How to Make Homemade Pickled Green Bean (Dilly Beans) - Easily! With Step-by-step Photos, Recipe, Directions, Ingredients and Costs

This month's notes: September 2014: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries tomatoes, corn and most vegetables are being picked in most places; strawberries are finishing or done; Peaches are in and early apples have started. Find a local blueberry festival and blueberry picking tips here. See how easy it is to make strawberry jam or strawberry-rhubarb jam! Make your own homemade strawberry ice cream including low fat, low sugar and other flavors))  Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions!

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Making Homemade Pickled Dilled Green Beans

Making and canning your own pickled dilled green beans is one of the easiest things you can do with your green beans to preserve it for later use!  Here's how to do it, in easy steps and completely illustrated.   This method is so easy, ANYONE can do this!  It yields 8 to 9 pints.

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs fresh tender green or yellow beans (5 to 6 inches long) - fresh, firm - not wilted, soft or overripe!
  • 8 to 16 heads fresh dill (in a pinch, you can substitute 4 teaspoons of  dill seed)
  • 1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups vinegar (5%, white vinegar is best, apple cider vinegar also works well).  Store brand is about $1.25 for a 64 oz bottle.
  • 8 to 9 garlic cloves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional) or 6 small hot peppers (optional)

Equipment

  • 1 Water Bath Canner (a huge pot to sanitize the jars after filling (about $30 to $35 at mall kitchen stores, sometimes at big box stores and grocery stores.).  Note: we sell many sizes and types of canners for all types of stoves and needs - see canning supplies - you can also use a pressure canner.
  • Quart or pint canning jars (Ball or Kerr jars can be found at grocery stores, like Safeway, Publix, Kroger, grocery stores, even online - about $8 per dozen jars including the lids and rings). 
  • Lids - thin, flat, round metal lids with a gum binder that seals them against the top of the jar.  They may only be used once.
  • Rings - metal bands that secure the lids to the jars.  They may be reused many times.
  • Jar funnel ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page)
  • 1 large pot; teflon lined, glass or ceramic.
  • Large spoons and ladles
  • Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars) 
  • Lid lifter (has a magnet to pick the lids out of the boiling water where you sanitize them. ($2 at Target, other big box stores, and often grocery stores; and available online - see this page)

Process - How to Make Pickled Green Beans

Step 1 - Selecting the green beans

It's fun to go pick your own and you can obviously get better quality green beans!  

At left is a of picture green beans from my garden - it is SO easy to grow.

 

 

 

 

Step 2 - How many green beans?

It takes about 1/2 lb of green beans to fill a pint jar. 

Step 3 -Wash and cut the green beans!

I'm sure you can figure out how to wash the fruit in plain cold water.

You will need to cut the ends off (about ΒΌ-inch).

Step 4 - Get the jars and lids sanitizing

The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sanitize" cycle.  I get that going while I'm preparing everything else, so it's done by the time I'm ready to fill the jars. Be sure to let it go through the rinse cycle to get rid of any soap!  It's also a good time to start heating up the water in the canner and the small pan of water to boil the lids.

Lids:  put the very hot (but not quite boiling; around 180 F, steaming water is fine)
water for at least several minutes. Note: everything gets sanitized in the water bath (step 7) anyway, so this just helps to ensure there is no spoilage later!)

Need lids, rings and replacement jars? 

Get them all here, delivered direct to your home,  at the best prices on the internet! 

 

Step 5 - Fill the jars with green beans

Fill jars firmly with whole green beans, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Note: you can use quart or pint jars; this recipe assumes quart jars are used.

 

Step 6 - Trim the ends

Just take a sharp knife and cut of both ends (about 1/4 of an inch, or half the width of an average woman's little finger).  Then cut them into pieces of the size you prefer, usually about 1 inch long.

Of course, if your prefer French cut green beans, you can cut the beans lengthwise instead, or you can use a "bean Frencher" (No, that does not make the beans want to wear a beret, "mime" or surrender quickly, it's just the name.. ).  The "Frencher" enables you to prepare a huge quantity of beans quickly!

 

See the bottom of this page for makes, models, prices and ordering info for bean frenchers.

 

 

 

 

 

Step Step 7 - Packing the beans, dill (and if desired, garlic) in the canning jars

Put 1 or 2 dill heads in the bottom of each pint jar (double it for quart jars), 1 garlic clove (optional) and then the beans (placed upright in the jars, like pickle spears).  If you are using whole small hot peppers, you will add one each jar now.
This is called "raw packing" because we don't cook the beans before packing them into the jars. Pack the jars fairly tightly, but be sure to leave 1/2 inch of space at the TOP of the jar.  That is called "headspace" and is needed for expansion during heading.

Step 8 - Heat the vinegar, salt (and if desired pepper flakes) in a pot

In a pot heat the 4 cups of 5% white or cider vinegar, 4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of canning salt (or pickling salt) and, if desired to make a medium hot pickled bean, include 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you want them, and didn't use the small whole hot peppers). Heat to a boil.

 

Step 9 - Pour the boiling vinegar solution into each packed jar

Use a ladle or pyrex measuring cup to carefully fill each packed jar with water from pot of boiling water. Fill to within 1 inch of the top.  The beans should be covered and there should still be 1/2 inch of airspace left in the top of each jar. Be careful not to burn yourself, (or anyone else - children should be kept back during this step!)

Step 10 - Put the lids and rings on

Put the lids on each jar and seal them by putting a ring on and screwing it down snugly (but not with all your might, just "snug").

 

 

Step 11 - Put the jars in the canner

Using the jar tongs, put the pint jars in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water. Keep the water boiling. Boil them for 5 minutes.  Remember to adjust for altitudes and larger jars - see the table below! 

Processing time for Pickled Dilled Green Beans in a boiling-water canner.

Process Time at Altitudes of
0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
5 minutes 10 minutes 15 minutes

 

 

 

Step 12 - Done

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight)  You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture. Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid and reprocess the jar, then that's a bit iffy. If you heat the contents back up, re-jar them (with a new lid) and the full time in the canner, it's usually ok.

When can you start eating the green beans?  Well, it takes some time for the seasonings to be absorbed into the pickles.  Generally, that's about 2 or 3 days!  Ah... the wait...

 

Other Equipment:

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs 
            to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter 
            - to remove lids from the pot 
            of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lid 
           - disposable - you may only 
           use them once
  4. Ring 
          - holds the lids on the jar until after
          the jars cool - then you don't need them
  5. Canning jar funnel
          - to fill the jars

 

Ball home canning kit water bath canner

Home Canning Kits

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer, and the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also s simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if your want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!



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Summary - Cost of Making Homemade Pickled Green Beans - makes 8 quart jars, 16 oz each*

Item Quantity Cost in 2004 Source Subtotal
Green beans 4 lbs free from the garden, or $3.00 cents at a PYO Pick your own $3.00
Canning jars (quart size, wide mouth), includes lids and rings 12 jars $8.00/dozen Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.) $8.00
Vinegar 4 cups $0.99  Safeway,
Publix, Kroger, grocery stores
$0.99
Pickle mix 1 packet $3.00 per package Grocery stores (Publix, Kroger, Safeway, etc.) $3.00
Total $15.00 total
 or about  $1.08 per jar INCLUDING the jars - which you can reuse!

* - This assumes you already have the pots, pans, ladles, and reusable equipment. Note that you can reuse the jars!  Many products are sold in jars that will take the lids and rings for canning.  For example, Classico Spaghetti sauce is in quart sized jars that work with Ball and Kerr lids and rings. Note that the Classico's manufacturer does not recommend reuse of their jars: see what they have to say on this page:

How to make other pickles -  recipes and instructions:

Canning processing times

Type of pickling method

Jar size 0 to 1,000 ft above sea level 1,001 to 6,000 ft above sea level
Quick process, (raw green beans put in the jar, hot liquid poured over them)-  quart 10 min 15 min
Quick process, (raw green beans put in the jar, hot liquid poured over them)-  quart 10 min 15 min

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Answers to Common Questions

What did I do wrong if my pickles aren't crisp or crunchy?
You probably used overripe cucumbers or didn't measure the vinegar and water accurately. Of course, processin gtoo long in the boiling water bath can do it, too!

Why are my pickles cloudy?

There are a variety of possible causes for cloudy pickles:

In nonfermented pickles (fresh pack), cloudiness might indicate spoilage. Yeast growth may also make pickles cloudy or slimy. Check the pickles for signs of off-odors and mushiness of the pickles. If yeast growth is evident, discard the pickles. If these signs are absent, the pickles are (absent other problems) safe to eat.

Be sure to use a NON-metal pot - or a coated metal (teflon, silverstone, enamel, etc.) without breaks in the coating. the metal reacts with the vinegar and makes the pickle solution turn cloudy. This is the most common cause of cloudy pickles. There is no danger to these pickles, though!

Sometimes the fillers (anticaking agents) in regular table salt may cause slight cloudiness, so always use pickling salt. Obviously, if you used a packet mix (like Mrs. Wages) this should not be a problem.

Hard water might also cause cloudiness. If soft water is not available, boil the hard water and let it sit undisturbed overnight. Pour off the top portion and use it in the pickling solution.

In the UK, use this link:
 

 

Bean "Frenchers"

It is tiring and laborious to prepare green beans for canning; there are so many of them and you do them all by hand.  But wait there's a new device that makes it easy.  Hmmm, actually, these devices have been around since our great-grandfather's day!  Here are several different types and makes, some hand fed, some cranked: choose the one that meets your need and budget!

For photos and features of the bean frenchers, click here!

 


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Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

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Home Canning Kits

Features:

Ball Enamel Waterbath Canner, Including Chrome-Plated Rack and 4-Piece Utensil Set

* All the tools you need for hot waterbath canning - in one comprehensive set!
* Complete with 21 1/2 qt. enameled waterbath canner
* Also includes canning rack, funnel, jar lifter, jar wrencher, bubble freer, tongs and lid lifter.
* A Kitchen Krafts exclusive collection.

This is the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce. This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer. It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. You'll never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)! There is also a simple kit with just the canner and rack, and a pressure canner, if you want to do vegetables (other than tomatoes). To see more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!
Don't forget the Ball Blue Book!

Lids, Rings, Jars, mixes, pectin, etc.

Need lids, rings and replacement jars?  Or pectin to make jam, spaghetti sauce or salsa mix or pickle mixes?  Get them all here, and usually at lower prices than your local store!

Get them all here at the best prices on the internet!