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I know green beans should be pressure cooked to can. But is there a recipe to use a water bath instead?

Pressure canning is required so that the temperature of the green beans is hot enough to kill Clostridium botulinum, the organism that causes botulism. It can take more than 12 hours to kill this organism at the temperature of boiling water and this is too risky for us to make a recommendation.

If you want to use a boiling water canner, consider making pickled green beans. The acid from the vinegar prevents the growth of the spores and the heating time is much less. Here is a recipe you might want to consider:


4 pounds fresh, tender green or yellow beans (5 to 6 inches long)
8 to 16 heads fresh dill
8 cloves garlic (optional)
cup canning or pickling salt
4 cups white vinegar (5 percent acidity)
4 cups water
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Yield: About 8 pints

Procedure: Wash and trim ends from beans and cut to 4-inch lengths. In each sterile pint jar, place 1 to 2 dill heads and, if desired, 1 clove of garlic.

Place whole beans upright in jars, leaving -inch headspace. Trim beans to ensure proper fit, if necessary. Combine salt, vinegar, water and pepper flakes (if desired). Bring to a boil. Add hot solution to beans, leaving -inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rims. Adjust lids.

Process 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Source: USDA 1999. Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving. 2nd edition. Pg. 132.



Douglas L. Holt, Ph.D., Chair, Food Science and Extension Specialist, University of Missouri-Columbia






Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009



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