Easy Guide to Home Canning Wax Beans

yellow and green wax beans in a jar
Wax beans are a low acid food that should be processed in a pressure canner. Canning wax beans will preserve their color and flavor for 12 months. To preserve canned wax beans longer, refrigerate unopened jars for up to 2 years.

What is the Best Method to Preserve Wax Beans?

Pressure canning wax beans is the best method to preserve them. This process lowers the risk of botulism and ensures wax beans are safe to eat for up to two years.

How to Prepare Wax Beans for Canning

If it’s your first time canning wax beans, follow the steps below to hot pack them:

  1. Sort your wax beans. Beans that are young, fresh, tender, and crispy are best for canning.
  2. Wash thoroughly under cool running tap water to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. With a sharp knife, cut the ends of the beans to remove the strings.
  4. Cut into 1-inch pieces or leave the beans whole, if preferred.
  5. Boil the wax beans for 3-5 minutes in a large pot.
  6. Remove and submerge the beans briefly into a bowl filled with cold water to complete the blanching process.
  7. Pack beans into quart jars, and top with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.
  8. Remove excess air bubbles by running a spatula along the sides of the jars.
  9. Wipe the jar rims clean, and cover them with lids.
  10. Apply screw bands until fingertip tight.
Jars of wax beans

Pressure Canning Wax Beans

Use a weighted gauge or dial gauge pressure canner to can wax beans by following these steps:

  1. Fill your pressure canner with 4 inches of hot water and place it over low heat. Leave the lid off.
  2. Using jar tongs, place sealed jars on the jar rack. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the proper water level before sealing the canner.
  3. With the weight off or the valve open, turn it to high heat and allow the canner to vent steam for approximately ten minutes. 
  4. Put the weight on or close the valve and let the pressure build to the necessary pounds of pressure based on your altitude. Process the jars per the tables below:

Processing time and pressure for wax beans in a dial-gauge pressure canner.

Altitude0 – 2,000 ft2,001 – 4,000 ft4,001 – 6,000 ft6,001 – 8,000 ft
Pints (20 mins)11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb
Quarts (25 mins)11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb

Processing time and pressure for wax beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.

Altitude0 – 1,000 ftAbove 1,000 ft
Hot Pack Pints (20 mins)10lb15lb
Hot Pack Quarts (25 mins)10lb15lb
  1. After the processing time has passed, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool. Wait until you hear a clicking sound before opening your canner.
  2. Open the canner and remove the jars using a jar lifter.
  3. Let the jars air cool to room temperature overnight. The jars may make a popping sound as they seal.
  4. Once the jars are completely cool, remove the screw bands and check that the seals are tight.
  5. If the seal is indented, it is ready for labeling and storage.
  6. If a jar doesn’t seal, you can reprocess it with a new lid or put it into the refrigerator and consume the beans within two days.

What is the Difference Between Canning Green Beans and Wax Beans?

Wax beans come in two colors, and yellow wax beans can be described as green beans without the chlorophyll that makes them green. They share similarities in shape, size, texture, and flavor, and they are often canned together.

Side by side comparison of green and yellow wax beans
Green and yellow wax beans

Can Wax Beans be Canned in a Water Bath?

Pressure canning is the recommended method for wax beans due to their low acidity.

However, water bath canning wax beans is possible as long as they are pickled first. Pickling raises the pH of the beans and allows them to be processed in a water bath canner.

Pickled wax beans made with canning salt or pickling salt and vinegar are commonly referred to as dilly beans.

How Long Does it Take to Can Wax Beans?

It takes around 20 minutes to pressure can wax beans in pint jars and 25 minutes for quart jars. Every pressure canner has special instructions on processing time and canning procedures that should be followed.

Are Wax Beans Healthy?

Don’t let the humble pale yellow color deceive you; wax beans are full of vitamin A, calcium, folate, vitamin C, and beta–carotene. They are a nutritionally dense food that is low in calories and high in fiber which makes them an ideal part of your regular diet.

Meal Ideas for Canned Wax Beans

Wax beans are versatile, and you can use yellow and canned green beans interchangeably in these tasty recipes:

Bean Salad

Enjoy three types of plant-based proteins on one plate with snap beans, kidney beans, and yellow or green beans in this colorful dish.

Creamy Buttered Wax Beans

Need a quick and satisfying side dish? Heat your canned wax beans in the canning liquid with butter and season to taste!

Pan-seared Wax Beans with Cashews and Garlic

Are you looking for a creative way of serving your wax beans? Cashews and garlic enhance the flavor of wax beans in this winning meal!

Sautéed Wax Beans

Substitute canned wax beans for fresh and toss in some flavorful spices for a crowd-pleasing dish.

Yellow Wax Beans with Toasted Almonds

Dress up your plate with this tasty side dish for pork, fish, and chicken.

Storage and Shelf Life of Canned Wax Beans

Canned wax beans have a shelf life of two years. If not used within two years, the taste and quality may deteriorate.

For best results, keep the unopened jars in your pantry away from light and heat.


Growing up as a farm girl, Regie assisted her grandparents in canning sheep meat and helped her mother sell canned carrots. This grew her passion for canning from a young age. As a writer, she uses her canning experience to give creative, practical ideas for preserving different foods to canning enthusiasts.

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