Q:

How do you can green beans without a pressure cooker?

A:

Green beans should not be canned by any method except pressure canning. Deadly bacteria can proliferate, causing spoilage, sickness and even death. Suitable methods of preserving green beans include pressure canning and freezing.

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  1. Pressurize to kill bacteria

    In low-acid foods such as green beans, high temperatures are needed to kill bacteria. These temperatures are only reached through pressurized canning. The bacteria of greatest concern is clostridium botulinum, otherwise known as botulism. Botulism may be deadly.

  2. Can green beans safely be canned?

    To safely can green beans, pack beans into clean, hot jars. Cover with boiling water, then affix lids onto jars. Cook for the recommended time, approximately 20 to 25 minutes depending on the size of jars. Altitude and the type of pressure canner determine the pounds of pressure needed to destroy all bacteria. Refer to the pressure canner instructions for exact times and weights.

  3. Freeze green beans

    If canning isn't an option, green beans may be frozen safely. First, wash beans in cool water, then cut into 2- to 4-inch pieces. Beans should be blanched for three minutes, which is the process of dipping them into boiling water for a short period of time and then removing them. Cool them quickly by submerging them in ice water. Drain the beans, and then pack them into freezer-safe containers. Seal and label the containers, and then freeze the canned beans.

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