It’s just about time to start canning green beans. In a good growing year like this one it can be hard to keep up with all the beans the garden can produce. Canning green beans really isn’t too hard, as long as you have a pressure canner. Using a water bath canner to process green beans is really unsafe, no matter how long you boil the beans. The boiling water bath canner can never reach the high temperatures (240°F) that you can achieve in a pressure canner. Green beans and other low acid vegetables must be canned in a pressure canner.
For best results, clean and prepare the beans—don’t plan to can damaged beans. The beans won’t improve after canning so eat those spotted beans fresh and preserve the unblemished beans. You can choose between hot or raw packs—check out these detailed instructions.
Remember if you have a dial gauge canner, the gauge should be checked yearly. We have a list of locations in Iowa that do this testing. A weighted gauge does not need to be checked but if you live in a location with an altitude above 1000’ you will need to adjust the weight upward by 5#. (Instead of processing at 10# you would adjust the weight necessary to 15#).
As always, we are ready to help with your canning questions at AnswerLine. Just give us a call on our toll-free number 1-800-262-3804 in Iowa, 1-800-854-1678 in Minnesota, or 1-888-393-6336 in South Dakota. If you do not live in any of those states you can reach us at 515-296-5883. You can also send us an email, leave us a message on our facebook page, or comment on the blog.