Canning Green Beans to make Dilly Beans – A Water Bath Canning Tutorial
Water Bath Canning isn’t difficult and making this Dilly Bean Recipe is great way to use up all those green beans from the garden and learn the skill of water bath canning. This time of year it’s a race to use up the veggies that my “bursting at the seams” garden produces. There’s a limit to how much the family can eat of any one vegetable variety and still be able to use the word “variety”. Mention the word zucchini and the family turns the color of one. It’s the same thing with the wax beans and green beans so I spent this weekend cleaning up the” bean scene” in the garden with a marathon canning session. I spent Saturday getting “pickled” by making my green beans into Dilly Beans, a favorite green bean recipe for my family. For those of you who haven’t canned, I am doing this post as a “water bath canning 101” canning tutorial. Don’t be afraid to try canning. I was intimidated by the canning process the first time I tried to can tomatoes. Making sure I didn’t make any mistakes that could make someone sick was my major concern.
Two Types of Canning – Water Bath and Pressure Canning
If you are new to canning, there are two types of canning – water bath and pressure canning. Water bath canning is the method you use to preserve high acid foods like tomatoes and tomato sauces, pickles and pickled relishes, jams, jellies, and preserved fruit. Pressure canning is the method that you use to preserve your low acid foods like plain vegetables, potatoes, soups, meats, and anything else that does not have acid in the produce or the ingredients. For dilly beans, we will be using the water bath method because it is an acidic, pickled end product.
Preparation for Water Bath Canning of our Dilly Bean Recipe
Whatever method you use, cleanliness is next to godliness when you are canning. I wash all the surfaces (countertops, cutting boards, etc.) that I am using with a disinfecting bleach solution. I also wash all the utensils I will be using along with my canning jars in the dishwasher.
I use an old black-speckled canning kettle like my Grandma did. The technology has not changed over the years for the water bath canning process. I’ve had the same canning kettle for over 35 years. That canning kettle has had a lot of canning jars put through it in that time! You can still buy the same type of kettle at Wal-Mart or online at Amazon. Be sure you use real canning jars and don’t try to save money by using old mayonnaise or baby food jars. These are OK when you making refrigerator pickles or jam but when you are doing water bath canning you need real canning jars that are in good condition with no knicks on the rim or cracks in the jar body. You can be economical and pick up used canning jars at yard sales. Just carefully examine them for any defects. Don’t use any that have even the slightest flaws. You can reuse the screw down band as long as they aren’t rusty but you cannot reuse the actual lids. they are a single use, throw away item and the one place you should be thinking safety and not saving a few pennies. Another handy tool to have for canning is a jar lifter. You’ll find those where they sell canning supplies.
You will need the following ingredients to fill 7 pint jars of dilly beans – double everything if you are filling quart jars.
- 4-5 pounds green and/or yellow wax beans
- 1 3/4 teaspoons crushed dried hot red pepper
- 1 ¾ teaspoons dried dill seed
- 7 clusters of fresh dill flower heads
- 3 ½ teaspoons minced garlic in olive oil
- 2 ½ cups cider vinegar (ensure 5% acidity)
- 5 cups water
- 5 tablespoons pickling salt
Wash your canning jars with hot, soapy water or in a dishwasher; rinse well and put them upside down on a clean dishtowel. I wash the lids, bands in hot soapy water, rinse them thoroughly, and then put them in a pan of water on the stove and bring them to a boil to sterilize them. I leave them in the water until I am ready to use them.
I sort my beans choosing ones that are the right length for the size canning jar I am using and I only use the beans that are in peak condition. I put aside beans that are blemished or past their prime. When you can, you only want to use premium quality produce.
I wash the beans under cold running water in my colander making sure that I get rid of all dirt and bugs.
Next I remove the tips of the beans on both ends. I use clean scissors to do this, and if necessary, I trim the beans so they will fit upright in the canning jars. It may be overkill but I wash the beans a second time in the cold running water.
Fill your canning kettle with enough water to cover the top of the canning jars resting on the wire rack by about 2 inches. As this amount of water takes a while to heat, I start heating it while I pack my jars. Bring the water to a boil.
The Dilly Bean Water Bath Canning Process
While the water in the canning kettle is heating, I work on the next step which is to put the following ingredients in each jar –
½ tsp. of minced garlic
¼ tsp. of dill seed
¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1 cluster of fresh dill weed from my garden ( if you don’t have fresh dill just double the amount of dill seed.)
Now I pack the beans into the jar as tightly but neatly as I can.
In a pan on the stove, I create my pickling brine by combining 2 ½ cups of 5% acidity vinegar, 5 cups of water, and 5 tbs. of canning salt and bring it to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Be sure to use canning salt and not table salt. Table salt has additives and will make the liquid in your jars cloudy looking. I then pour the hot brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
Next, take a knife, slim rubber scraper, or thin canning spatula and run it around the inside of the jar to get rid of any air bubbles. Sometimes you will have to add a little more brine after doing this.
Then wipe the jar rim with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any debris to insure that you get a nice tight seal when placing the lid on your jar.
Top the jar with a new sterilized lid and screw on the metal band to hand tight. Do not over tighten. Most canning jars sold today use a two piece self-sealing lid which consists of a flat metal disc with a rubber-type sealing compound around the side near the outer edge, and a separate screw-type metal band. The flat lid may only be used once but the screw band can be used over as long as it is clean and doesn’t rust.
Using a “jar lifter” place them in the hot water in the canner while the brine in the jars is still hot.
“Process” the filled jars in the boiling water canner for 15 minutes, but you may have to adjust this timing dependent on where you live. Start your timing from the moment the water starts to boil after you put the jars in. Check your altitude (feet above sea level) adjusting timing for altitude by the table below.
Altitude Adjustments for Boiling Water Bath Canner
1001-3000 ft.- add 5minutes
3001-6000 ft.- add 10 minutes
6001-8000ft. -add 15 minutes
8001-10,000ft.- add 20 minutes
When the specified time is up, remove the jars using a jar lifter and let them cool to room temperature.
Canning Process is done – now its just the waiting!
Check lids for seal after 24 hours. You will hear a popping sound in the kitchen as each jar cools and the lid is pulled down tight as the air in the jar contracts. The lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. The beans will need to sit for 4-6 weeks to get fully flavored. Never use a jar of canned food where the lid has “popped up”. That means there is some bacteria spoiling the food and gas is raising the lid center. Do not eat it!
Remember DON’T cut corners, or take shortcuts, or skip steps! Home canning is doable and safe if you “keep it clean” and follow all the directions. Printable Dilly Bean Recipe below .
Best Easy Dilly Bean Recipe
A delicious and easy to follow recipe Dilly Bean recipe makes a zesty pickled green bean that is a great condiment and delicious on a salad.
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 35 mins
- Yield: 7 pint jars
- Category: Pickle Canning Recipes
- Cuisine: American
- •4-5 pounds green and/or yellow wax beans, washed and trimmed to proper jar size
- •1 3/4 teaspoons crushed dried hot red pepper
- •1 ¾ teaspoons dried dill seed
- •7 clusters of fresh dill flower heads
- •3 ½ teaspoons minced garlic in olive oil
- •2 ½ cups cider vinegar (ensure 5% acidity)
- •5 cups water
- •5 tablespoons pickling salt
- Put the following ingredients into each clean jar –½ tsp. of minced garlic, ¼ tsp. of dill seed, ¼ tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 cluster of fresh dill weed from my garden ( if you don’t have fresh dill just double the amount of dill seed.)
- Pack the beans into the jar as tightly but neatly as I can.
- In a pan on the stove I combine 2 ½ cups of 5% acidity vinegar, 5 cups of water, and 5 tbs.canning salt and bring it to a boil, stirring to dissolve the canning salt. (Be sure too use canning salt)
- Pour the hot brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace at the top of the jar.
- Take a knife, slim rubber scraper, or spatula and run it around the inside of the jar to get rid of any air bubbles. You may have to add a little more brine after doing this.
- Wipe the jar rim with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove any debris to get a nice tight seal on each jar.Top with a new sterilized lid and screw on the metal band to hand tight. Do not over tighten.
- “Process” the filled jars in the boiling water canner for 15 minutes, but you may have to adjust this timing dependent on where you live. (See chart in tutorial) Start your timing from the moment the water starts to boil after you put the jars in.
- Remove jars when cooking time is done. Let jars cool. You will hear a popping sound in the kitchen as each jar cools and the lid is pulled down tight as the air in the jar contracts. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. The lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. The beans will need to sit for 4-6 weeks to get fully flavored. Never use a jar of food where the lid has “popped up”.
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