canning beans

macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)July 12, 2008

is there any problem leaving jars, ready to be canned, of beans in the refrig for a day? We have 2 40' rows of bush beans and 2 40' rows of pole beans and are surpassing the 14 quart limit of the canner every day.

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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

What is a "14 quart limit?" I can can as many quarts or pints a day as I have the time to can. ?!?!?!?! Who is limiting you from canning more beans?

I wouldn't leave them in the cans in water overnight. I keep them, dry, in a plastic bag until I have enough for at least 4 or 5 pints. Quarts are too big for 2 people.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 10:22PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

No, you need to pack them fresh. If you try to do it ahead in the jars they will be too cold to process. The jars need to be hot as they are packed with hot liquid going into them to prevent thermal shock of the glass.
I didn't understand the 14 quart limit, either. I actually use 2 pressure canners so I can get done faster. I do beans in pints and stack the jars.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2008 at 11:09PM
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macheske(6/7 NorthernVA)

The 930 holds 14 quarts. I'm getting 15 to 16 some days.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 7:35AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

If you can't do more than one canning batch in the day, just hold some of them overnight in the fridge to can the next day.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 8:44AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Blanch, and freeze some too. Compared the texture and flavors, you might find frozen far less work, better texture and taste. I don't like canned beans or peas. Mushy, and gray looking.. Cook up frozen and its as close to them coming in right from the garden. No freezer? No problem, calcuate the electric costs, extra labor, storage materals, time, extra labor, and you will find that freezing needs just a blanch, cool, drain and pack in big bags. Nothing is easier than that.
An elderly friend asked if I wanted a lot of fish he bought two days before. He said it was all fresh (2 days?). He was planning on throwing it out instead. I told him rinse, wipe, wrap, and freeze. His remark, I dont like freezing things. I wondered why, but didn't want to bother to ask, as he is very hard of hearing. For expensive fish, freezing might be the second to last resort if it was initially fresh, as this was. Hope he realizes that if his freezer can keep ice cream firm, it will will safely freeze fish too. Leaving stuff in the fridge overnigh is fine for most foods that are to be canned. A whole bushel of picked beans can be frozen in less than 4-5 hours.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 12:13PM
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Hey ksrogers....I to freeze my purple hull peas for the same reasons you gave. But after freezing some green beans last year I thought they were kind of mushy when cooking them to eat. So this year we are going to try to can the green beans. Do you think green beans might be better canned? My green beans will hopefully be coming from my fall garden here in Texas. Tks DT

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 1:05PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The purple poles I grew were pickled in a vinegar based brine, because I didn't have any pressure canner at the time. I also froze quite a lot of various purple podded beans including the 3+ foot long red noodle. I was not impressed by taste of purple beans after a few months in the freezer, as it was as if they all changed taste to a some what strong single flavor. The pickled ones made the purple pigment settle to the bottom of the jars, where it looks lke loose dirt. After 3 years of various Kentuky Wonders, and other pole purples, I switched to yellow waxed bush beans. They are a bit milder, still have great complex taste, and freeze quite will. Again, BLANCH and the VERY NECESSARY dip in ice water is recommended. I drain, then pour them into a big bath towel to dry out some. Then into freezer bags. Have 6 gallon bags of yellow beans now frozen from last summer (all from 10 plants). The 2-3 year old green and purple one are just sitting there, shriveling up in the freezer, and may get tossed soon. Beans are fine in heat of summer too, and do need water. Pickling cukes are also better if watered with soaker hoses and get nearly 'flooded every few days once they are producing. This extra water reduces the problems with stunted golf ball cukes. Pick them when small, so the cuke plants will not stop giving moe new cukes. I will have to check mine now, as two days agao I saw the first of a few 1 inch long cukes already, FINALLY!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 1:49PM
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I can totally understand not wanting to fire up the PC for just a couple jars of beans.

If you do freeze the ones that don't fit I wonder ... Since you already have a pot of hot water from canning could it be used to blanch the few left over beans? Toss em in the canner, scoop em out, a quick ice water dip, dry and bag?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 5:43PM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

Lots of contradictory opinions here! I think the issue is more the jars than it is the beans. No, it's not ideal to keep the beans, but I've done it too. For years, I used cold water to fill the jars and I shudder to remember! The rule is to cover the beans (raw packing, here) with boiling water, affix the caps and rings, and process. If you use cold beans and boiling water, the shock is indeed much to expect of your canning jars. How about keeping the beans (snapped, washed, and ready to go)in a baggie in the fridge, let them come to room temp before putting in the jars, then covering with boiling water. Reduces the shock, keeps the beans, and keeps your bacteria risks to a minimum.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 6:51PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

In a pressure canner there's only a small amount of water at the end of processing. I doubt it'd be enough to blanch beans. On the other hand, if you've done a batch of something else BWB, that water might be used.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 8:30PM
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It's nice to see some much advice on green beans and other types of beans. I'm afraid a pocket gopher has helped himself to some of mine....sigh. Went to the garden today and a few were snapped off and one was pulled into a hole. Those pocket gophers sure are a pain. Hope they don't cut all of them off.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2008 at 8:57PM
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If I were in your situation, I would prep the beans and keep dry in a container in the frig over night for canning them the next day. I would first blanch the beans and proceed to can as if fresh. I would skip the cold water dip and just place the blanched beans on a tray. They're immediately going into jars with boiling water anyway. I prefer to blanch before canning as the beans are somewhat pliable and are much easier to fit into jars. Proceed as instructed with the boiling water.
I don't like canned yellow beans except for soup, as they tend to be mushy. The yellow wax make great Dilly Beans though.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 7:32AM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I almost always snap my beans the night before I can. Refrigerate overnight. The next morning, dump them all in the kitchen sink and run lukewarm water over them (fill the sink up) to warm to room temp quickly. They get an additional quick rinse this way and are handy to scoop into jars for processing.

Since I work away from home all week, I buy beans locally and just do one day of green beans. This year, however, I am growing a few wax and a few pole beans. I'll probably have to do more small batches.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 2:47PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Reusing water for blanching? It can contain metals (jar rims) and all kinds of stuff (including vinegar) that may be added to reduce the white buildup in hard water areas. I use fresh water and blanched my last batch of peas for 2 minutes instead of the 90 seconds. They were huge peas and many more than my first picking. This batch was nearly 2 gallons and I still have some left to pick out there. Pick in the very early morning or after 6PM. I found that most pea plants were all mature at once, so I didn't lose many to empty pods or dried to a tan color. 'Perfect timing' I must say. The blanch was poured into a sieve type strainer and then the whole strainer was dunked in and out of ice water for a couple of minutes. I still have them all in the fridge now, over paper towels to get most of the water left. When I bag and freeze, I try to get the partially frozen bag broken up some when freezing. It helps to reduce a big ice clumps. Could IQF but that needs a big open shelf in there. I cut my waxed beans and usually grab a small bundle for trimming stems off. Then slice through the bundle a couple of times and they are ready for the blanch. I do know that waxed beans don't seem to shrivel as much as a green or purple. My beans this year are just barely starting to flower. It should be very soon for them once they all get to blossoming stages. Gotta pick some more lettuce, getting HUGE again. Will readjust some of my fat free dressing to 'tone down' the very strong vinegar. Its still really good and I was considering adding some dill weed to some too.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 3:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If I understand correctly you are not measuring your beans up front so stuck with left over jars that won't fit in the canner, correct?

If so, then that is your problem - not measuring up front. Just take one of your quart jars and fill it with the beans ready to be canned and do it 14 times, dumping the beans from the jar into the water if hot packing or leaving the jars filled if cold packing. Once you have 14 jars worth, the rest of the beans go back into the fridge until you have enough to do another 14 quarts.

It really is that simple which makes me think I must be mis- understanding what the problem is. Sorry.


    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 4:24PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Beans can shrink quite a lot once canned. The tightest cold pack may be necessary and if they are filled and start to show loosensss, a few more and be jammed in, if the lids are still off. Pickles are a real shrinker. My mom used to ask me why there was so much mustard and not enough pickle. It didn't start out that way, but in a thick yellow mustard sauce, it was not easily seen.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 4:42PM
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