Last weekend I had my first experience with pressure canning! One of our neighbors invited us over to pick from their garden. They planted a surplus of green beans, onions and potatoes. Since they had already picked the row of green beans three times, they had enough canned for themselves to make it through the year.
We ended up with three buckets of green beans and a bucket of red potatoes. My first thought was to freeze the green beans since I am comfortable with that method. I had two people encourage me to try canning them as they said the end result is better. I have a small All American Pressure Canner but my neighbor let me borrow their large All American Pressure Canner.
The first step was to wash and snap all of those green beans! This was a family project. I could not have done it without the help of hubby and Capt.M. They were master snappers!
This is the process for pressure canning green beans:
Once the green beans are washed, they need to boil in water for five minutes. Then add the hot green beans to hot and sterilized canning jars. After the jars are filled with beans, add the hot water to the jars that you used to boil the beans leaving 1″ headroom. If you want salted beans, add 1 teaspoon salt to quart jars or 1/2 teaspoon salt to pint jars. Remove the air bubbles from the jar by placing a plastic spatula down the inside of the jar. Place the lid on the jar. Place the jars in a pressure cooker making sure to follow the manufactures instructions. When the steam steadily rises from the vent, set a 10 minute timer. When the timer goes off, place the weight to 10 pounds and process for 25 minutes for quart jars and 20 minutes for pints.
When the timer goes off, turn off the heat. let the pressure cooker set to bring the pressure back to zero. Once at zero carefully remove the lid. Let the jars sit in the pot for about 10 minutes to adjust to the cooler temperature. Then remove the jars and cool on the counter for 24 hours.
We ended up with 12 quarts and 10 pints of green beans! Needless to say, we are set with green beans for a loooong time!
If you are going to be canning, I highly recommend you get the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Not only does it cover canning, but freezing as well.