To cold-pack can green beans, choose young, fresh beans and wash them thoroughly. Pack them into sterilized jars and cover them with boiling water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Place the jars in the canner and process pints for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for altitude accordingly.
How to Cold Pack Green Beans
When cold-packing green beans, no pre-cooking is needed. Add salt and any desired seasonings to the jars, and then fill them with boiling water before processing them in a canner. The vacuum seal created during the canning process keeps the beans fresh by preventing the growth of bacteria and mold. Cold-packing green beans preserve the texture and keep the flavor intact.
Pressure Canning Cold Pack Green Beans
Green beans are a low-acid food, so pressure canning is the ideal method for preserving them. If you’re canning for the first time, the USDA’s National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends reading their Principles of Home Canning guide. Low-acid foods cannot be safely processed through water bath canning, and botulism spores can survive in boiling water.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for pressure canning green beans using the raw pack method:
- Select fresh green beans.
- Wash beans thoroughly under running cold water and remove the ends.
- Cut the green beans into 1-inch pieces.
- Ladle the green beans tightly into clean, sterilized canning jars, leaving about 1-inch headspace. Add canning salt to the jars to enhance flavor, if desired. 1 teaspoon salt for each quart jar, and ½ a teaspoon per pint.
- Fill jars with hot water, leaving 1-inch headspace.
- Using a bubble popper or a plastic utensil, remove any trapped air bubbles by running them along the inside of the jar.
- Use a damp kitchen cloth to wipe the rims of the jars clean.
- Put the lids on and screw the bands on the jars until they are finger-tight.
- Preheat your pressure canner and add water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the jars of green beans into the canner and set them on the canning rack using canning tongs.
- Close the pressure canner and turn up the heat. Allow the canner to vent for 10 minutes, then close the vent and bring the canner up to the recommended pressure for your altitude.
Altitude and pressure per canner type for cold pack canning green beans:
|0 – 1,000||11 lbs||10 lbs|
|1,001 – 2,000||11 lbs||15 lbs|
|2,001 – 4,000||12 lbs||15 lbs|
|4,001 – 6,000||13 lbs||15 lbs|
|6,001 – 8,000||14 lbs||15 lbs|
|8,001 – 10,000||15 lbs||15 lbs|
- Process pint jars for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes.
- Once the processing time is over, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool down undisturbed and depressurize to zero naturally.
- Remove the jars using a jar lifter and let them cool completely.
- Check the seals on the jars to ensure they are properly sealed. Label and store the jars in a cool, dry place.
Benefits of Cold Packing Green Beans
There are many benefits to cold-packing green beans for canning, including:
- Cold packing allows for greater flexibility. You can add seasonings and canning liquids of your choice, including plain water, seasoned water, or a brine solution with added spices.
- Cold packing helps retain the flavor and texture of green beans.
- Cold packing is an easier and quicker method of canning green beans.
- Not cooking the beans helps to preserve more of the nutrients.
Is It Better to Hot Pack or Cold Pack Green Beans?
You can use the hot pack or cold pack method to preserve green beans. The hot pack method reduces the processing time because you need to blanch the green beans for 5 minutes before processing. Pre-cooking also extends the shelf life by reducing the number of bacteria and microorganisms.
However, hot packing may not be the best method to preserve green beans. Pre-cooking the green beans may cause them to become mushy or lose their texture if overcooked. Furthermore, the pre-cooking process for hot packing may not retain as many nutrients as for cold packing.
Can You Safely Can Green Beans Without a Pressure Canner?
Green beans must be canned in a pressure canner because they have a low acidity with a PH of not more than 6.0. However, if you want to use a boiling water canner, you have to increase the acidity of your green beans by pickling them with a mixture of pickling liquid.
Does a Cold Pack Need a Boiling Water Bath Canner?
Yes, a cold pack needs a boiling water bath canner if the green beans are pickled to increase their acidity and kill any harmful bacteria. However, pressure canning is the recommended method for cold-pack canning green beans that aren’t pickled to ensure their safety.
How to Store Cold Pack Canned Green Beans
Store canned green beans in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. The recommended temperature should be between 50 and 70°F. Label the jars with the contents and the date they were canned to keep track of the shelf life of the canned green beans. Use the first in, first out method to rotate your stock to ensure the best quality and freshness.
How Long Can Cold Pack Canned Green Beans Be Stored?
Properly canned, sealed, and stored green beans can last for up to 12 months or more. However, it is recommended to use them within 6 to 8 months for best results. Inspect your jars of home-canned green beans for signs of spoilage before using them. This includes bulging lids, leaks, or an off-color or odor. If you notice any of these signs, discard the canned food immediately.