How to Can Green & Wax Beans

By on August 10, 2012

Canned beans are great to enjoy during the cold months of winter

Canning green and wax beans together makes a beautiful jar for a gift, or your pantry, and an appetizing dish to serve.

Wax beans and green beans are in the same family, so the processing time will be identical—as long as the beans are picked at the same size.

In our video Tricia pressure cans green beans and wax beans together. Follow these steps at home to have delicious beans available year-round.

Beans are low acid so they need to be preserved with a pressure canner, not in a hot-water bath. Confused? Check out the differences between these two canning systems.

Wash your Beans


Set up your pressure canner and prep your canning jars. Tricia uses the tall Weck 1 liter Asparagus Jars for her beans, and Weck 1 liter Tulip Jars as well. Weck jars are popular because they have no BPA in their lids.

*  Pick or buy 9 pounds of green and wax beans. Choose beans that are thin, young, and tender. Don’t use any discolored, moldy, or damaged beans.

*  Rinse the beans well, and cut them in your preferred way. Some like a French cut, also called a julienne cut, for the beans—Tricia leaves them whole and just snips off the tips.

Fill the Jars


*  To use a hot pack canning method, boil water and drop all the beans in. Blanch them by boiling them for 5 minutes.

*  If you’d like salt, add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt to each 1 liter/quart jar.

*  Fill the jars with beans and liquid, leaving an inch of head space (the beans will swell).

*  Top with rubber rings and glass lids, then affix the stainless steel clips.

Fill the Canner


*  Put the jars in the canner. If they aren’t a snug fit in the canner, add water-filled jars to keep the bean-filled jars from clanking and cracking.

*  Place the lid on the canner and gradually screw down the nuts, tightening opposite sides a little at a time, until the lid is on tight and there is a uniform gap all the way around the pan. Consult the canner booklet to be sure you have the lid on properly.

*  Bring the pan to a boil, with the vent open. Do not put on the pressure regulator until the water has boiled and steam is escaping.

*  As soon as you see steam from the vent, set a timer for 7 minutes.

After 7 minutes, put the pressure regulator on the vent. Set it for 15 (15 pounds of pressure) if you are cooking at an elevation of more than 1,000 feet. Your elevation is crucial to knowing the right pressure and time to use—if you move, or are canning at the home of a friend, check the elevation and adjust accordingly.

*  When the regulator rocks, the target pressure has been reached. Set your timer for the canning now: 25 minutes for 1 liter/quart jars.

*  Watch the wiggling. If the regulator rocks more than 4 times a minute, you’ll need to turn down the heat.

Open Canner Away from Face


*  When the timer rings, turn off the heat and leave the regulator on until it reads zero—then wait 10 more minutes.

*  Put on oven mitts and gently open the side of the canner away from you. You don’t want to get scalded by the steam.

*  Remove the jars with a jar lifter, setting them down on a wooden board or a thick towel. Let them cool overnight.

* Remove the metal clips and test the seals by gently lifting the jars by their lids. If the lid stays put it’s sealed.

*  Did a jar fail to seal? No problem, just pop it in the refrigerator and eat up those beans in a few days.

*  Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place.

  Comments (5)


I could not see the amount of water needed to be added to the pressure canner.
Another addition that is recommended by FDA and MFP, after the dial reaches zero, remove vent or petcock, wait 10 (ten) minutes before removing the lid.
Otherwise it was excellent.

Shirley Purcell
Certified Master Food Preserver

Posted by Shirley Purcell on Aug. 11, 2012 at 4:14:21 PM

Thank you, Shirley! Wonderful words from a Master Food Preserver!

It’s a big topic with a lot of detailed information, so we broke the topic into 2 articles. The other one has Basics about how to choose which kind of canner—and then the first steps in setting up a Pressure Canner, including adding 1 1/2” of water to the pan. We linked to that Basics article in the first sentence of the Get Ready section (above). With your feedback, we’ll likely change that to make it more clear!

Posted by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 4:21:26 PM

We will also add the 10 minute waiting period after the pressure displays as zero. Thank you for your expert help on this!

Posted by on Aug. 11, 2012 at 4:23:58 PM


I also wipe the jars down afterwards to remove any residue that may have leaked into the water during processing. 
I don’t use Weck jars, so I remove the metal rings, test seal, wipe down jars, put on clean rings, label and store in a cool, dark pantry.

Posted by Jenifer B on Aug. 13, 2012 at 8:00:42 AM

Thanks for your tips, Jenifer!

Leakage is not usually a problem but Clemson University says in some circumstances it is a food safety issue

For those who want to avoid BPA but don’t want Weck jars, we now carry Tattler BPA-free jar lids

Posted by on Aug. 13, 2012 at 12:47:28 PM

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