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Some of the best tips for canning green beans are to fully prepare them before hand, choose between hot and cold packs, and know how long the food stays fresh. Preparing the green beans for canning by washing and cutting them to a preferred size readies them for dinner months or even years later. Choosing between hot and cold packing is a fairly major decision that can increase or decrease canning and cooking time. In addition, knowing how long green beans stay fresh when canned can help avoid eating spoiled or stale food. Lastly, whether canning green beans or any other food, it is important to know when the can is not sealed.
When canning green beans, the beans should be washed and cut before placing them into the can. The length can be whatever length is preferred by the cook, as long as they fit in the can. These steps are for convenience's sake, since washing and cutting them will be harder when they are no longer fresh. In addition, many people prefer to have their green beans ready to use for dinner rather than completely unprepared.
Green beans can either be cold or hot packed into cans. Cold packs are sometimes called raw packs because the green beans remain raw. Hot packs involve boiling before canning green beans, which makes them a bit more like store-bought canned goods. Cold packs usually take less time than hot packs, though hot packs are basically ready to eat, which also cuts down on time later on.
Properly canned green beans usually keep for up to 18 months in a cool, dry place. After 12 to 18 months, the quality of the food may degrade a noticeable amount. Still, experts estimate that canned foods are safe to eat for about five years after canning, as long as they have not been exposed to large temperature swings.
Any jar with a loose or bulging lid is not properly sealed. These jars can be placed in the refrigerator to use soon after canning green beans. Some people process the jar again, while others are wary of doing this because it could introduce contaminates or the green beans might not last as long as the others that were properly canned. It is important to check the seals after the jars have completely cooled, and not twist the caps too tightly since this too can break the seal.