It’s the middle of summer and hot as Hades outside! You know what time it is! Canning time! At least it is an air-conditioned task. Too bad the picking part is not. It’s insanely hot here. Saturday was the hottest day here in 6 years! Super.
The green beans DO NOT care how hot it is and so the canning must be done. Surprisingly, I did not learn how to can from my grandmother. She canned plenty but I only ever snapped the beans. So, when I wanted to learn how last year, I had to figure it out like everybody else.
Pressure canning has a lot of steps but anyone can do it. I have my system down and thought I would share it with all of you. Kinda like a family member sharing their methods. I will also share my super secret salsa recipe soon. My husband and I have been perfecting that one for about 7 years!
An abbreviated and printable version of this procedure can be found in my library of free printables. Just sign up for my weekly newsletter in the sidebar to gain immediate access. I promise not to spam your inbox. I just don’t want you to miss anything!
Green Bean Prep:
Pick and wash the green beans. I toss them into my sink and soak them in water. Swish them around a bit, drain water, and fill again. I repeat this rinsing until the water is clean. It usually takes at least three rounds. Some people do this step in buckets as well. Next, snap both ends off of each bean and then snap the rest into small pieces. Toss the ends and keep the rest. Toss any pieces with damage or holes. I keep the pieces under an inch so they are easier to compact into the jars later. Note: You can store picked beans in the fridge open to air for almost a week. Don’t enclose in containers as they will begin to mold. I store my beans until I have 1 ½ plastic sacks full. I know that will make a full round of canning.
This is a list of all the things I prepare before I am ready to start canning.
- The jars need to be clean and hot. One round of canning in my cooker holds 7 quart sized jars, so I heat 7 clean jars. There are a few effective ways to do this. You can wash and heat them in the dishwasher by using the Hi Temp cycle. Some people boil the jars on the stove and others heat them in very hot water in the sink. I have used all these methods and they all worked fine. Either way, you need to begin heating the jars.
- The lids and rings need to be warm – not hot. I heat them on low on the stove in a pot. It’s important never to boil the lids as this can cause failure. And no one wants to do all that work and have it fail!
- You need lots of boiling water to fill the jars. It takes about 4 cups of boiling water per quart jar, so boil a large pot. This takes awhile, so get it going early.
- Prep the pressure canner. Hopefully you are using a pressure canner that is in good condition because it can blow up. Don’t blow up the canner! Make sure you read the directions and are comfortable operating that thing. It’s dangerous! The jars are not supposed to sit directly on the bottom of the canner, so mine has a metal tray that lays in the bottom. I add 2 quarts of water and 1 Tablespoon of vinegar (so you don’t get water deposits on the outside of your jars). You have to pressure can green beans which is different from water canning. In water canning, you submerge the jars in water. In pressure canning, you only need a little in the bottom. Follow the directions that come with your pressure cooker for this. They all include directions for green bean canning.
Stuff You Need:
Aside from the pots and pans, pressure canner, and quart jars mentioned above, here is a list of the other things you will need.
- A pair of tongs to handle the jars when they are hot. It’s better if the ends are coated in rubber since metal can break the hot glass jars.
- A large ladle to pour boiling water into the jars.
- A funnel to use to get the boiling water into the jars.
- Canning salt
- 1 teaspoon measuring spoon
- Small towel to wipe rim of jars
- Large towel to set jars on. Don’t set them on the cold counter. They will break!
- A rubber spatula to help pack the beans and release air from the jars.
- A jar-puller which is a claw-like lever that allows you to grab the hot jars out of the pressure canner and handle them without burning your hands off.
How It’s Done:
Once you’re all set up, the water is boiling, and the jars are hot, you are ready to begin. Ha! It’s just the beginning! I told you there are a lot of steps. I keep my notebook in front of me so I won’t forget any.
- Remove one hot jar and set it on the large towel. I do the jars one at a time so nothing gets cold. I am too slow to do more than one!
- Fill jar with beans, packing the beans in with the spatula as you go. Fill until there is 1” from the rim of the jar.
- Add 1 ½ teaspoons canning salt on top of the beans.
- Use the ladle and the funnel to pour boiling water into the jar until it is 1” from the rim.
- Poke the rubber spatula down along the inside of the jar on all sides. This helps release any trapped air in the beans. Air is not our friend!
- Wipe the rim of jar with small towel to ensure a good seal.
- Use tongs to fetch ring and lid from warm water and place them on the jar. Hand tighten the lid. No need to crank on this. Careful, the jar is HOT!
- Use the jar puller to load the jar into the pressure canner.
- Repeat those steps 6 more times until the canner is full.
- The rest of the steps are specific to my pressure cooker. You should read the directions for yours to be safe. Follow your specific directions for proper use. Place the lid on the pressure canner and cook on medium-high until steam begins venting out of the top.
- Let the steam vent for 10 minutes, then place the control gauge (10#) on top of the vent.
- Begin timing once the gauge jiggles. Adjust the heat so that the gauge jiggles 2-3 times per minute. It doesn’t jiggle continuously, only when the pressure reaches 10#. So, it jiggles and stops repeatedly. Set your timer for 25 minutes from that first jiggle.
- After 25 minutes, remove the canner (with lid and gauge still on) from the heat. Allow it to cool until the gauge doesn’t hiss when you tip it. Then you can crack and lift the lid, but let it sit to adjust to the temperature. Hot jar + cold = cracked jar!
- Move each jar with the jar puller to a thick towel. I use a fluffy bath towel for this. Allow these to cool for 12 hours without touching them. You guessed it – that can crack the jars!
My jars typically begin popping immediately. Such a satisfying sound after all that work. I am meticulous about my method and have never had a jar fail yet! I know it seems overwhelming, but it is a bunch of very simple steps. It’s totally worth it! Nothing is better than pulling a jar out of the pantry and all you have to do is warm it up. So good!
If you have hung in there with me and finished this very long post – thank you and I hope this is helpful! Don’t forget to take a peek at my other DIY projects on this site. Please let me know any comments or questions you may have. I am always available at [email protected] or you can comment below. You can also find me on social media. Find my links in the sidebar.
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