Long time blogger, first time canner

This past weekend was my first chance to bust out the new pressure canner I got for Christmas.  I intentionally planted some extra green beans this year in the hopes I would get enough ready at once to can some to eat over the rest of the season.  I started off picking the bush green beans and got a decent amount.  Fortunately, the pole beans also were ready and I ended up picking about a 60/40 split with the majority of the beans being pole beans.  Not having personally canned green beans before, I was not sure how many pint jars I should expect to be able to fill.  I started off buying a case of 12 pint jars.  After picking the beans, I was afraid that I might ended up needing more than that so I hit a couple more stores till I found another case of 12.

Equipment of the day

Equipment of the day

The canner holds 10 pint jars, so that is my batch size.

Seating for ten.. pints.

Seating for ten.. pints.

I started off picking the bush beans and got a decent amount.

Amount of Bush Green Beans picked

Amount of Bush Green Beans picked

Although, there were a lot more once I added in the pole beans.

Now with the pole beans added on top

Now with the pole beans added on top

Now with the beans picked, it is time to clean and sterilize the jars. I don’t expect the dishwasher to completely sanitize the jars, but it certainly gets the jars clean and hot. The pressure canner should be able to kill off any of the remaining contaminants.

24 new pint jars ready to be sanitized in the dishwasher

24 new pint jars ready to be sanitized in the dishwasher

While the jars are being cleaned, it is time to give the beans a nice wash as well.

Bush beans in red bowl and pole beans in the stainless

Bush beans in red bowl and pole beans in the stainless

Jobs like this always go better when you have help. In this case the job was made better by two helpers. Those beans were snipped and cut in no time.

Bean cutter #1

Bean cutter #1

Bean cutter #2

Bean cutter #2

Now that the beans are cut, one more wash before waiting on the jars.

Bush beans cut and washed

Bush beans cut and washed

Finally, time to start filling some jars! Pretty simple really. Pack it full of beans, add a 1/2 tsp of salt and fill in all the cracks with boiling water. Poke the sides with the stick to release the bubbles and cap it off with a lid and ring.

Loading up the first jar

Loading up the first jar

First jar is loaded and ready to be placed into the canner. Just nine more to go!

First jar loaded with beans and boiling water

First jar loaded with beans and boiling water

Three jars in the pressure canner

Three jars in the pressure canner

All ten jars

All ten jars

Turns out I have a pretty good gauge for how many beans I need to have a complete batch. One heaping red bowl will do a tad over 10 jars. Should be easy enough to remember.

Leftovers.  Good thing I went and bought another set of 12 jars.

Leftovers. Good thing I went and bought another set of 12 jars.

With a full canner, it is time to apply some heat. First brought the canner to a boil and waited for the steam to vent for 10 minutes. After that, it was time to add the 10 lb regulator. Another 20 minutes of cooking at the increased pressure and voila!

Canner holding pressure

Canner holding pressure

Once the canner finally cooled down and the pressure returned to normal, it was time to remove the jars and let them finish cooling on the counter. The beans were floating to the top of the jars at first and I could still see some of the liquid boiling a bit.

Still boiling a bit and floating

Still boiling a bit and floating

It was time to head to bed, so I didn’t hear all the tops ‘ping’ but I did hear one before turning in.

Ten jars of bean out to cool

Ten jars of bean out to cool

At this point, I now have 10 jars of green beans. A rough estimate on the costs put me at about $10/jar. I really need to can a lot more for many years to come before I get close to the cost of the 88 cent cans of beans at the store. 🙂

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