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How to Can Green Beans {Canning Green Beans}

Follow this step by step tutorial to learn How to Can Green Beans in a pressure canner safely. One of the easiest canning recipes around, you’ll love having jars of canned green beans to use all year long. 

a jar of green beans being put into a pressure canner

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Summer means gorgeous and abundant fresh produce! While fresh green beans are incredible, learning to pressure can green beans allows you to enjoy them all year long.

It’s a very easy and straightforward process. Let me hold your hand and walk you through it. 

Can You Can Green Beans in a Water Bath?

No, you cannot safely can green beans in a water bath canner. 

Green beans, and all low acid vegetables (like when canning potatoes, canning corn, or canning carrots), must be preserved using a pressure canner. This is the pressure canner I have had for years and I love it.

Do You Cook Green Beans Before Canning?

You can if you prefer soft beans. See notes below under “hot pack” instructions. But it is not mandatory to precook them. I don’t.

CANNING SUPPLIES & INGREDIENTS

Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.

You’ll need:

If you have leftover fresh green beans, try your hand at making Refrigerator Dilly Beans, Green Beans in Tomato Sauce, Garlic Butter Green Beans, Air Fryer Green Bean Fries, or Spicy Green Beans.  

How Many Green Beans Do You Need?

An average of 14 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 9 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 30 pounds and yields 12 to 20 quarts – an average of 2 pounds per quart. (source)

If you don’t have a large batch of beans to can at once, you can process just a few jars if needed. It eventually does add up over the season! You can also learn how to freeze green beans as an additional way to safely preserve them.

How to Can Green Beans

I’m going to walk you through the process here with photos, and you’ll also find a detailed and printable tutorial at the bottom of this post.

Start with green bean pods that are tender and full but not overly-mature. You don’t want to be able to see the beans bulging through the pod; those will produce tough and unappetizing canned green beans.

Rinse the beans in cool water, discarding any diseased or overly mature pods. Next, you’re going to “snap” the beans to remove the ends and strings. You can do this by hand, or using a knife. Pro tip: the knife method is generally faster, but I have noticed that the cut ends will brown in the jars a few months after canning. They’re still safe to eat but keep it in mind if appearance is important to you.

You can leave the de-stringed beans whole or cut into 1-inch pieces. The size usually depends on how you want to use them once they are canned.

Wash and clean your jars. It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

You can put them in a clean dishwasher and run them through a quick wash cycle, or place them in a large pan with some water in a low heat oven (my lowest temp is 170 degrees F) until you need them. I’ve even just put hot tap water in them before and left them on the counter.

Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.

If you are hot packing (see below), add them to a pot of boiling water and let them cook for 5 minutes. If you are doing a raw pack, allow 8 (ish) cups of water to come to a boil in a pot or kettle.

Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.

If you are using salt, add 1/2 tsp canning salt to pints and 1 tsp to quarts. Add the green beans to the jars. You really want to pack them in there. Pro tip: wiggle and tap the jar against the counter often as you add them to allow them to settle and make room for more.

Using a canning funnel, carefully and slowly add the boiling water, leaving 1-inch of headspace. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar. 

Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar. 

3 photos showing the process of canning green beans

Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag. Any food debris left on the rim may impact the seal of the lid in the canner.

Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.

2 photos showing the process of canning green beans in a pressure canner

Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe (I call it the steam chimney). Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator (I call it the chimney cap) on top. (see the 4 photo grid below for a visual of this process step by step)

4 steps in pressure canning

Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. That is a sign that you’re starting to build pressure inside the canner (get excited. This is happening!). Under normal conditions, hot or raw packed green beans need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts. See chart below for any changes to processing times.

a guide for processing times for pressure canning green beans

When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time. You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is super hot).

Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner with the lid off and then lift them out with canning tongsPro tip: allowing the jars to sit in the canner with the lid off can help reduce the siphoning of liquid in your jars.

Place hot jars on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed.

HOW LONG Will Home CANNED Green Beans LAST?

If stored in a dark cool place, they will last for 12 months.

RAW PACK FOR CANNING Green Beans

Raw packing simply means placing the beans in the jars without precooking them, filling the jars with boiling water and processing them in the canner.

Raw packing is much faster than the a hot pack process, but there are some drawbacks. No matter how well you pack the jars, the density of the veggies will change during their time in the canner.

This often leads to something called “fruit float” in which the produce will float to the top of the jar, leaving water on the bottom. You’ll find this when you’re canning pears, canning whole tomatoes, and canning peaches as well. There is nothing wrong with it as long as your jars are still sealed.

HOT PACK FOR CANNING Green Beans

Hot packing involves cooking the green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes before packing them into jars for canning. 

The benefits of hot packing are that you typically can fit more per jar, and the near elimination of fruit float. The drawback is I find it makes the beans too mushy for my taste.

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

  • The beans will change from a gorgeous bright green to a dull green once canned. This is normal and they’re still safe to eat.
  • Siphoning is when liquid seeps out from under the lids and reduces the overall amount of liquid in the jar. If just a bit of siphoning has happened and your jars sealed, your item is still safe to eat but use your best judgment. I tend to quickly use any jar that has experienced siphoning simply because it can discolor the food at the top not covered in the liquid.
  • Pressure canners can often leave white lines on lids, rings, and jars (you’ll see it on my jars below). It’s totally normal and safe. To prevent this, add 1/3 cup of white vinegar to the canner before processing. I just forgot to do it in this instance. 🙂

jars of green beans with a head of garlic on a white board

MORE GREAT CANNING RECIPES

How to Can Green Beans

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Pressurizing/Depressurizing30 mins
Total Time1 hr 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 9 lbs green beans
  • 8 cups water {for jars}
  • 3 quarts water {for canner}
  • 4.5 tsp canning salt {optional}

Instructions

  • Wash and clean your jars. Make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.
  • Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl.
  • Snap or cut beans to remove any strings, and cut into 1-inch pieces. Note: you may also leave whole if you prefer once the string has been removed.
  • If you are hot packing, add the beans to a pot of boiling water and let them cook for 5 minutes. If you are not hot packing, allow 8 (ish) cups of water to come to a boil in a pot or kettle.
  • Add 3 quarts of water to the pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.
  • Add the beans to the jars. Tap the jar a few times to pack them in there as well as possible.
  • Use a canning funnel and carefully and slowly add the boiling water from the kettle/pot, leaving 1-inch of headspace. Headspace is the distance between the top of the food and the top of the jar. 
  • Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar.
  • Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag. Any food debris left on the rim may impact the seal of the lid in the canner.
  • Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.
  • Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner.
  • Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe. Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator on top.
  • Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. Under 2,000 feet of elevation, hot or raw packed green beans need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts. See chart in the post for adjusted elevation processing times.
  • When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time. You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.
  • When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is super hot).
  • Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Pro tip: allowing the jars to sit in the canner with the lid off can help reduce the siphoning of liquid in your jars.
  • Remove with canning tons and place on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.
  • After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed.

Notes

Quarts: Salt (optional) 1 tsp
Pints: Salt (optional) 1/2 tsp
 
Store in a cool dark place for 9-12 months.
Nutrition Facts
How to Can Green Beans
Amount Per Serving (1 pint)
Calories 141 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 38mg2%
Potassium 957mg27%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 12g50%
Sugar 15g17%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 3130IU63%
Vitamin C 55mg67%
Calcium 174mg17%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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