Monday, August 2, 2010

Canning Beans

In my last post, I mentioned that I was canning green beans while writing. This was the third attempt at canning beans in my pressure canner. I must say, this pressure canning stuff is harder than it looks- at least for me. All three times I have had liquid loss, though I end up with a good seal. Upon investigating on the internet, this is the best information about it I found.

Courtesy of

Food Loses Liquid During Processing:

􀁹 Jars filled too full (leave recommended headspace).

􀁹 Fluctuating pressure in a pressure canner.

􀁹 Forced cooling of a pressure canner.

􀁹 Jars packed too tightly.

􀁹 Removed jars from canner too quickly. (After removing cover, let jars set a few minutes in canner until boiling goes down.)

􀁹 The canner stood too long after pressure returned to zero.

􀁹 Not exhausting pressure canner long enough.

􀁹 Starchy foods absorb some liquid.

􀁹 Water not 1 inch over jar lids.

First of all, the water not being 1 inch over the lids doesn’t apply to pressure canners. The only thing I can even think of on this list is not leaving enough head space, but it would’ve been MAYBE ¼ inch over. Could that be it? It could… If you have any advice, I would love to hear it.

Up until this year, I canned green beans in my water bath canner, but the beans had to process for 2 ½ hours which is both time consuming and not energy efficient. However, it is tried and true and hasn’t let me down yet.

Another thought I have had is to use my water bath canner, though instead of processing on the stove, doing it over a fire. I have done a little research on this, and may give it a try. Thoughts?


On another note, I went in the garden today to find that the deer had an all-nighter in my corn. There was not a stalk, not an ear left untouched. I also found cherry tomatoes rolled into my squash plants. What I would give for a motion activated camera! What made me mad was that my dog was outside last night, so either the deer bribed him, or he’s getting to be old and not so guard-doggish anymore. Clearly they find my corn tastier than the acres and acres and acres of field corn planted in every direction around here. Either way, lesson learned for next year- I will be planting my corn and tomatoes on the opposite end of the garden, closer to the house. I have had plans to fence the entire garden in, but it never seems to work out in the budget. Maybe next year.

Coming Up: I have a wild turkey breast and the first of the spring slaughter chickens in the fridge thawing out- the turkey will be made into jerky, and the chicken will be canned- pressure canner willing. I am also still trying to capture wild berries for more jam. Stay Tuned!

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