Barbara Kunzi lead a demonstration and workshop at the Whallonsburg Grange Community Kitchen last week on pressure canning green beans.
I’ve wanted to learn about preserving vegetables and fruit ever since returning to gardening in the Adirondacks a half dozen years ago, but despite acquiring a pair of still-unread books on the topic, I’d made zero progress. Until a week ago. Kunzi’s workshop was informative and inspiring. She even sent us all home at evening’s end with a Mason jar of green beans that we had canned ourselves.
Pressure Canning Green Beans
Here’s a detailed summary of Barbara Kunzi’s instructions for canning green beans.
- Wash canning jars (dishwashers work great!) eliminating any with chipped rims.
- Boil lids for 5 minutes.
- Wash fresh, crisp, disease-free green beans in cold water. Trim ends and leave beans whole or cut/snap according to preference.
- “Cold pack” jars tightly with raw beans, leaving 1-inch headspace at the top. (Note: alternatively you can “hot pack” your green beans by boiling the beans for 5 minutes before packing.)
- Add canning salt to jars, if desired.
- Remove air bubbles by running a plastic utensil down inside the jar between the jar and the beans.
- Wipe off the jar rims to eliminate any residue.
- Cover beans with boiling water, leaving 1-inch head space.
- Use magnetic “lid lifter” to remove lids from how water and install.
- Adjust lids to ensure proper fit and seal by screwing rings snugly, but not overly tight.
- Set rack on bottom of pressure canner and add 2-3 inches of water.
- Arrange sealed jars inside pressure canner so that they are not touching.
- Install pressure canner lid and twist/close/lock the lid.
- Turn heat on high, but leave the weight off to let steam escape through vent.
- Allow steam to vent for 10 minutes while air is displaced from pressure canner.
- Install the weight to allow pressure to increase to 11 pounds.
- Once canner reaches 11 pounds, set timer for 25 minutes. (Verify correct processing time and pressure for your situation.)
- Reduce/adjust heat as needed to maintain 11 pounds of pressure.
- After 25 minutes, turn off the heat, but do not remove weight or open canner.
- Allow pressure canner to cool until pressure drops back down to zero.
- Once all pressure is released, remove the weight and carefully remove the lid. (Note: Tilt lid away from you so that the steam will not burn your face.)
- Remove jars carefully with a jar lifter and place them upright on a towel or cutting board.
- Allow jars to cool until the center of the lid is sucked down. (Note: If a jar failed to seal properly, you can refrigerate and use within a few days.)
- Once jars are cool you can gently rinse the jars and remove the screw rings to prevent rusting on. (Note: If screw ring does not remove easily, leave it on rather than risk breaking the seal.)
- Store canned green beans in a cool, relatively dry, sunlight-free area.
I’m keeping my eyes peeled for a pressure canner, and I’m looking forward to eating my green beans this winter. In the mean time, I was inspired enough by Kunzi’s workshop to explore my books on food preserving. Until I find a pressure canner, I’ll be freezing my garden bounty. So far I’ve prepared blanched, peeled tomatoes; blanched eggplant, grilled eggplant and a favorite Persian eggplant stew called Khoresht-e Bademjan. What are you preserving?