Canning Snake Beans : Putting-Up Food for Self Reliance

Canning Snake Beans

When we bring freshly picked Snake Beans in from the garden once or twice a day during harvest time, it can add up to many kilos (pounds) by the end of the season.

Processing them in various ways is something we had to learn to do and learn quickly. However, our absolute favorite way is Canning…Hands Down.

Reasons we like to can Snake Beans

  • Basic Canning Skills needed only
  • Can be either Hot Pack or Raw Pack processed
  • Prep for canning can be quick and easy
  • Beans can be cut in any length you want
  • Green Variety is fairly string-less
  • So many yummy ways to re heat and use end product
  • And who doesn’t like to see Snake Beans Put-up on the Pantry shelf?

How to Can Fresh Snake Beans.

  • Pick your beans
  • Prepare the beans
  • Gather your equipment
  • Choose your method (Raw or Hot Pack)
  • Process and store

STEP 1. Pick your Snake Beans

Snake beans can be picked for canning at any point in their growing stage. Please don’t use soft or moldy beans.

I pick and process them anywhere in size, from pencil thickness through to beans that are as thick as your finger. These are generally from 25cm (10in) to 50cm (20in) long.

Morning Pick of Snake Beans
Getting ready to prepare Snake Beans for Canning in an All American Canner

STEP 2. Prepare beans for canning

“Top and tailing” beans are snapping or cutting off both ends of the beans.

This is also the time to pull down any “strings” that your beans may have. This doesn’t seem to be an issue in the younger beans, only occasionally in the much older (end of the season) picked Snake Beans.

If your Snake Bean variety is different ( Red dragon or Purple), then the “string” issue may differ. We grow the green variety. They don’t seem to have many if any, “strings.”

Wash in clean water and drain. Choose what size you want your end product to be and snap or cut your snake beans to the desired size.

I do jars of longer-sized beans as well as jars of smaller inch-sized pieces.

Cutting Beans to required size
Preparing Snake Beans for Canning Process

STEP 3. Gather your Canning equipment.

Prepare your canning area and collect the following

  • Canner
  • Clean Jars
  • Lids and Rings
  • Canning salt ( and other spices if using)
  • Funnel
  • Pot of Boiling water (for the filling jar stage)
  • Ladle for adding water to jars
  • Or kettle filled with boiling water
  • De-bubbler tool
  • Bottle Tong / lifter tool
  • Vinegar and cloth (for wiping rims)

Fill the Pressure Canner with the required water (following your canner’s water requirements), and turn on the heat to allow the water to warm up. Do Not Let Boil.

STEP 4. Instructions below are for either Raw Pack or Hot Pack Processing of Snake Beans

My preferred way to can snake beans is following the Raw pack method, simply because it is one step shorter by not needing to pre-cook the beans before filling jars.

Cooking here in the Tropics can be pretty uncomfortable at times ( we do not have air-con), and I would instead not heat the Kitchen any more or longer than necessary.

Both ways of processing work well; it’s just a personal choice.

Try it at least once, both ways, to have an informed decision and see how you like the outcome.

For us, the temp in the kitchen was the main reason, and ease of filling with raw beans half an hour out of the garden was second.

Please note that Raw Pack SHOULD NOT be confused with water bath canning. The Raw pack method is simply this…..Raw Cold Beans are packed in Jars (not Hot Packed in Jars) before processing in PRESSURE CANNER


  1. Put beans in a pot of boiling water. Boil (Blanch) 5 minutes. 
  2. Add canning salt to each jar (1/2 tsp. for pints, one tsp. for quarts). 
  3. Pack beans relatively loose into a jar (don’t jam them in). 
  4. Fill the jar with boiling water, leaving 1” headspace. 
  5. De-Bubble and wipe the rims clean. Place on clean lid and ring.  
  6. Place the jar in the warm canner.
  7. Repeat with all jars.  
  8. Process in a pressure canner according to your Canners’ instructions.
  9. Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for your altitude.


  1. Add canning salt to jars (1/2 tsp. for pints, one tsp. for quarts).
  2. Pack beans tightly into jars. 
  3. Fill the jar with boiling water, leaving 1” headspace.  
  4. De-Bubble and wipe the rims clean. Place on clean lid and ring.   
  5. Place jar in the warm canner.
  6. Repeat with all jars.  
  7. Process in a pressure canner according to your Canners’ instructions.
  8. Process pints for 20 minutes or quarts for 25 minutes, adjusting for your altitude.  
Canned Snake Beans ready for shelf
Canned Snake Beans. Ready to put into Pantry

STEP 5. Removing Jars from Canner and getting ready for Long Shelf Storage

  • When the processing time is complete, turn off the heat.
  • Do not remove weights.
  • Let the canner sit undisturbed until the pressure comes back to zero.
  • Do not feel tempted to speed up the cooling process in any way
  • Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
  • Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (steam burns, use common sense)
  • Leave the lid slightly ajar and wait a few more minutes. I find five is enough.
  • Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars using your bottle lifter.
  • Place the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed.
  • I always leave mine at least overnight. 12 hrs minimum wait is best and recommended
  • When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, and if needed, wash the jars. I do this regardless.
  • Check the seals, date the lids, and store them in your Pantry or a cool dark place.
  • Enjoy your beans now “At your leisure.”

Living in the Tropics, we have a lot of leafy greens growing in the yard. However, the Beans are one thing I like to Can, and the many uses they have in the kitchen are worth canning the bulk of our harvest this way.

Knowing there are Jars of Shelf stable food in the pantry ready to grab anytime is fantastic and worth every moment of putting this food up.

They are an excellent plant to grow, harvest, process and eat. If you would like to learn more about the growing of this plant so you too could have an abundance of these beans, we have an article here on Snake beans.

I hope you give it a try. It is one of the easiest and tastiest vegetables I’ve Pressure Canned in our journey to living a more self-sufficient life.

This article was written by Tui Blanch. She is Co-owner of and has well over 20yrs experience in preserving and storing food.