Sunday, August 15, 2010

Canning: Dilly Beans

For Amy, because she asked.

When the green beans start rolling in, it's time to make some Dilly Beans, aka pickled green beans.  I know, you're a bit skeptical about these.  I was too the first time my friend Jess told me to come over and we'd can pickled beans.  However, I love pickles so I was game.  They are delicious!  The Young'uns love them even more than I do, I think.  They can go through a quart of these things faster than Brett Farve can come out of retirement.  So far this year, 8 quarts of Dilly Beans have been put into the pantry.  I'll post a photo as soon as my camera's battery gets charged up again.

I also freeze some of our green beans for eating in the winter.  I don't can plain green beans because I'd need to use a pressure cooker for those and, I'm a big pressure cooking chicken.  Those things still scare me a bit.  (FYI- the reason you don't need a pressure cooker to can pickled items or tomato products is that those things are very acidic.  Plain green beans or corn or carrots aren't acidic and need the pressure cooker.)

Dilly Beans

4 lb. green beans
8 dried red peppers or 8 t cayenne pepper
8 heads of dill or 8 t dill seed
1/2 c pickling salt
8-16 peeled garlic cloves
6 c water
3 c vinegar

Wash beans and trim off ends.  We only trim off the end that was connected to the plant.  Heat water, salt and vinegar to boiling in large pot.  Meanwhile, get your clean jars hot and assemble the garlic, dill and peppers together.  When brine is boiling well, take hot jar add 1-2 garlic cloves, head or tsp of dill, and red pepper or cayenne.  Pack beans into the jar.  You can pack them in pretty tight.  Just make sure you have about 1/4 inch head space between tops of the beans and the top of the jar.  Pour water/vinegar brine over beans again, leaving about 1/4 inch of head space.  Use a spatula to get out any air bubbles, wipe rim, put on lid and process in water bath for about 10 minutes.

You can use either pints or quart jars for this.  If you use pints, it should make about 8 jars.  Quarts will give you about 4 jars.  If you have long beans and are making pints, you'll need to cut them in half when you are trimming them so they'll fit in the jars.

These are pretty spicy.  In fact, around our house they are called Spicy Beans.  If you''re not a big fan of spice, leave out the hot pepper or cut in it half.  They'll still taste great!  Dill seeds work just as well as dill heads, but dill heads are prettier in the jars.  Red peppers also look better in the jars than cayenne powder. 

Let them stand for 2-3 weeks before eating them to give the flavors some time to mingle.

As far as canning goes, I'm not going to get into the specifics.  If you'd like to learn to can, give me a call and come over.  Otherwise, there are lots of great sites online which can teach you how to can. One to try is here.  I'll just say, it's much easier than you think it is.  :)


  1. We made strawberry jam this summer, and my friend Rebecca taught me that after you fill the hot jar with the hot goods, all you need to do is secure the top, tip it over and count to 5 or 6 (more slower than faster), tip it back over and let it sit. A few minutes later the popping of the tops began!! No hot water bath needed! I read that this is the old fashion way of canning. I wonder if it would work with the beans??

  2. Nat - the "old fashioned way" is how I can all my tomato products! I LOVE it as it allows me to can things much more quickly. I don't do the slow 6 count. I turn the jars upside down on a towel on my counter, put a bath towel over them and leave them for about 30 minutes. I've done 50+ quarts of tomato things in the past 2 years this way and only had 1 jar not "pop." I haven't tried anything else this way however.

    I'm no canning expert, by a long shot, but I'm pretty sure you can only do veggies (veggies not being pickled) like beans, corn and carrots in a pressure cooker.

    Someone else please correct me if I'm wrong!!

    PS- good to see you on Sunday Nat!

  3. The "Old Way" works to seal the jars, but does NOT kill all of the bacteria and mold spores that are naturally in the food. this is how people get food poisoning. The easy way is not always the best way>