Monday, July 25, 2011

Canning Green Beans

Beans are in season here in Ohio.  My husband was complaining that I was canning them on some of the hottest days of the year.  I told him you don't have a choice when to can.  You have to can the food when it is ready.  And July is when beans come on in Ohio.  At the farm we have several different varieties of green beans.  My mom, brother, and I were all picking on Saturday.  We each picked some different rows.  I picked Yellow Wax Beans and Roma Beans.  Roma Beans are a flat bean that has a buttery taste to them.  They taste great cooked up in the winter!!

The first thing you need to do when you want to can beans is to snap your beans.  Sometimes I have the kids do this when I am busy.  They got off this time around and I did it myself.  You need to snap off the stems.  Then you snap them into bite size pieces or your preferred length.  I picked a 5 gallon bucket full plus a gallon bucket over flowing.  I used the gallon bucket for dilly beans which I will post on later.  I picked the beans towards the evening so by the time I got the all snapped it was getting late.  I just filled my stock pot up with them and covered them in water and put in the fridge.  This keeps them nice and crisp and also helps get any dirt off. 

When you are ready to can your beans get your jars ready.  Use clean sterilized jars.  This can be done in a dishwasher.  If you don't have one like me fill your sink up with very hot water.  Let your jars sit in it for a while.  Beans can be canned either hot packed or cold packed.  I normally cold pack my beans.  It is less work and I like that.  To cold pack your beans get your beans and place them in your jars.  I will tap the jars on the counter a few times to help the beans settle down in the jars.  Then push the beans down at the top of the jars as tight as I can get them.  By doing this you ensure that you have a nice filled jar of beans.  Then once canned they will not rise to the top and have a big space of water at the bottom of your jar. 

Here are my beans that I pulled out of the fridge.  The bottom is filled with the wax beans.

Once your jars are full you can add canning salt to them if desired.  This does not help with the preserving process.  It is for taste only.  I used to do it, but I prefer now to not salt my vegetables.  I add my flavorings when I open the jar of beans depending on what I am using them for.  If you add salt use 1 teaspoon for quart jars and 1/2 teaspoon for pint jars.  Now cover your beans in boiling water.  Fill the water leaving 1 inch head space.  Clean the rims and place on new lids that have been boiled.  Screw on the rings and tighten by hand. 

Here are my first 7 jars ready to put into the canner.

Put jars into your canner and put your water in.  Each canner has a different amount of water needed to  pressure can.  Read the instructions for your canner.  Mine uses 3 quarts of water.  Put your jars in and water and put on your lid.  Next bring your canner to the correct pressure.  Once it reaches the correct pressure then you start your timer.  Green, Wax, and Roma beans need to be pressure canned at 10  lbs of pressure if you have a weighted gauge or 11 lbs of pressure if you have a dial gauge.  When it reaches the correct pressure for your canner start your timer.  Green beans need to be pressure canned for 25 minutes for quart jars and 20 minutes for pint jars.  If you have both quart and pint jars in your canner always can them for the amount of time needed for quarts. 

Make sure your canner stays at pressure the entire time.  If it drops below 10 lbs of pressure for more than a second you will have to start your time all over again.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  Each vege that your can is given a time that is needed to heat the vegetable inside the jar to a certain temperature. This drives the air out of the jar and kills any bacteria that could be in the jar. When the time is up take the canner off the heat and let it depressurize.  I normally let the canner cool down for 10 minutes after it depressurizes.  Then remove your jars and let cool.  Load your canner up again and repeat the process until all you beans are done.  I got 14 quarts from 5 gallons of beans!!  These will go in my pantry and I will keep adding to them until the beans are done producing!


Mary said...

Glad you were able to pick. The southern gal in me says can lots and lots of beans, can't have too many.

Dorothy said...

Your beans look very pretty =) I've not pressure canned anything but I'm leaning towards getting one--you make it sound so easy!!! I'd love to can green beans instead of freezing them....

Wendi said...

I've never eaten yellow wax means. I love green bean and will have to give them a try.

My mom and I put up 91 quarts off the first picking from her garden. It was crazy! She said she had never seen them come in so thick all at once.

Just found your blog through the Monday Barn Hop and am enjoying looking around.