Canning Green Beans Without a Pressure Cooker: A Simple Guide

Green beans are a garden favorite, and canning them is a great way to preserve their fresh taste all year round. While many think you need a pressure cooker to can green beans, there’s a simpler way using just a water bath canner. This method is straightforward, requiring minimal equipment and ingredients. If you’re looking for a no-fuss introduction to canning your green bean harvest, you’re in the right place! Dive in and discover how you can easily store and enjoy these crisp veggies throughout the seasons.

How to Can Green Beans Without a Pressure Cooker?

Let’s use a water bath canner to make some green beans the easy way. Follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Gather Your Supplies
  • Fresh green beans
  • Jars with lids and rings (typically pint or quart size)
  • Large pot or water bath canner
  • Jar lifter or tongs
  • Salt (optional)
  1. Prep Your Beans
  • Wash the green beans thoroughly.
  • Snap off the ends and break or cut them into desired lengths, usually about 1-2 inches.
  1. Prepare Your Jars
  • Make sure your jars, lids, and rings are clean. You can sterilize them by boiling them for 10 minutes.
  • Keep the jars warm until you’re ready to pack them (you can leave them in the hot water).
  1. Pack the Beans
  • Fill the jars with green beans. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pint jars or one teaspoon to quart jars for flavor.
  • Cover the beans with boiling water, leaving a 1-inch space at the top.
  1. Seal the Jars
  • Wipe the rims of the jars to ensure they’re clean.
  • Place the lid on each jar and screw on the ring until it’s “finger-tight.”
  1. Process in the Water Bath
  • Fill your large pot or water bath canner halfway with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Carefully lower the jars into the boiling water using a jar lifter or tongs.
  • Ensure the jars are covered by at least an inch of water.
  • Boil the jars for a long time to ensure safety. Typically, this is about 5 minutes for pint jars and 10 minutes for quart jars.
  • Remove the jars from the water and let them cool on a cloth or wooden board, away from drafts.
  1. Check the Seal and Store
  • Once cooled (usually after 12-24 hours), press the center of each lid. If it doesn’t pop back, it’s sealed.
  • Store the sealed jars in a cool, dark place.

Remember: The water bath method for canning green beans isn’t as protective against certain bacteria as the pressure canning method. Always ensure you’ve processed jars for the full recommended time and consume them within a year for the best quality.

Enjoy your home-canned green beans all year round!

How to Can Green Beans Without a Pressure Cooker

Is It Safe To Can Green Beans In A Water Bath?

No, it’s not safe. Green beans are low-acid foods, so they need high heat from a pressure canner to destroy harmful bacteria. Using a water bath canner doesn’t get hot enough and could lead to foodborne illnesses like botulism. Always use a pressure canner for green beans. Safety first!

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have A Pressure Canner?

If you don’t have a pressure canner:

  • Freezing: Clean, blanch, and freeze green beans in freezer bags.
  • Pickling: Use a water bath canner to make pickled green beans.
  • Drying: Dehydrate green beans for storage.
  • Refrigeration: Store fresh green beans in the fridge for short-term use.

Note: Always use a pressure canner for long-term canning of low-acid foods like green beans. Safety is key!

What Can I Use If I Don't Have A Pressure Canner

Can You Cold Pack Green Beans?

Yes, you can cold pack green beans. This means placing raw beans directly into jars without pre-cooking. However, when cold packing, you must process the jars in a pressure canner for safety. Cold packing without pressure canning is unsafe. Always prioritize safety!

Do you cook green beans before canning?

For hot packing, Boil green beans for 5 minutes before placing them in jars. For cold packing: No pre-cooking, but always use a pressure canner. Safety first!

Do you cook green beans before canning

How Long Are Canned Green Beans Good For?

Stored in a cool, dark place, home-canned green beans are best within one year. After that, quality may decline, but they can remain safe if canned properly. Always check for signs of spoilage before consuming. Safety first!


Canning green beans lets you enjoy them year-round. Always process them using a pressure canner for safety. If canned and stored correctly, they’re best within a year but watch for spoilage signs. Happy canning, and always prioritize safety!

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