Canning 101 – How to Can Green Beans

Well, I did it. I succesfully canned green beans in a pressure canner, and I didn’t blow up the house either. I totally feel like Olivia Walton right now.  In fact I might even go cut up some fabric and sew me a quilt this afternoon too. Ha Ha Ha!

So because I am a visual learner, I decided to take a boatload of pictures for you just in case you want to give this a try too.

Step 1 – Fill a pressure canner with 4 inches of water, place the rack in the bottom of the canner, and then place the canner on the stove and bring the water to a boil over low heat.

While the water in the canner is heating up, wash and cut your beans.  I used just under 8 pounds of beans and I ended up with 12 pint jars of green beans.

Fill clean, dry, sterilized jars 1 inch from the top with cut green beans.

Cover the beans with boiling water within 1 inch of the top of the jar and remove any air bubbles.

Carefully place the jars in boiling water, on the bottom of the canner rack. The water level in the canner should be at 3 inches by now.  If not, add more boiling water until you are at 3 inches.

Raise the temp to med- high and place the lid on the canner.  Set a timer for 10 minutes to allow the steam to escape. DO NOT put the weight on the canner yet.

After 10 minutes of venting, tighten the side clamps.

Put the 10 pound weight in place and make sure any openings are now closed and allow the pressure to build to 11 pounds.

Once the pressure canner reaches 10 pounds, set your timer for 20 minutes {see chart below}.  You may need to adjust the heat {I did} to maintain 10 pounds of pressure.

Once the 20 minutes are up, turn off the heat.  Walk away, go find something to do until the pressure in your canner drops to zero {my canner made a “ping” noise when it hit zero.  Do not attempt to open your canner until it is at zero.  Big No No!

Once the pressure in the canner has dropped to zero, remove the clamps, and remove the lid. Carefully place the jars in a draft free area {I always place my hot jars on a towel}.

photo credit

 Check seals {they will be indented if you canned the beans properly} and after the jars have fully cooled down, wipe clean and store in a cool dark pantry {or cupboard} away from heat.

Viola!  That is how you can green beans. See, I told you it was easy.


Christmas of 2008 my Mother in Law gave me an All American 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner.  Now, I’m all about saving money, but a pressure canner is not something I would buy used.  But that’s just me.  So you do what you like.  But if you are interested in getting a new one,  Amazon has a ton of different sizes to choose from and the All American company has the highest ratings.

 * I am not a pressure canning expert, this is simply how I canned my own green beans. Can at your own risk.


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  1. says

    It is easy! Although in my rookie years I tried to hurry the de-pressuring time … and ended up with a minor explosion. Thankfully all the kids were out of the house and I ended up with no cuts, just glass and beans all over my kitchen.

  2. Robin Welch says

    Thanks for posting I have the same canner as you but have been a big chicken and haven’t used it yet. I was worried about it exploding. Shame on me its been over a year!!! I might work up the courage now that you’ve given the step by step tutorial, thanks

  3. Sakura says

    I love canning green beans, last weekend I finished up 37 quarts. I planted some new bean plants about a month ago and they are producing now. Looks like I’ll be canning more soon.

  4. Jeanne says

    I’m surprised you’re canning pint jars instead of quart jars with your beans. Especially for your family of 4. I noticed you did this with your peas too. Any reason why?

    • Mavis says

      I prefer to can them in pint jars because that is how much we would use for 1 meal. :) Monkey Boy does not like cooked green beans.

      • Sakura says

        Have you tried canning dill pickled peas…. yummy! I couldn’t wait to try them so I opened one and used it in a salad. I’m hoping to get more peas this fall to make a few more jars.

  5. Chela says

    My husband got me the same canner and some canning books a couple years ago for Valentines day. I love it!! Green beans are awesome and I have even canned chicken after a Zaycon sale and corned beef after St. Patty’s day. It has all turned out great.

  6. Elizabeth F says

    I’m still afraid to use the pressure canner, just use it as boiling water bath for the quart jars. Must go back to all those fears being put into me by my grandma…stay out of the kitchen now, if it blows it’ll put your eye out. Along with stay out of the cellar now…the ringer washer on and it’ll take your arm off.

  7. theenglishrider says

    Pressure Cannes are quite safe…except that you run the risk of becoming a canning addict.

  8. shelley says

    Hey I did try to can green beans however when all was finished the liquid in the jar was below the bean is that ok? help I don’t want to poison the family

  9. Kelly says

    Hi Mavis, I just found your blog when I was looking up pallet garden, and I had a couple of questions about canning. What is the difference between a regular canner and a pressure canner? Also is it possible to can these beans in a regular canner?

    • Mavis Butterfield says

      A pressure canner is used for regular green beans. You can make Dilly Beans or Green Bean pickles in a hot water canner because you use vinegar.

  10. Darlene says

    Winco has peanut butter chips in the bulk food section, much less expensive! Glad you are pressure canning, the skies the limit now. You should totally try tuna. Super easy and sooo good, just make sure you do it outside :)

  11. sharon says

    Mavis do you or any of your readers have any tips with canning pickles or okra so that they stay crunchy for longer then 2 or 3 months?
    Thank you! :)

    • Darlene says

      Try fermenting, always results in a crispy pickle. Lots of online help and amazon books. It’s actually very easy to do :)

      • Darlene says

        Also, make the pickles as soon as you pick your cukes, and time your boiling canner as soon as you drop your jars, don’t wait for it to come back to a boil. This is in the fine print of the ball book!

  12. Debbie says

    Hi Mavis

    Thank you for the canning green beans information. I am going to try canning salsa this year.
    Do you have a recipe or any advice for canning salsa?

  13. Tangela says

    I just canned my first green beans this weekend, too! Also, my first time using a pressure canner. I was a nervous nilly throughout the whole process. I “THINK” everything came out alright. I was canning the Cherokee Trail of Tears bean and the finished color was odd looking – not bright green like I’ve seen before of canned green beans. The beans were a little brown and some of the ‘seed’ (the little white bean inside the green bean) turned a pinkish brown. I know when I cook these in my cast iron, they get a dark color to them. Also, I used iodized table salt in them. Is that okay instead of canning salt? Should I be concerned? Thanks in advance!

  14. Jennifer says

    Does anyone, or Mavis do you, have thoughts on the texture of canned green beans? I ate store-bought canned green beans as a kid just fine. But when I can my own, the texture is so squishy and the flavor is the pits. I tried blanching and freezing, and those are worse. Am I the only one who thinks home canned green beans are super soft?

    • Michelle R says

      I know it’s been a year since you asked this question but I think the type of bean makes the difference. Some are just better fresh. When I look at seeds for the garden I look for a good canning type.

      Hope that helps a bit.


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