How to Can Snaps – Green Beans

The other day someone asked me again… how do you can? Is it hard? What equipment do I have to have? What vegetables do I can versus freeze?

Canning is very satisfying. It makes me feel like the Proverbs woman…”She gets up while it is still dark and provides food for her family…” (Proverbs 31:15a). The end result is food… quality, good food is put away and preserved for eating during the winter months and I did it!!!

I like to can snaps, tomatoes, peaches, jelly, pickles, tomato juice, meat (chicken and turkey) and applesauce. I prefer to freeze peas, okra, corn, broccoli, berries, edamame (soys), and limas.

I decided to picture document the process so even the novice can understand.

There are two kinds of pressure canners. One uses a gauge (my favorite) and the other jingles.  I will show you both.  Both are easy and safe to use.  You do not need to be afraid of a pressure canner.  If you follow directions, they are very safe. The one thing you DO NOT want to do is walk away from your canner and forget it or you may end up with a hole in your ceiling.  Always set a timer and if you need to leave the kitchen for a few minutes, take the timer with you. Even you go to the office to check fb-take the timer. It will remind you that you need to check your canner every few minutes.  It is too easy to let time slip away or to forget.

My main canner uses a gauge. It has a gauge with the pounds of pressure and you adjust the temperature to keep the gauge at the setting you need.  The kind that jingles has a weight with difference holes for the pounds of pressure.  When the pressure in the canner gets to the desired pressure, it jingles, releasing some pressure from the canner to keep it at the proper setting.

First, pick your beans. It is best to do it early in the morning before the sun is hot. The beans will be fresher, crisper, and of better quality. Then find yourself a cool place to sit and break the stem end and bottom pointed end off your beans. If there are any bug spots take a knife and remove them. Snap them into 2-3 pieces or you may leave them whole.

Wash them at least twice. I put water in the sink and briskly stir them around. You want your water to be clean when you are done.

Take your finger and feel the top edge of the jar.  It should be smooth.  Make sure there are not rough spots or chips on the glass. If it is, the jar will not seal properly.

I fill clean jars with beans.  You can heat the beans first but they are harder to work with and the only thing you gain is a few more beans in the jar.

You do not want to overfill the jar. The bottom lip at the neck of the jar is your fill line.

Add 1 tsp. of salt per quart (1/2 tsp. per pint) and fill to the bottom lip with boiling water. Do not overfill or the jars will not seal.

Heat the lids in boiling water and put on top of the jar, making sure the top of the jar is clean and free of any salt or food.

Add the ring and tighten.

Put 2 quarts of water in the pressure canner.

Add 1 tsp. cream of tarter to the water. This keeps the aluminium inside of the canner looking bright instead of dull and off color.

Set the jars into the canner.  My canner holds 7 quarts or 10 pints.

Put on the lid.

As you can see my yellow canner dates me to the early 70’s when yellow stoves and refrigerators were popular!  It is now an antique!!!

Heat on high until you see steam coming out of the vent hole of the lid.

Put the weight on the vent hole.

Heat on high until the gauge reaches the desired pounds of pressure.  It takes approx. 1 minute to go up one pound of pressure.  For a quart of snaps,  you want 10 lbs. for 25 minutes.  Start timing when it reaches 10 lbs. I lower my heat to medium-high and that keeps the guage at 10 lbs.

After 25 minutes turn off the heat.  When the gauge drops back to zero, take a potholder and remove the weight from the vent.  Open the lid and remove the jars.  I put them on a towel on the counter to cool.

I have a small pressure cooker that jingles that I use for pints.

I had 1 extra pint of beans  so I used this canner for it.  It will hold 4 pints total.

Since I only had 1 pint I set it in the middle and put the lid on. I put 1 pint of water and 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter in this canner.

When it started to release steam out of the center value I put the weight on the vent at 10 lbs. pressure.

Pints are processed at 10 lbs. pressure for 20 minutes.

There is a little vent hole on the lid that seals automatically and then when the proper pressure is achieved the value jingles. I turn the heat to medium-high. You want it to jingle several times a minute. Not constantly and not never.

When 20 minutes is up, turn off the heat and let the canner cool.  After  15-20 minutes take a potholder and gently lift the weight off the value. If steam starts to come out, wait  a little longer until the pressure is totally gone.  Open the canner and remove the jars. I set them on a towel to cool.

Within minutes you will hear the lids “pop” as they seal. This is good and music to the ears!  The center of the lid will go go down slightly. Let cool on the counter overnight.   Remove the rings-the jars will stay sealed and put away in your basement or pantry.

If you have a jar that does not seal for some reason, you can either recan it or eat it.  When you press your finger on the center of the lid and it buckles-has a bubble in it- you will know it did not seal.  There can be several reasons for this: the jar was underfilled, overfilled, the lid not tighten properly, food on the lip of the jar or the lip of the jar has a rough edge. And sometimes you just don’t know!

There, I showed you how to do it!  Now it is your turn and you can do it  too.

For information on planting and growing snaps visit the “gardening” section on my web page


Note: I do sell pressure canners. Call me for pricing at 804-598-4021 or email

Prices listed below are for the 2012 season only.


Pressure Gauge Style

Presto Pressure Cooker-Canner

National Presto Industries Inc
23 qt. ( $139.95) and 16 qt. ($128.95)  size available.

  • Preserve vegetables, fruits, meats and fish wit confidence in Presto pressure canners.
  • Easy to read dial gauge ensures accurate pressure control.
  • Air vent/cover lock allows pressure to build only when the cover is closed properly.
  • Also double as water bath canners for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles and salsas.


Jingle Style

Mirro 16Qt Aluminum Pressure Cooker Canner

T-Fal WearEver

  • Quick even heating.
  • Rust proof and dishwasher safe.
  • Polished heavy gauge aluminum construction.
T-Fal WearEver
Two sizes available:

  • ($119.95) 22 qt size will hold 30 1/2 pint, 16 reg pint, 14 wide mouth, and 5 quart jars.
  • ($79.95) 8 qt size will hold 4 pints

  • Exclusive threaded escape valve, impossible to misplace.
  • Adjustable pressure – 5, 10 or 15 lbs.
  • Lower cooking time.
  • Fully detailed instruction manual provided.
  • Does not open while there is pressure inside.
  • UL approved.


  1. this is great! I am trying to learn how to can things this summer 🙂

  2. Pat Said:

    You can do it! I will be so glad if this is helpful. Let me know how it goes for you.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly aplpreciate your efforts and Iam waiting for
    your further write ups thanks once again.

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