Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Vegetables

Canning Beans (page 3 of 3)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Processing Times

Vegetable Pint Quart
Snap beans 20 minutes 25 minutes
Lima beans 40 minutes 50 minutes
Soybeans 55 minutes 65 minutes
Dried shell beans 75 minutes 90 minutes

If beans are large, process 10 minutes longer. Your canner instructions may differ with the times given above. If so, follow your canner instructions.

Altitude affects pressure canners. You need to use more pressure and longer cooking time the higher your altitude.

If you're using a weight-control canner, increase the pressure to 15 pounds at elevations higher than 2,000 feet. Do not cold pack beans for pressure processing at altitudes above 6,000 feet.

Don't skimp on the processing times. The correct amount of time is important to ensure that all bacteria are killed. When the processing is complete, remove the canner from the heat and let it slowly return to zero pressure. Be patient! When the pressure has returned to zero, open the petcock or slowly remove the weight gauge, then remove the top, opening it so that it faces away from you.

7. Complete the processing. Using tongs or a jar lifter, remove the jars and place them upright on a rack or thick towel in a draft-free area, leaving enough room between the jars to allow air to circulate freely. Do not tighten the rims on the dome lids; you may break the seals.

8. After 12 hours of cooling, test the seals. There are three tests for checking the seal on a dome lid:

* As the vacuum forms, the lids pull down into the jar, making a kerplunking sound.

* The lids will be dished in the middle and should stay that way as long as the vacuum is present; you can feel it.

* Push down on the center of the lid with your thumb. If you get a clicking sound, the seal isn't complete.

If you find any jars with incomplete seals, put the jars in the refrigerator and use the food right away. The food is perfectly good to eat; it just won't last in storage.

9. Wipe the jars with a clean, damp cloth. At this point, carefully remove the screw bands for reuse. Label the produce clearly, including the date. Store the vegetables in a cool, dark, dry area; moisture may affect the lids and seals on the jars. If your cellar is damp, keep the jars well off the floor. Alternately, store them in an unused closet or kitchen cupboard.

10. Before serving, reheat all canned beans by boiling them in an open kettle for 15 minutes -- without tasting -- to make sure any bacteria are killed. If the beans smell "off" or if their color or appearance doesn't look right, don't taste them. If in doubt, throw them out -- carefully and without tasting.

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