Canning snap beans is a snap, if you know how

Pressure canning of snap beans lowers the risk of botulism poisoning.

Summer’s fresh produce is coming in season. The freezer is filling up fast. But there is so much more you want to preserve. Why not can the produce to preserve it?

All vegetables because they have a pH level above 4.6 have to be pressure canned to destroy the Clostridium botulinum spores. Clostridium botulinum bacteria cause the deadly botulism poisoning. A special canner is required to pressure can vegetables and other low acid foods.

Pressure canners have two gauge styles: dial and weighted. The dial gauge has numbers and an arrow to watch the pressure increase, while the weighted gauge has weights in 5, 10, and 15 pounds. Dial gauge pressure canners should be checked on a yearly basis to ensure the accuracy of the dial gauge. The weights for the weighted-gauge pressure canner do not change so there is no need to have the weights tested. Contact your local MSU Extension office about having you dial gauge tested..

When canning vegetables, the addition of salt is for flavor not to prevent spoilage or to can vegetables safely.

Michigan State University Extension recommends that you wash your hands before preparing any fresh produce. The fresh produce needs to be rinsed well with lukewarm water before any further preparation takes place.

To pressure can snap beans, select tender, crisp bean pods. Discard any diseased or rusty beans. Pressure canning does not improve the quality of the beans so do not use poor quality beans. Wash the beans and trim the ends. Cut the beans into one inch pieces or leave them whole.

There are two types of packs, when placing the beans in the canning jars. The hot pack means that the produce is brought to a boil for five or more minutes and then placed into the hot jars and processed. The raw pack means raw beans are placed in the hot jars and boiling water is poured over the beans and then the jars are processed.

To hot pack beans: cover the beans with boiling water and boil them for five minutes. Pack the hot beans into clean hot jars, leaving a one inch headspace. Salt is optional. If desired, add half of a teaspoon salt to pint jars or one teaspoon salt to a quart jar. Fill the jar to within one inch of the rim with boiling water. Remove air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a paper towel or clean cloth. Adjust the lids. Process in a pressure canner.

To raw pack beans: pack the beans tightly into the hot sterilized jars, leaving one inch headspace. Add salt if desired. Fill the jar to within one inch of the rim with boiling water. Remove the air bubbles. Wipe the rims with a paper towel or a clean cloth. Adjust the lids and process.

The processing times are the same whether hot pack or raw pack techniques are used.

Recommended process time for snap beans in a dial-gauge pressure canner at different altitudes.

Jar Size

Process time (min.)

0-2,000 ft.(pounds pressure)

2,001-4,000 ft.(psi)

4,001-6,000 ft.(psi)

6,001-8,000 ft.(psi)

Pints

20

11

12

13

14

Quarts

25

11

12

13

14

Recommended process time for snap beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner at different altitudes.

Jar Size

Process time (min.)

0-1,000 ft.(psi)

Above 1,000 ft.(psi)

Pints

20

10

15

Quarts

25

10

15

Later you will be able to enjoy the fruits of your pressure canning labor. Pressure canning beans can be a snap if you know how!

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