Canning Green Beans: Water Bath Method and Recipe

pickled green beans in jar
Canning green beans begins by creating a pickle brine by combining water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and pour this over raw, trimmed green beans, leaving 1/2” headspace. Process in a water bath canner for 5-15 minutes.

Is it Possible to Safely Can Green Beans in a Water Bath?

The USDA recommends water bath canning for high-acid foods. If pickled first, green beans are suitable for water bath canning.

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dilly beans in canning jars

Water Bath Canning Green Beans Recipe

  • Author: Leo
  • Total Time: 35 minutes


This recipe for old-fashioned “dilly beans” packs a lot of flavor into one jar! This recipe is great for first-time canners as it uses the raw pack method. Enjoy pickled green beans canned with fresh dill and garlic year-round with this recipe.


  • 4 lbs fresh green beans (5 to 6 inches long)
  • 8 to 16 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pickling or canning salt
  • 4 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Wash and trim green beans. Cut them into 4-inch pieces, discarding the stems.
  2. Sterilize canning jars, lids, and screw bands by placing them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the jars using a jar lifter and place them on a towel-covered countertop.
  4. In each sterile pint jar, place one to two heads of dill and a clove of garlic.
  5. Place beans upright in the jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Trim beans to get the proper headspace, if necessary.
  6. Combine salt, vinegar, water, and pepper flakes in a pot. Bring the solution to a rolling boil.
  7. Using a canning funnel or ladle, carefully pour the hot brine over the green beans, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  8. Using a sterilized spatula or bubble remover tool, release any trapped air bubbles by running the utensil along the inside of each jar. Add additional brine if necessary to maintain ½-inch headspace.
  9. Wipe the rims of the filled jars. Place sanitized jar lids and screw bands on jars, and screw until fingertip tight.
  10. Load cans onto jar rack and lower them into the canner. Add hot water if needed to raise the water level to 1 inch above the top of the jars.
  11. Once the jars are in the canner, heat water to a rolling boil and place the lid on the canner.
  12. Process for 5 minutes if your elevation is between 0 and 1,000ft, 10 minutes for elevations between 1,001 and 6,000 ft, and 15 minutes for anything above 6,000ft.
  13. Once processed, turn the heat off and remove the lid of the canner. Allow the jars to rest for 5 minutes.
  14. After 5 minutes, remove the jars from the canner with a jar lifter or jar tongs and place them carefully on a cushioned surface.
  15. Do not retighten screw bands. Let jars air cool for 12-24 hours. You should hear a popping sound as the jars seal during the cooling process.
  16. Once the jars are completely cool, remove the screw bands and check the seals.
  17. If the seal is indented, the jar is safe to label and store in a cool, dark place.
  18. If the seal isn’t indented, you can use a new lid and reprocess them, or put unsealed jars into the refrigerator and consume them within a few days.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Canning Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 32kcal
  • Sugar: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 1447mg
  • Fat: 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.2g
  • Fiber: 2.7g
  • Protein: 1.5g

How Long Do You Process Green Beans in a Water Bath Canner?

The time needed to process green beans in a water bath canner depends on elevation.

Processing time for pickled green beans in a boiling-water canner:

Altitude (ft)0 – 1,0001,001 – 6,0006,000 +
Raw Pack Pints5 mins10 mins15 mins

Why Do Green Beans Need to Be Pickled for Water Bath Canning?

Water bath canning low-acid foods isn’t safe. It creates the perfect breeding ground for Clostridium botulinum, the bacteria which causes botulism.

Water bath canning is safe for high-acid foods because the acidity of the food naturally inhibits the growth of any C. botulinum spores. Pressure canning and the temperatures reached through that canning process are needed to kill the spores present in foods with low acidity.

Pickled green beans on plate
Pickled green beans

How Much Headspace is Needed When Canning Green Beans?

It is necessary to leave ½ inch of headspace when canning pickled green beans in a water bath canner. 1-inch headspace is required for green beans canned using a pressure canner.

What are the Benefits of Canning Green Beans?

  • Canned green beans are a healthy, versatile food
  • Canned green beans have fewer additives and preservatives than store-bought
  • Green beans are a great source of vitamins A, B, and K
  • Green beans are said to help lower cholesterol and maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Green beans contain calcium, magnesium, and iron
  • Green beans have low caloric density and may help with weight loss

What is the Difference Between Green Beans and String Beans?

Green beans and string beans are the same vegetables. Some varieties may be referred to as “string beans”, “snap beans”, or “wax beans”, but they’re all green beans.

Green beans in canning jar with water
Canned green beans

How to Store Canned Green Beans

Canned green beans should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A temperature range of 50-70 degrees F is ideal. It is important that they are not exposed to direct sunlight and are stored in a low-humidity environment to maximize shelf life.

What is the Difference Between Water Bath Canning and Pressure Canning?

Water bath canning and pressure canning are two different methods of canning.

Water bath canning involves submerging packed jars into a large pot of boiling water and processing them for a set amount of time. Water bath canning is used for more acidic foods, like fruits, jams, and pickles

Pressure canning is a canning method that requires the use of a specialized pressure canner (not to be confused with a pressure cooker). Pressure canners heat jars to a temperature higher than boiling water by using pressure. Pressure canning is used for less acidic foods, like vegetables, meat, and soup.


Leo loves growing and eating his own food and has since he was a child in Alabama working in the giant family garden. He still tries to get as much of his own food in the pantry as possible while living in California and working a much smaller patch of dirt. When not gardening or canning, Leo can often be found deep in a good book or playing with his son.

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