How to Can Green & Wax Beans
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.