Preserving/Canning

Canning Green Beans – According To Granny

Canning Greenbeans recipe

Today I’d like to share with you-Granny’s method of canning green beans. Each person who cans-has their own little tricks or preferences on how to assemble the ingredients-and to complete the steps necessary to produce the finished product. During my lifetime-I’ve ate lots of green beans-and lets just say none compare to Granny’s-of course this may be cause I’m slightly prejudice where she’s concerned. But Granny is experienced-she cans on the average-90 quarts of green beans each summer.

As I took notes on Granny’s Method-she repeatedly warned me about the dangers associated with using pressure canners. When my brothers and I were little-she was so paranoid about it-that we weren’t allowed in the kitchen when the pressure canner was going. If you decide to can green beans-read your pressure canner’s operating manual-and follow it’s instructions.

After stringing and breaking the green beans-Granny blanches them by putting them in a pot covered with water-she brings the water to a boil-then turns off the heat. Some recipes don’t call for blanching the beans-but Granny says it allows her to get more green beans into each jar.

While the beans are coming to a boil-Granny begins sterilizing her jars, rings, and lids in a pot of boiling water.

How to can greenbeans

Granny doesn’t drain the green beans-she just uses a slotted spoon and funnel to dip the beans out of the pot and place into the sterilized jar.

When the jar is about 3 thirds full-Granny uses her spoon to mash down the beans-then continues filling the jar-until full-leaving 1/2 inch of head space at the top of jar.

greenbean canning

Next-Granny adds a teaspoon of salt to the jar. You can see-she doesn’t use an actual measuring spoon. Granny said-she has used both canning salt-and regular iodized table salt when canning green beans and couldn’t tell a difference.

greenbeans in jar

This step is where Granny’s method varies from most of the others I’ve seen. Most instructions advise you to add boiling water to the jar after filling with green beans and salt-but most say to leave a space at the top-Granny fills her jars completely full of boiling water. You can see in the photo-the water comes completely even with the rim of the jar.

tighten lid

Next Granny screws the rings and lid onto the jar-very tightly.

Then she places the jar in her pressure canner-repeating the process above until the canner is filled. Granny’s pressure canner holds 7 jars.

Next she adds hot water to the canner-till it covers 1/3 of the jars. Check your pressure canner’s instructions for the amount of water you should add.

Following the directions to her pressure canner-she attaches the lid-and places the canner on the stove-and begins heating the unit. Granny has used 2 pressure canners during her life-you can see the one she uses now has a gage that tells the pressure level of the canner. It also has a pop up steam release-that pops up once the canner begins to produce pressure.

Her old one had a jiggler. You placed the hole which corresponded to the amount of pressure you desired on the top of the canner. Once is started ‘jiggling’ you knew the desired pressure had been reached. The jiggler also acted as a steam release.

With both canners-Granny used the same amount of time and pressure for canning green beans. She cans green beans at 10lbs of pressure for 25 minutes. The important tip-is to follow your pressure canner’s instructions on how to get to 10lbs of pressure.

After the 25 minutes of canning-Granny turns off the heat. Leaving the canner where it is until it COOLS OFF. Never try to remove the lid to soon-it can be very dangerous-again follow your pressure canner’s instructions on how long to wait.

After the jars have cooled completely-Granny removes the rings to use again-and stores the canned green beans until needed.

So there you have it-Canning Green Beans According to Granny. Is her method similar to yours, your mother’s or grandmother’s? Do you remove the rings on your jars or leave them?

Tipper

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Dow M. Ooten
    July 18, 2016 at 3:23 am

    As a boy here in WV, my MAW and the Aunts canned beans and what not over on open fire in a #3 wash tub or in the “CANNER.” I only have a small pressure cooker, and so I have been checking on ways of canning beans because it is becoming hard to keep things frozen with the way our electric provider takes care of the lines. Sometimes we are without power for days at a time and even with a generator you can’t keep your freezers going if you can’t go buy gas.
    However, everything I am reading says that a plain water bath will not kill the Botulism, and even one bite can kill you.
    It is funny that “Granny” blanches her beans, because we do that to freeze them and then we completely drain them in colanders or steam pans till they are cool inside the fridge before we put them in plastic containers (Foldgers containers work well.) But I am thinking I’d prefer blanching mine and packing more in the jars too.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    April 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Julie-Granny seasons her beans with a piece or 2 of bacon or a piece of salt pork (side meat).Sometimes she uses a little cooking oil with salt if she doesn’t have any meat on hand.
    tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    julie
    April 21, 2013 at 8:43 am

    how did granny cook her beans when she opened them. what seasoning did she like to use?

  • Reply
    penn ashe
    August 13, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    This is in reply to an older post about keeping the water in the green beans. If you let the prssure go down in the canner real slow you will not loose much water. If you try to rush it, the water will boil out and you will have jars about 3/4 full of water.

  • Reply
    Dragonbutterfly1
    July 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Laura – My Grandmother always left a bit of room at the top but just made sure the beans were covered. During the cooking process the water and beans will expand and if filled to the top before hand, some of the water will be squeezed out of the jar. If a little room is left, then the water can expand without coming out of the jar and then when cooled the water will contract, but since none was lost the beans will still be covered. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    July 8, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Thanks for the comment!You know before pressure canners were invented or widely used-most everyone just used the water bath method-cause they had too-andId wager it helped keep many folks fed through the winter months.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Dragonbutterfly1
    July 7, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I grew up just out of Asheville, in Arden. Early 60’s. My Grandmother canned everything, but never used a pressure cooker. She just used a water bath. Never had a problem with spoilage either. I am afraid of pressure cookers, just can’t seem to get over it. I plan on water bath when I do mine this year.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    May 10, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Laura-Granny said she fills the jars up to the top-cause she always looses a little water in the canning process-just like you said. Maybe someone out there will share a special trick to keep all the water in.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Laura Graham
    May 10, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I can beans just like your granny and fill the jars to the top, but I always have trouble with loosing about an inch of liquid by the end of the pressuring procedures. I have tried tweeking my process every way I can think of but the results are always the same. My beans are always good but I would still like for the liquid to completely cover the beans to the top of the jar. Anyone have suggestions for me? I love those half-runners!

  • Reply
    Dejoni
    August 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    I want to can green beans. However, I am scared to death of pressure cookers. My great granny had one to blow up…seriously…and I’ve been terrified to try one. Everyone assures me the new ones are really safe and I may get my courage up this year. Maybe. LOL

  • Reply
    sheila
    August 9, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve never canned a thing in the world but I keep dreaming about it 🙂 and I’ve got my crock standin’ in the kitchen sink right now to see if it holds water 🙂

  • Reply
    Lanny
    August 6, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    oooh I’m a big fan of ring removal.
    Had to chuckle at your Granny’s nervousness with the pressure canner. My mom was nervous and I inherited it! She did have a great story of sterilizing baby bottles in a pressure canner, no one told her she shouldn’t put the rubber parts in. They melted, clogged the steam hole she ran, pot exploded, rubber stalactites hung from the ceiling when my dad got home.

  • Reply
    Becky
    August 6, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I’ve never canned green beans because we always eat them before we can get them canned. I have frozen them before. Down here I have a hard time growing them. But I’m still trying.

  • Reply
    Rick
    August 6, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Yup! that looks just like how my mom always did it.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 6, 2009 at 9:16 am

    David
    We have a gas fish/turkey fryer-we place it on the back deck and do our canning there. It doesn’t heat up the house-and it doesn’t damage the cook-top either. Plus after growing up with Granny’s paranoia-it seems safer too 🙂
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Marilyn
    August 6, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Tipper, your Granny and my Mama must be twins!! Mama canned so much when I was little. While I was reading your post, I remembered about Mama being so paranoid about the pressure cooker. I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen either when the pressure cooker was on the stove! Then when Mama was finished with that part, I would get to come back into the kitchen and marvel at the beauty of those beautiful beans, tomatoes, whatever she canned~ We had a basement, and deep in the back was a dugout cellar that was spooky…but, that’s where the canned goods would be stored. It was cool and dark!!! Oh, those green beans tasted so good!!! Mama would have loved your post! I know I did! I have never canned, but I might look up a recipe for green beans that doesn’t use that pressure cooker!!! Mama’s worry is still with me!
    Hugs,
    Marilyn

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Hello Tipper!
    Your grandmother’s method is close to the one that I follow for green beans.
    I have to admit, I miss canning! I have to get back to it. I must do something to make sure I have time to have a real garden back in my future.
    I looked at my canning projects, and yes, I do indeed remove the ring before I store so that I can reuse the rings.

  • Reply
    kay
    August 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    love canning, i just wish it didn’t have to be in the dead of summer when my house is already a gazillion degrees!
    looks yummy!
    http://randommusingsfrommypov.com

  • Reply
    marlene
    August 5, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I blanch my beans too Tipper, because my Mama and Grandma blanched theirs. I usually leave 1/4 inch head space. Oh I do love them! blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    David Templeton
    August 5, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    If I remember from previous pictures, your cookstove is a glasstop range. I know a pressure canner becomes extremely hot. Do you do your pressure canner canning on your glasstop stove?

  • Reply
    Tipper
    August 5, 2009 at 7:47 am

    Dee-you are right. Granny and Pap always grow White Half-Runners.
    Tipper
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Amy - parkcitygirl
    August 5, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I don’t have a method yet! My grandparents canned beans but I don’t know their method – I should ask!! Great resource Tipper 🙂

  • Reply
    Helen G.
    August 5, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Does your Granny do blackeyed peas and snaps the same way? Or does she just shell them and let them dry and put them up. I’m going to have a bushel or better of black eyed peas.
    I banged my knee up in a fall tonite… I took pics and posted the story. I’ll know tomorrow if I need to get it checked. But I can still get out and put the water on the corn.
    Helen

  • Reply
    Julie Curtis
    August 4, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I love canned green beans but I don’t have a pressure canner. I thought about using a boiling water bath and the article I read cautioned about not doing that due to chances of botulism forming in the jars.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    August 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    My mother and grandmother canned green beans, but I never have. Have helped break many a bean though. Those beans look like half-runners maybe?

  • Reply
    Terry
    August 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Your Granny’s way of canning is close to the way MaMa and I used to can beans, except we did not go all the way to the top.
    We left our rings on. Don’t know why tho.
    Terry

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 4, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Tipper,
    My process is pretty much the same as Granny’s. I have blanched them and raw packed them but don’t think it makes much difference in terms of taste. I agree with Granny though, if you blanch them more will go in the jar.
    I usually don’t even use a spoon to measure the salt, just pour it in my hand—-but I do a lot of cooking without measuring.
    My mother never used a pressure cooker of any kind. Her sister was burned with one when she was young so my mom was forever afraid.
    I learned to use a 5 gallon pressure canner from my mother-in-law. Yes, laugh if you want to, she is the same one that was famous for blowing up the pressure cooker when she cooked chicken. She liked to cook everything on high temperature! In her house it was not called a pressure cooker it was called a blow-up-pot!
    I never knew of her having any problems with the canner. LOL
    My current pressure canner is a 5 gallon pot that came from a thrift store. New gasket and pressure valve ant it works like new….even if it is 50 years old!
    Your posts are rockin, keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    August 4, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    I don’t blanch my green beans but I do can them with a pressure cooker just like your granny.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    August 4, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Tipper,
    I remember picking bushes of green beans, stringing and breaking them until my fingers were sore. We fixed bushes of green beans when I was growing up here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Mama never owned a pressure cooker. She always did water bath canning. She would put the beans into jars, place them into a bushel barrel, pour water over the jars, put them over an open fire outside and can the beans. She would cook them for hours. We had to keep wood under the fire so it wouldn’t burn out. It was hard, hot, back-breaking work, but worth all the labor when we opened a can of green beans and had them to eat in the heart of winter.

  • Reply
    Janet
    August 4, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    this is similar to how we do it. I don’t blanch the beans, though. I put the water near the top like the instructions say and Charley hand tights the lids, but not too tight. And we do take the rings off, saves buying a lot of rings! My son keeps saying “I wouldn’t take those rings off if I was doing it.” I just use the presser pot with the ‘jiggler’ on it for cooking food in, not to can in.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    August 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Back to say I love that music today!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson
    August 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I so want a taste of those beans. Better get myself motivated and give these things a try.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I’ve got to get over my fear of a pressure cooker! Those beans look so good! Oh…we always take the rings off…hmmm, don’t know why, though. Just do!

  • Reply
    mary
    August 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Her method is very similar to the one I use. I don’t fill to the top, but I think I will start cooking them so I can get more in the jar. Thank your Granny for the lesson.

  • Reply
    C-re
    August 4, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    90 quarts! I’ll be proud to get 10 I think.
    I actually do more of a pickling method. It’s the same basic recipe as Dilly Beans in the Ball Book but I don’t use Dill. Just vinegar, salt and sugar. Using this method, I don’t have to pressure can them. I can water bath can which is all I have right now. I want a pressure canner but I’m saving up for a good one!

  • Reply
    Valerie Boivin
    August 4, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I use the same recipe but I leave the rings on. It was how my granny canned them. I only wish I had 90 quarts to do this year! 🙂 We need about that much to last the whole year without buying the ones in the store.

  • Reply
    Malcolm
    August 4, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Tipper ,before we retired to Thailand ,I was a canning and pickling fool and my favorite thing to can was green beans and I did them just like your Granny did , some times I would put a gallic bud in some of them . thanks for sharing and here in Thailand we don’t have to can , because we grow 365 days a year and everything is fresh all the time and very cheap at our weekly markets , still I get a hankering to can every once in a while . Malcolm
    from The land of Smiles and Gentle People Thailand

  • Reply
    Mary
    August 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Tipper,
    Your granny cans beans the same way Mom and Grandma used to. It was quite the chore. I remember once, something went wrong with the pressure cooker and it exploded. Not a pretty sight. Grandma had to get a new one and she always called it a new fang-dangled contraption. It took her a while to get the hang of it.
    Enjoyed my visit. Have a great week.
    Blessings,
    Mary

  • Reply
    fishing guy
    August 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Tipper: We used to do canning but now that there are only two of us we no longer do it.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    August 4, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I have helped can green beans before.
    My favorite part is picking them.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    August 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I have such great memories of canning. There were 4 generations of us working for days to get the garden in. My job was to shell all the beans that had got too old. I would have a place on my thumb from working “too hard” My brother had to pick all the peas left on the vines.I was only 6 the last summer we did this but the memories have lasted over 50 years. I never had “store bought” vegetables until I was 12 and really hated them. Still do !!!!

  • Reply
    warren
    August 4, 2009 at 10:14 am

    We don’t blanch our beans but otherwise, our method is nearly identical to Granny’s. We got our skills on beans from my wife’s Granny. That might explain a lot. Anyhow, I think the only difference between iodized and non-iodized salt as far as canning, is that iodized salt sometimes makes the water a little hazy. Anyhow, we use a pressure canner all the time and do not fear it at all. Wife’s Granny taught us that too. Anyhow, when we are all done, we remove the rings. They aren’t what’s holding the lid on anyhow…

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