Monday, November 6, 2023

Guest Post: Pressure Canning Green Beans

by Betty Williams

Betty is a professional canner that started with her grandmother at 5 years old. She is the owner of Homespun By Betty, and makes jams with personality in Statesville, NC. 

Visit to order jams, jellies, butters, and to check out new recipes.

Green beans are one of my favorite things to put up in the summer. They are delicious, and are a staple side dish in my house at least once a week.

Green beans are also a low-acid food and therefore have a higher risk of botulism, a toxin that is produced by a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum which is naturally occurring in soils and can be found on all vegetables. This bacteria doesn’t usually produce toxins, but when sealed in an anaerobic environment (one without oxygen), the bacteria grows and makes the botulism toxin.¹ Unfortunately, the canning process removes all the air from the jars and creates this anaerobic environment where Clostridium botulinum can flourish. 

To destroy the botulism toxin, you can process the vegetables in an acidic environment, such as pickling, or pressure can them to a temperature of 240° F for an extended period of time.² Always use a trusted recipe, and make sure you do your research to verify all information. State universities with a strong agricultural department provide excellent resources for home canning, and another great resource is the National Center For Home Food Preservation website.

Pressure Canning Your Beans

Equipment Needed:
  • Pressure Canner with weighted gauge or jigglier
  • Mason Jars
  • Jar Lifter
Once you have your green beans, wash them multiple times to remove any dirt, insects, or pesticides, then snip off the ends. You can either leave the beans whole or snap them into about 1-inch pieces. 

Next add the beans, any seasonings you want to use, into the jar. When choosing your seasoning, you’ll want to avoid using sage because it becomes very bitter when canned. I like to add fresh garlic, onion, and Rusty’s Original Southern Rub

Fill the jars with water or broth, leaving 1 inch of head space, and de-bubble the jars. To de-bubble, take a wooden or plastic stick and move it around inside the jars. This will bust any air bubbles and allow the jar to heat evenly. Wipe the rims with white vinegar and then put the lids and rings on, screwing the lids fingertip tight.

Fill your canner with the recommended amount of water (see the instruction manual for your canner), and place a rack in the bottom of the canner. Place the jars onto the rack and then close the canner according to the instruction manual.

Heat the canner on the stove over high heat and allow it to come to temperature. When the canner starts consistently pushing steam out of the vent pipe, allow the canner to vent for 10 minutes. Then place the weight or jigglier onto the vent pipe and allow it to come to the correct pressure based on your elevation:
  • For elevations of 0 to 1,000 feet, use a 10 pound weight.
  • For elevations above 1000 feet, use a 15-pound weight.
  • Process pint jars for 20 minutes and quart jars for 25 minutes.³
After the processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the pressure to drop to 0 psi. Do not manually vent the canner. Remove the weight or jigglier and allow the canner to rest for 10 minutes before opening; this allows the temperature of the jars to come down slowly and prevents losing any ingredients caused by rapid temperature change.

Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a towel to rest for 24 hours, then check the safety button in the lid to confirm the jar is sealed. Wash and label the jars, and store them in a cool dark place with the rings off.

  1. About Botulism, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  2. Questions and Answers about Using a Pressure Canner, North Dakota State University
  3. Selecting, Preparing and Canning Vegetables, National Center for Home Preservation

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