Is It Difficult to Can Green Beans the Old Fashioned Way?

Rate this post

When done correctly, canning is an extremely efficient technique of preserving food. It was devised by a French chef named Nicholas Appert, who found that heating food to a certain temperature and then putting it in vacuum-sealed containers stopped food spoilage-causing bacteria from multiplying and thereby preserved the food for later use.

Canning is a safe technique to extend the shelf life of food when done correctly. There are three scientifically proven ways of canning available today: water bath canning, pressure canning, and steam canning.

How Do I Can Green Beans the Old-Fashioned Way?

How To Can Green Beans the Old Fashioned Way – Is It Easy?

Because green beans are low in acid, the only way to securely can them is using a pressure canner or a special pot that warms the jar to temperatures over 240F. Other canning processes, such as water bath or steam canning, should only be used if the acidity of your green beans has been increased, for example, by pickling.

What’s the Best Way to Can My Green Beans?

Canning is such an efficient food preservation method that many home chefs use it to extend the time they can enjoy the food during its optimum season.

For example, those wonderful tomatoes you just picked up from your garden or the market and wish you could eat all year. Canning allows you to keep that amazing flavor for future, out-of-season demands.

Green beans are another warm-weather vegetable that you may wish to can in order to enjoy them throughout the cooler months. So, what is the best and simplest way to can them?

Pressure Canning Is the Way to Go

There are now only three scientifically recognized, safe canning processes that consumers may use to preserve food: water bath canning, steam canning, and pressure canning.

The pH of the food is the primary factor of which of the three procedures you may use to can it.

In general, high-acid foods, or those with a pH less than 4.6, may be canned using any of the three ways, as long as the recipe is attempted, evaluated, and authorized by specialists.

Low-acid foods, those with a pH value over 4.6, can only be properly pickled using the pressure canning technique, which allows you to heat the jars to temperatures above 240 F, as opposed to 212 F for water bath and steam canning.

Green beans have a pH of 5.6 and are considered a low-acid item. According to the Natural Center for Home item Preservation, the only way to properly can green beans is to employ the pressure canning technique. Water canning or steam canning are inadequate due to the low acidity of the green beans.

If you want to can them using any of these two ways, you must pickle them first to boost the acidity.

Pickling green beans using a tried-and-true recipe will result in a completely different product, so if this isn’t what you had in mind and you want to keep your green beans as is, the only option is pressure canning.

Why is Temperature and Acidity Important in Canning?

So, you may be wondering, why are high heat and acidity so necessary in the canning industry.

The high heat and acidity in the food, as well as the canning procedure, guarantee that the food you preserve is safe to consume and tasty.

The Role of Temperature

Heating the jars at high temperatures kills the dangerous bacteria, yeast, mold, and pathogens that cause the food to be unfit to consume.

The higher the temperature, the greater the chance that these germs will be eliminated.

Warming food at temperatures between 140F and 160F, according to the USDA’s Principles of Home Canning Guide, slows the multiplication of germs but does not kill all of them.

These bacteria and pathogens are destroyed at 212F, which is the boiling point of water and the maximum temperature for the water bath and steam canning procedures, while the spores of a specific bacterium called Clostridiumbotulinum survive even at these temperatures. When the spores are triggered, a deadly toxin that causes botulism is released.

The survival of these spores in high-acid meals is not harmful since they are neutralized in very acidic surroundings. However, with low-acid meals such as green beans, this may be quite harmful.

When processed according to the stipulated boiling time, these spores are successfully neutralized at temperatures of 240F and higher, which is the temperature obtained by pressure canning.

Because of this, low-acid foods must only be canned using pressure canning.Water bath and steam canning should only be used for items with a high acidity level.

Aside from eradicating infections, a rise in temperature deactivates the enzymes that trigger food breakdown, allowing it to be stored for longer.

The heating procedure is partly to blame for the sterile atmosphere or vacuum seal of your canned jar.

The Importance of Acidity

As previously stated, the acidity of the atmosphere within the jar is critical in preserving the safety of our canned food. Canning low-acid foods using water bath or steam canning is inadequate to ensure their safety.

To avoid botulism, they must be treated at higher temperatures to destroy certain heat-resistant bacteria and their spores. The acidity in them is insufficient to prevent the deadly toxin that causes this sickness from being released.

Only high-acid foods like tomatoes and apples, as well as properly pickled goods, may be successfully prepared using water canning and steam canning.

When preserving food, remember to contact canning professionals and reputable resources such as the USDA and the Natural Center for Home Food Preservation.

Do not use untested recipes or listen to unqualified advise, particularly if they say it is acceptable to can low-acid items like green beans in a water bath. Let us constantly be cautious since our health and lives are at stake.

How To Can Green Beans Using A Pressure Canner

The National Center for Home Food Preservation provided this recipe. It is critical to only employ recipes that have been tried, tested, and authorized by such competent canning specialists.

Canned Green Beans

Yield: 7 Quarts


  • 14 pounds Green Beans
  • 7 teaspoons Canning Salt (optional)


  1. Green beans should be washed and trimmed. You may either leave them whole or chop them into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Pack the green beans into the jars.

For Raw Packing:

  • Fill your jars with firmly packed raw green beans. Allow for a 1-inch headspace above them.
  • Add the canning salt if using.
  • Cover the beans with boiling water, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top.

For Hot Packing:

  • Boil beans in boiling water for 5 minutes in a saucepan.
  • Transfer the beans to the jar, being careful not to pack them too firmly. Allow 1 inch of headroom at the top.
  • Add the canning salt if using.
  • Pour in the boiling liquid, leaving a 1-inch gap at the top.

Assemble the lids and process in the pressure canner.

This resource contains the recommended pressures.

How Does Canning Work?

Canning is the process of sealing food in jars and then heating them to kill germs that cause food deterioration and food-borne diseases.

As the sealed jar heats up, the contents expand and air escapes. Following this heating process, the pressure in the atmosphere outside the jar becomes higher than the pressure within the jar, forcing the lid to draw in towards it, resulting in a vacuum seal.

This vacuum seal prevents new germs from entering and contaminating your meal. This clean atmosphere established by the heating process is what keeps the food fresh for a long period.

What Are the Three Methods of Canning?

There are only three scientifically authorized and declared safe ways for canning, and they all involve particular protocols that must be followed perfectly to assure food safety.

Water Bath Canning

Water bath canning, often known as hot water canning, is the process of immersing loosely sealed jars of high-acid food in boiling water for a certain amount of time.

This method requires no special equipment, as all you need is a large enough stockpot to hold your jars with about an inch of water above them, taking into account that your jars must be placed on a rack so that their bottoms do not come into contact with the bottom of the pot, and thus over direct heat.

The food jars are immersed and cooked in 212 F water for the period specified in the recipe in this canning procedure.

The temperature can never rise beyond this level since this is the temperature at which water boils.This implies that no matter how long you boil the meal, if it is low in acid, the spores of the microorganisms that cause botulism will not be neutralized.

This approach is only appropriate for high-acid foods such as jams, jellies, pickles, chutneys, and many fruits such as apples, berries, peaches, and plums.

Atmospheric Steam Canning

This type of canning method is an alternative to the water canning method, but instead of submerging the jars in water, it is done in a special pot that uses steam to do the heat processing instead of water.

It is considered to be more cost-effective, energy-efficient, and time-efficient, and will not result in any unpleasant mishaps such as the water boiling over.

The greatest temperature that it can heat the jars to is 212 F, which is the same as the water canning process. This indicates that it is only appropriate for high-acid items.

Pressure Canning

This technique of canning is ideal for low-acid items like our green beans. This technique requires putting your filled jars in a pressure canner and heating them to temperatures over 240F for the period specified in your tried-and-true, expert-approved recipe.

Pressure canning eliminates bacteria and inactivates enzymes that cause food deterioration and food-borne diseases at higher temperatures.

Because it is the only process that achieves a high enough temperature to remove food safety problems, this is the safest and most recommended approach for low-acid foods.

Green beans, maize, broccoli, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, artichokes, meat, and most vegetables are all low-acid and must only be canned this way.

How Did They Can Low-Acid Foods Like Green Beans Prior to the Pressure Canner?

I understand what you’re thinking. But, before the introduction of the pressure canner, how did people preserve green beans and low-acid foods? Surely it was done with a water bath?

Yes, it was largely via the water bath approach, but it doesn’t imply it was safe or that no one got ill as a result of it.

The germ and bacterium idea did not emerge until the late 1800s, so although people were unsafely preserving their low-acid food and being ill as a result, they did not firmly attribute it to the canning procedure. Furthermore, individuals did not always become sick from it 100% of the time, making it even more difficult to link the illness to the dangerous canning procedure.

It wasn’t until a botulism epidemic caused by canned olives in 1919-1920 that the issue was brought to light.

The National Canners Association and the olive industry essentially formed a Botulism Commission comprised of scientists to determine out what was going on, and it was revealed that Clostridiumbotulinum spores could withstand boiling water temperatures and low-acid settings. To solve this difficulty, the pressure canner was designed and popularized around this time.

So, yes, they did can it in an unsafe manner prior to discovering that it was harmful, and many people suffered as a result.However, the growth of scientific inquiry and the definitive discoveries that resulted strengthened our knowledge of how canning works, and as a consequence, canning is considerably safer today than it was a century ago.

What Other Ways Did People Use To Preserve Food?

Aside from canning, humans preserved food via fermenting, salting, and drying. Countries such as China, Japan, Italy, and Spain have lengthy history of these preservation strategies, which are still firmly engrained in their societies today.

Frequently Asked Questions to How to Can Green Beans The Old Fashioned Way?

Can I Can My Green Beans in the Oven?

Water bath canning and steam canning for high-acidity foods, and pressure canning for both kinds of foods, but mainly low-acid foods, are the only three scientifically recognized ways of canning. Any other technique, including oven canning, has not been demonstrated to be safe.

Can I Add Vinegar to Green Beans To Increase Acidity and Do Water Bath Canning?

The only way to securely can green beans using the water bath technique is to use a tried-and-true recipe. Simply adding vinegar to them and canning them does not ensure that they are safe to ingest.

Conclusion To How To Can Green Beans the Old Fashioned Way

Unless pickled, green beans can only be properly canned using the pressure canning process.

Other methods such as water bath canning and atmospheric steam canning do not reach high enough temperatures to kill the spores of the bacteria that causes botulism, and low-acid foods like green beans cannot neutralize these toxins the way high-acid foods can.

As a result, only high-acid items are appropriate for water bath and atmospheric steam canning, whereas all low-acid foods must be processed using pressure canning unless pickled.


What’s the easiest way to can green beans?

Choose freshly harvested green beans, rinse well, snap into bite-size pieces, pour in jars, fill with boiling water, and pressure can for just 20 minutes! There’s no need to pre-cook or blanch the green beans.

What is the best method of canning green beans?

The beans may be packed into canning jars in two ways: raw-pack or hot-pack. Raw packing, also known as cold packing, simply entails filling the jars with raw beans and covering them with hot water. Hot packing involves partly cooking the beans before putting them in jars and covering them with boiling water.

How to can green beans without a pressure canner?

Measure 12 cups of beans into a 4- to 6-quart kettle or saucepan. Bring the beans to a boil in just enough water to cover them. Cook for 5 minutes, covered, before draining.

How long do you process green beans in a hot water bath?

2 inches from the top. Wipe the jars’ edges with a clean cloth and cover with sterilized lids. Process for 30 minutes in a hot water bath. Can be heated in the jar’s contents or emptied and washed before heating.Pour over beans to within 1 inch of the top.

Do you have to use vinegar when canning green beans?

Green beans are a low-acid vegetable. Because the vinegar generates an acidic environment, this recipe may be processed in a water bath canner.

How long do you boil green beans when canning?

Cut or snap into 1-inch pieces if desired. Cover with boiling water and boil for 5 minutes. Fill jars with beans, allowing 1 inch of headspace. If desired, add 1 teaspoon of canning salt each quart jar.

How long do you can green beans in a regular canner?

In a pressure canner, process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes at 10 pounds pressure. Remove from canner according to canning directions and let to cool for 12-24 hours before storing.

Why do you have to boil beans before canning?

There isn’t enough liquid in the jar to thoroughly cook the beans without pre-cooking. That is OK in the jar, but pre-cooking guarantees that the beans are thoroughly cooked throughout the canning process and that there is enough water in a particular jar to finish their cook during canning.

Do you have to use canning salt when canning green beans?

Each pint jar of green beans should have 2 teaspoons of CANNING SALT added to it. Use sea salt instead of table salt. Canning salt has no iodine, which is why it is used in canning. 1 teaspoon canning salt should be used for quart jars.Step 9: Canning Green Beans

While the lids are heating up, put 1

What happens if green beans don’t seal after canning?

If a jar lid fails to shut, remove it and inspect the jar-sealing surface for minute nicks. Replace the jar, add a new, properly prepared cover, and reprocess within 24 hours using the same processing time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *