A canning issue

I canned dilly beans today. While they came out fine, I ran into an issue that has come up before.

The canning directions say to cut the beans slightly shorter than the jar height, and stack them vertically. But that is impossible to do without a great deal of waste, because your beans aren't going to be exactly 1X, 2X, etc. the height of the jar.

So I cut my beans relatively sort, no more than 1/2 the height of the pint jar, and jam them in any which way. I have learned that I need to push down hard and try to fill every possible air gap between the beans.

But even when I do all of this, it still take about twice as much of the vinegar mixture as the recipe calls for to cover them sufficiently.

It could be that the recipe is wrong, but I have no reason to think so. When I can the beans, they wind up floating in the vinegar mix with an obvious gap at the bottom of each jar.

How do you manage to minimize the amount of vinegar mix you use to can beans? Can you get rid of most of the air pockets?

Comments

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    I've had a similar issue in the past with cut beans. So if I'm doing beans then I will do them vertically.

    I don't waste the ends or short bits. In the fall, I make a lot of veggie stocks and broths so I will save the bean bits and throw them in a stock pot.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,465 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have had this problem a few times also. It is difficult to get them to fill the jar without wasted space when they are cut short. I still keep trying it because I also don't like not using the whole bean. I love the idea of using the extras for stock. I don't think of that often enough.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I cut mine about 3 inches long and got as many in my hand as I could hold without dropping any and crammed them into the jars. I used long beans mostly. They were much easier to do this with than my regular ones. I did shove a few more in the middle in any gaps. I ended up making 8 pint jars of them.


    My main trouble were the lids. I figured out the lids were bad. I'd bought the 12 pack of jars at a discount store because it was a great deal. $8.95 but then I had to go to Wal-Mart and buy replacement lids. The ones that came with the jars crinkled while canning. Never had that happen before. The new lids worked perfectly.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,632 admin

    @kbmbillups1 I had that happen with some cheaper $ store lids. They were Snaptite brand. Nearly every jar in the canner, the first time I used them. I bought a few boxes, so now I just use those lids when I am using a canning jar for dry storage.

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for all the tips. It sounds like there isn't a good solution, though the idea of cutting them all to 3" is interesting.

    I don't make stock, so that wouldn't help me, though it could be a good solution for others.

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Torey These were Pur brand. I have extra lids and bands now too.

    @VermontCathy This is how I did mine. Now the 3 inches makes more sense. It could actually be 2 1/2. I just measured one by the depth of the jar to the bottom of where the lid sits and used it to cut all of the rest. Hopefully that makes sense.


  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,980 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lids are one item where I only want name brands. I won't use cheap, probably Chinese, lids of unknown source.

This Week's Leaders