Water bath canning green beans is a form of rebel canning. There are no agencies that approve of this canning method for green beans because they are low in acid.
That said when our freezer went out and we had 6 gallons of fresh green beans in it I had to act fast and the end result was nothing short of amazing and they help up amazingly well in the pantry.
Is water bath canning green beans safe
This is where you have to use your personal judgment and you need to understand how the biggest risk works. The bacteria that produces botulinum spores has to be killed off in its entirety through a long canning process to safely can green beans.
This long processing time does leave your green beans less than crunchy but they are safe to eat provided you get a good seal.
To help make these beans safer I use an old Amish recipe that involved adding both salt and vinegar to each jar of green beans. This further tenderizes the green beans but makes it harder for bacteria to thrive.
How to water bath can green beans
Water bath canning green beans is as easy as water bath canning any other food including water bath canning tomatoes. The biggest difference is that when water bath canning your green beans you will need to keep them at a rolling boil for 3 long hours.
Over time your canner will lose water from the boiling process. To help keep it at a rolling boil and filled you can keep a pot of water on another burner of your stove and keep it at a boil to dump into your water bath canner.
For long process canning projects, I use a very large and call stock pot for a canner because you can indeed can without a canner and this is taller than the jars and will not run out of water easy.
What you need to water bath green beans
Canning jars: mason jars or other jars suitable for canning. Make sure they are clean and sterilized before use.
Canning lids: new lids that have not been used before.
Canning rings: bands that secure the lids onto the jars.
Canning pot: a large pot with a rack or insert to hold the jars.
Jar lifter: a tool to safely lift and remove hot jars from the canning pot.
Timer: to ensure proper processing time.
Ingredients for canning green beans
White vinegar: Use distilled white vinegar, with 5% acidity.
Green beans: fresh and washed.
Water: enough to cover the jars during processing.
Canning salt: optional, but recommended for flavor and preservation. Use 1/2 teaspoon per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart jar, if desired.
How do you prepare green beans for canning
Select fresh, high-quality green beans: Choose beans that are firm, crisp, and free from blemishes or signs of spoilage. Avoid using beans that are wilted, discolored, or have mold.
Wash the green beans: Rinse the beans in cool water and trim the stem ends, leaving the tails intact. You can also remove any strings or tough spots from the beans, if desired.
Blanch the green beans: Blanching is a process of quickly boiling the beans for a short time to stop enzyme activity and remove any dirt or bacteria. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add the green beans. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove the beans and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
Step by step: water bath can green beans
Wash your jars, lids, and bands in hot, soapy water, rinse them well, and keep them warm until ready to use. If you will be cold packing your canning jars you do not need to heat them to sterilize them because you will be processing it for so long.
Prepare your green beans y washing them well. You can trim and cut them to whatever style you prefer. The bigger the pieces the more firm your end result will be.
Add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons vinegar to each canning jar. this will increase the acidity of the jars helping to make them safer. Here you can add any herbs and spices you may want to add for flavoring. Great options include red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, garlic, or diced onions.
Fill your jars to the bottom rim with green beans tightly packed.
Top off your jars leaving 1/2 inch head space with water.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth to remove any food residue. Do not use vinegar for this as it has been shown to cause issues with seals breaking early in newer canning lids.
Place the lids on the jars and screw on the bands fingertip-tight.
Place a canning rack in the bottom of a large pot or canner and fill it with enough water to cover the jars by at least 1 inch.
Place the jars in the canner, making sure they are not touching each other or the sides of the canner.
Bring the water to a gentle boil and process the jars for the recommended time (which will depend on the recipe and the altitude where you live).
Process these jars in boiling water for three hours topping the canner off with boiling water as needed.
When the processing time is up, turn off the heat and let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes.
Remove the jars from the canner with jar tongs and place them on a clean towel or rack. Leave them undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours.
Check the seals of the jars by pressing down on the center of each lid. If the lid doesn’t flex up and down, the jar is sealed. If a jar is not sealed, store it in the refrigerator and use it within a few days.