How to Can Green Beans – Pressure Canning

When it comes to doing any kind of pressure canning, I am very serious about the process. I don’t mean to scare you – I home can cases and cases of vegetables and we eat from our cold room all winter long.

However, pressure canning is serious business. If it isn’t done properly, the food can spoil. You can make your family very sick by eating improperly canned food. So learn the process and then treat it like a serious process – each and every time you do canning.

Here’s some more important information about how to use a pressure canner. I’ve had a Mirro pressure canner for more than 12 years now and just love it.

 

Pressure Canning Green Beans

Here’s an awesome harvest of 18 pounds of green beans. I’d love to say they came from my garden, but they didn’t. I bought these from a gardening friend down the Valley. My garden is an overgrown mess of outsized beets, flowering broccoli and runaway bolting lettuces. That’s because this year, I kept my head down and focussed on the garlic weeding and harvest. Next year, I’ll be smarter and not plant such a large garden.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be harvesting and emptying the garden. There is a LOT of food that needs to be brought in. Potatoes, carrots and beets all need to be dug. Lettuce seed needs to be gathered so I can plant some next year.

The other day, I picked up the beans and got started. Since we are running low on canned beans, I needed to make sure I put up another good supply.

I cut the ends, snapped the beans, washed them and then blanched them for a few minutes in a large pot with lots of water (I’ll need that water when filling jars).

I washed pint jars in hot soapy water and rinsed them well. I soaked the seals in hot (not boiling) water for about 10 minutes to soften the rubber. I got the jar rings ready and my canning kit out.

 

Canning Beans

 

I put 3 1/2 quarts of water into the pressure canner and then filled my pint jars with the hot beans. I added the liquid leaving a half inch of headroom in each jar.

 

Using a Pressure Canner

 

Then I wipe the rim of each jar to help ensure a good seal, put the seals on, twisted the rings on tight and set each jar in the pressure canner. My canner holds 7 pints, but you can get taller ones so you can process 14 pints at a time. Just be sure to have a metal rack on top of the first layer of jars. You don’t want the jars in contact with each other while processing.

 

Pressure Canner Venting Before Weight Goes On

 

On goes the lid and the canner goes on the heat. Put it on high (make sure the weight is NOT on!) and once steam starts pouring out the top, let it go for 10 minutes. We do most of our canning outdoors on a propane heater, but you can also use your stovetop.

Then add your weight (since we are at 2850 feet elevation, I can everything with 15 pounds weight). If you are below 1000 feet elevation, you will can with 10 pounds weight.

Once the weight has been added, let the pressure canner go until the first release of steam. Once that happens, you should lower the heat under the canner, likely to between low and medium. Also set your timer for 20 minutes for pint jars (for beans). Check the time required for every vegetable or meat you want to can. Meat is usually 90 minutes but it is very important to check the recipe or Google.

Every once  in a while, the pressure canner will let off a big release of steam and pressure. Thi

s is normal. Once your timer goes off, turn off the heat under the canner. Then…wait. Do NOT open the canner right away or jiggle the weight to release the pressure. It’s important to let the canner cool down naturally. Only then, do you lift the lid.

Lift the lid AWAY from you. There is still steam inside the canner and you don’t want to get hit in the face with it.  You can jiggle the weight after about 10 minutes to see if there is still steam inside.

 

Home Canned Green Beans

 

Remove the jars right away using a jar lifter and set them on a towel or blanket on your counter or wherever they can sit for 24 hours without being disturbed. At all.

Within a short time you will hear the jars pinging. This means they are sealing and that’s a good thing!

The next day, tap the lids of each jar. You will definitely hear the difference between a sealed jar and an unsealed one. If a jar hasn’t sealed, you can either pressure can it again or just put it in the fridge and use it up within a few days. From the 18 pounds of fresh beans, I ended up with 33 pints of canned beans.

Here are some links you may want to check out:

How to Can Salmon and other Fish – pressure canned

How to Make and Preserve Pickled Beets – water bath canning

How to Make and Can Tomato Sauce – water bath canning

 

Blanching and Freezing Peas

Want to preserve peas? Read How to Blanch and Freeze Garden Peas for the super easy way to enjoy garden peas all winter.

 

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4 Ways to Preserve and Store Food

Whether you grow your own vegetables or take advantage of farmers markets, you need a way to preserve and store that food for several months. Stocking up in September & October, when the harvest is plentiful is a great way to do it. Prices are lower and there are a lot of choice veggies available. Here’s a few ways to put that food away, to enjoy later in the year.

 

Harvested carrots and lovage

 

Storing some food is a great way to save money. Prices are definitely going to be higher all winter long, because of the lower supply and the same high demand. Starting your own stockpile of food is a way to save some money and start to feel more in control of your own personal food supply.

You can freeze some veggies or you could can them. You could dehydrate them (or most of them) if you like. You could store a few boxes of root vegetables down in the cool part of your basement. But what do you do if you live in a rancher home? You have no basement, so you have to start looking at other option.

You could look at building a small insulated and vented room in a corner of your garage. Another option is to have a root cellar. If you don’t have room for food storage inside your house, an outdoor root cellar is a great way to go. Built right into the ground, you can store all kinds of root vegetables inside. Mother Earth News has several plans for outdoor cellars and they range from the super simple to structured cellars.

You need to live in an area where there are cold winters. You also need to put in some time digging and setting up the root cellar.

 

Use Old Freezers to Store Livestock Feed

 

I have seen pictures of outdoor root cellars but instead of being boxed in with wood, the builder instead drops an old deep freeze in the ground. This is a great idea and would really work well. We use old freezers here down at the barn to hold animal feed. We don’t care if the freezers work or not. And we are keeping a few old freezers out of the landfill. Come to think of it, that’s where we got the three we have. A great way to recycle!

 

 

Want to be sure you’re reading what we’re writing?   Subscribe to our mailing list and don’t miss a single post. Take a look at our sidebar at the top of the page and subscribe. I promise you I’ll keep your email addresses to myself – you won’t ever be spammed and I won’t ever do anything with my list other than let you know every time a new post is published here and give you the inside scoop on great info and deals.