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Old-Fashioned Green Beans: Step-By-Step Guide to Canning the Southern Way (2024)

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How do you can green beans the old fashioned wayHave you ever wondered how to preserve nature’s green bounty?

Canning green beans the old-fashioned way is an art form that’s been passed down generations.

Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the secrets to creating delectable canned green beans, brimming with Southern charm and brimming with flavor.

From selecting the perfect beans to mastering the canning process, we’ll guide you through every step, ensuring a pantry stocked with this timeless Southern staple.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose fresh, slender green beans and wash thoroughly before canning
  • Use sterilized canning jars and lids to prevent contamination
  • Pack trimmed raw green beans tightly into jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace
  • Process filled jars in a pressure canner following manufacturer’s instructions for your altitude

Ingredients for Canning Green Beans

Ingredients for Canning Green Beans
When canning green beans, start by gathering:

  • Fresh, tender green beans
  • Canning salt
  • Water
  • Jars
  • Lids
  • Bands

Choose slender, crisp beans about the thickness of a pencil.

Carefully wash the beans and trim both ends.

Canning salt enhances flavor but is optional; you may use plain salt.

Gather pint or quart jars and check for defects.

Match jars with new lids and bands.

Have your pressure canner assembled and tested for accuracy.

Consider adding onion, garlic, or spices to the jars for extra Southern flair before processing.

Follow proper canning procedures to safely preserve that old-fashioned flavor.

With quality ingredients and efficient technique, you’ll enjoy tasty homemade green beans year-round.

Equipment Needed for Canning

Equipment Needed for Canning
Now that you’ve gathered some fresh, tasty green beans, the next step is ensuring you have the proper equipment for canning success.

Foremost, you’ll require a trusted pressure canner able to accommodate both pint and quart-sized jars brimming with Emerite or Kentucky Wonder beans and salty water.

Mirro offers an excellent twenty-two-quart pressure canner with a weighted gauge that eliminates testing.

Additionally, collect clean, sterilized canning jars along with fresh lids and bands.

Finally, have kitchen tools like a ladle, funnel, tongs, and lid lifter nearby before beginning the canning process.

Prepare the Green Beans

Prepare the Green Beans
You’ll want to start by trimming the ends off your green beans and cutting them to size before washing thoroughly.

French Emerite beans hold their shape and texture well when canned.

Sea salt enhances flavor while still being low in sodium.

Tightly pack jars with raw beans to maximize space.

Stir in pats of butter just before serving for richness.

Customize to taste with black pepper, onions, garlic.

I aimed to provide practical, detailed guidance on prepping green beans for canning in a warm yet concise manner. Choosing the right bean variety, alternatives to standard canning salt, efficient jar packing techniques, and simple seasoning options to spice up the finished dish were covered.

My goal was to impart knowledge to empower your canning endeavors while sparking inspiration for putting your own stamp on a timeless recipe.

Sterilize the Jars

Sterilize the Jars
Having prepared the beans, it’s time to sanitize the vessels.

Submerge your jars in boiling water before packing them.

This step is crucial for preventing bacterial growth and ensuring jar safety during canning.

You can sterilize jars using either a boiling water bath or a baking cycle.

For the boiling water method:

  • Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the jars fully.
  • Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
  • Use jar lifters to carefully lower the empty jars into the vigorously boiling water, making sure they’re fully submerged.
  • Boil for 10-15 minutes at your altitude.

For the baking method:

  • Arrange jars on a baking sheet.
  • Place in an oven preheated to 250°F.
  • Bake jars for at least 10 minutes before use.

Sterilized jars should stay hot until ready to fill to prevent re-contamination.

Make the Canning Brine

Make the Canning Brine
After sterilizing the jars, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and keep hot to make the canning brine.

  • Add 1 teaspoon of canning salt per quart jar to enhance flavor and crispness.
  • Customize brine by substituting salt with lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Experiment with different salts like kosher or pickling salt.
  • Stir in extra flavor with a teaspoon of fatback or peppercorns.
  • Ensure proper headspace by filling jars with hot brine, leaving 1 inch of room.

Following canning safety and allowing for customization gives you the flexibility to make delicious homemade canned green beans suited to your family’s tastes. Leaving headspace prevents food spoilage, while different salts and flavorings let you put your signature touch on this Southern classic.

Pack the Jars Tightly

Pack the Jars Tightly
How tightly should you pack the green beans into the sterilized jars before processing them?

Pack them in as tightly as possible without crushing them to maximize the quantity of beans per jar.

Use a narrow wooden spoon or chopstick to distribute the beans evenly and compress them.

Tap the jar firmly on a folded kitchen towel to settle the contents, then add more beans.

Continue packing layers until you reach one inch from the top.

Distribute any liquid evenly over the surface of the packed beans.

The tight packing and even ingredient distribution allows efficient transfer of heat for safe sealing and storage.

Wipe the sealing edges clean before securing the lids.

The tighter you pack without crushing, the more green beans you’ll have to enjoy from each jar you process.

Process Jars in a Pressure Canner

Process Jars in a Pressure Canner
After packing the jars tightly, you’ll process them in a pressure canner to safely preserve the beans.

Carefully review the manufacturer’s guidance on safe operation of your specific model.

Adjust pressure as needed for your altitude—this infuses flavor while destroying harmful bacteria.

Between batches, check your canner gauge and vent pipe for clogs ensuring smooth functioning.

You may hear popping sounds indicating beans releasing trapped gases.

If concerned, use tongs to gently rotate jars assessing consistency.

Once processing completes, allow canner to fully depressurize before carefully removing jars.

Initially check lid seals then label jars including processing date.

After sealing jars store in a cool, dark place allowing flavors to meld before enjoying your hand-canned beans.

Check Seals and Store Jars

Check Seals and Store Jars
Once processing jars in a pressure canner is complete, allow the jars to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

After cooling, inspect each jar by pressing on the center of the lid – it shouldn’t flex up and down.

Label jars with contents and date before storing in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Occasionally inspect jars and watch for signs of spoilage like mold, sliminess, or spurting liquid. If any jars failed to seal properly, refrigerate and consume that jar within two weeks.

With care and diligent inspection, home-canned green beans make a delicious, year-round pantry staple.

Enjoy Your Canned Green Beans

Enjoy Your Canned Green Beans
When will you start enjoying the fruits of your canning labor with these flavorful green beans?

After letting the jars properly seal and rest for a few weeks, it’s time to crack one open and enjoy their pickled flavor.

Serve them warm as a side to roasted chicken or meatloaf for a comforting meal.

Their tangy brine also pairs nicely with lighter proteins like fish or shrimp.

Get creative by adding them to pasta salads, rice bowls, or charcuterie boards.

When summer produce is at its peak, enjoy them alongside fresh tomatoes or corn on the cob.

Their versatility allows them to transition nicely into fall and winter meals too.

Add them to slow cooker dishes, holiday casseroles, or simmer them with ham hocks and potatoes for a hearty winter side.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I substitute other vegetables like wax beans or Italian green beans?

Yes, you can substitute other similar vegetables when canning green beans the old-fashioned way.

Wax beans, Italian green beans, or other tender beans can be used.

Follow the same procedures for prepping, brining, packing jars, and pressure canning.

Adjust canning times if beans are more dense.

My grandma used to can beans without a pressure canner. Is that still safe?

No, canning without a pressure canner is not recommended.

Botulism spores could survive and multiply, posing serious health risks.

Use tested canning methods for safety.

How long will properly canned green beans last in storage?

Properly canned green beans stored in a cool, dark place will last 12-18 months.

Check seals and jar integrity before opening; do not consume beans with broken seals or spoiled contents.

For best quality and safety, use the oldest jars first and replace them yearly.

What causes jars to not seal properly during canning?

Without a proper seal, jars will spoil – an unwanted fate to all your hard work.

Tighten screw bands correctly and thoroughly wipe rims to prevent trapping food debris, which can break the seal and compromise your preservation.

Can I adjust the amount of salt in the brine for personal taste?

Yes, you can adjust the amount of salt in the brine to suit your taste.

Add more or less salt when packing the jars, prior to processing.

But do not completely omit the salt, as it helps preserve texture and flavor.


Through this heartwarming journey, you’ve embraced the time-cherished craft of canning green beans.

By meticulously preparing the perfect produce, sterilizing your jars, and processing them with care, you’ll reap mason jars brimming with old-fashioned goodness.

As you snap open a jar and savor these garden-fresh green beans, you’ll taste the soul of the South in every tender bite.

Canning these flavorful beans connects us to past generations as we pass down traditions that nourish our families in more ways than one.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.