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Friday, August 25, 2006

Hot Water Bath; Green Beans

Nothing quite like the taste of homegrown green beans. And using a hot water bath adds that exotic flavoring of botulism.

Pressure canning is the only safe way to can your meats, and vegetables. Using Boiling Water Canners for these foods puts you at risk for botulism and poisoning. Fruits are fine in the hot water bath.

But I don't have a Pressure Canner? I would suggest blanching and freezing then. { to freeze, blanch green beans in boiling water for five minutes, drain and pat dry. Lay them out in a single layer in your freezer, leave for at least an hour before placing them into a container}But if you must, if your mind has been made up and you are going to use your Hot Water Bath to can green beans, I will keep you in my thoughts. Hard boil your hot packed jars for at least 90 minutes. Even with this amount of time, Clostridium Botulinum bacteria can survive and grow in the sealed jars. If your jars are sealed properly, don't taste them before cooking its contents. Boil your food for 10 minutes, uncovered {do this even if there is no signs of spoilage}

I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING A BOILING WATER BATH on anything but your fruits {tomatoes are a fruit}

The Open Kettle method. Pouring your hot foods into a jar, putting on a lid and not proccessing any further is called the Open Kettle method. I realize that many of generations have survived doing it this way, but it really isn't that safe. Low acid foods canned in this manner have the same chances of growing Clostridium Botulinum as the hot water bath ones. Even your high acid foods might spoil because of poor vacuum sealing. Even when you have sterilized everything, there is still the chance of re-contamination. So don't do it.

I have never used a steam canner, but I hear that the USDA doesn't recommend them. And I don't know who on this planet uses their dishwasher to can.

You safest bet is purchasing a Pressure Canner. I know they are expensive, but they do end up paying for themselves. As I stated in the Urban Homesteading; City food preservation, check out your local paper, internet, freecycle, estate auctions and boonie garage sales for the canners. Remember to take them to your local extension office after your purchase to make sure everything is proper.

Can your Own food, six reasons why by Phelan

edited 1/28/07 removed Amazon links, I am no longer with them

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Just post you question in a reply to any of my posts. I will do my best to answer them.


Anonymous said...

The site is saying hot water baths are only good for fruits and that tomatoes are fruits, so are beans! Need to be more specific. If it is a seed container, it is a fruit. Vegetables are vegatative matter; leaves, stems, roots, and even unpollinated flowers. This is as far as botany is a chef, if you put salt on it it is a vegatable, if you put sugar on it it is a fruit. There is a big difference. -A Plant Biologist.

Phelan said...

"to a chef, if you put salt on it it is a vegatable, if you put sugar on it it is a fruit."

Not necessarily. A chef will put salt or sugar on just about anything. I have been known to sprinkle sugar over jalapenos for certain recipes. And salt on apples.

Tomatoes are listed as both, it depends on the chef and what part of the government you wish to listen to.

This is a generic post about canning green beans, with out- clicks for more information, some in the post and others on the side bar. The side bar has changed since this was first posted because of the blogathon. Scrolling down will take you to the USDA website on canning.

Fruits and tomatoes are safe to use in a hot water bath because of their acidic levels. Green beans, though technically a fruit, are considered a vegetable because they are traditionally cooked as a savory. And in the home canning community, not acidic enough to be a “fruit”

You will not find the general public in an uproar of technical nuisances of weather or not a bean is a fruit or vegetable.

Thank you for your input. And in the future I will be sure to expand on instruction, and differences in fruit versus vegetable.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha... I believe Phelan took your comment to heart Scott. Years and years and years of canning green beans using the water bath method hasn't killed THAT many people to render it an absolute unsafe method. It may not be as safe as a pressure cooker, but to say it is totally unsafe is unfair. We have been forced to abandon many of our traditional ways of doing things in our lives because people say they are NOW unsafe. People need to get ALL facts correct before alarming everyone into abandoning traditions.

Phelan said...

One thing that must be remembered when reading blogs is that some people have employment that if something are said that are not ok with powers that be, you can be fined and or sued.

Sarah, aka Beyond All Measure said...

I would agree with you that we should not

"abandon many of our traditional ways of doing things in our lives because people say they are NOW unsafe"

IF botulism wasn't so serious. A bit of research on on my part has instilled enough respect for the illness to make me go buy a pressure canner. When it comes to my family I would rather be safe than have them paralyzed... or worse... dead.

Most of the time I think that the traditional way is better. But not in this case.

Mohimba said...

We're getting a pressure canner anyway.
You can salt rhubarb or you can sugar it. It's a weed. Either (or is it EEther?) way it's pretty damn good!

rivergirl1447 said...

Hi This is my very first blog hope I get it right my question is about canning green beans. I have a pressure cooker but am not at home I have done green beans in a hot water bath before but had to cook them 3 hours that's a long time for 7 quarts but it worked out ok, I have a smaller pressure cooker if I cook the beans in the small cooker and then pack my jar's and them put them in a hot water bath for 90 minutes do you think that would be safe enough ?

Phelan said...

Should be fine. Just remember to boil before eating.

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