate them.
As I have said before, please do not let these tutorials take the place of a regular canning book. Although canning is a great resource, you will want to make sure to follow proper procedures.