Dilly Beans

Dilly Beans are one of those foods that remind me of my childhood. Grandma used to make dilly beans and they are one of my favorite ways to eat green beans. They can be a little time consuming from the garden to the jar. But if you have a bunch of beans, try pickling some for yourself.

When canning, it is always handy to have some tools to get the job done the right way and safely. These 2 things really speed along that process. The item on the left is a canning funnel. It makes filling the jars easier, especially, when you have to pour hot liquid. The item on the left is a jar lifter. When you are dealing with hot water, these things really save your hands from the boiling water.

The first thing to do after you pick the beans is to trim the ends. This isn’t an absolute must, but I don’t enjoy snapping beans, so i just trim them.

Next you want to wash the beans in cold water. Really make sure you get any leafs, dirt, or bugs off the beans. I have never tried pickled bugs, and I am really ok with that.

Bring a pot of water up to a boil and then put your clean beans in to the pot. Boil for 3 minutes. We aren’t cooking the beans, just blanching them. Do not boil longer than 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes is up, submerge the beans in a bowl of ICE COLD WATER. It will stop the beans from cooking and give you a nice vibrant color.

While the beans are cooling, take 1 clove of garlic, 2 sprigs of dill (or 1 teaspoon of dried dill weed), and 1 teaspoon of canning salt and put it into your sterilized pint jars. Also, pour 4 cups of water and 4 cups of distilled white vinegar into a pot and start to warm. You don’t want the liquid to boil.

Next, lightly pack your green beans into the jars and pour the liquid over them leaving a 1/4 inch head space. (A head space is the space at the top of the jars…. so leave 1/4 inch space at the top of the jar.) Wipe the rim of the jars and make sure they are completely free of debris. Place sterilized lids and rings on the jar. Make sure the rings are snug but not tight.

Place the jars in a water bath covering the tops of the jar with at least 1 inch of hot water. Cover the pot and bring the water to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes is up, use those handy jar lifters and very carefully remove the jars and place on a clean, dry towel about 2 inches apart to cool. Be very careful! The jars will be hot!

After you hear the wonderful “PING!” and the jars have sat for 12 hours, undisturbed, and the lids are pressed down and do not pop, remove the rings from the jars. Store in a cool dark place. When pickling, the item being pickled will need time to complete the process. Most items take from 6 weeks to 3 months.

Dilly Beans

2 lbs. green beans
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
4 teaspoons dill seed or 8 sprigs fresh dill heads
4 teaspoons canning salt
4 cups white distilled vinegar
4 cups water

Pint jars, lids, and screw bands
Water bath canner
Plastic spoon (or other non-metallic utensil with a long handle)
Large pot
Paper towels or clean dishcloths

How to Do It:

1. Prepare jars and lids. Fill a large bowl or sanitary sink with ice water.

2. Fill a large pot with water and place over medium high heat; bring to a boil.

3. Add the green beans to the pot and begin immediately timing 3 minutes. When 3 minutes have passed, remove the green beans and plunge immediately into ice water. This is called Blanching.

4. Pour any remaining water out of the large pot; pour in the 4 cups of vinegar and 4 cups water. Place over medium high heat; do not allow to boil.

5. Once the beans are completely cool, take a single hot jar and to it add:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon dill seed (or 2 sprigs of fresh dill heads)
  • 1 teaspoon canning salt
  1. Pack the jar with beans, being sure to leave 1/4 in. headspace. Do not over pack the jars. (If needed, trim the ends of the beans to make them fit. If there is room at the top of the jar, add chopped beans.)7. Pour hot vinegar-water over the beans, maintaining a 1/4 in. headspace. Bubble. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth. Add a lid and a screw band and place in the canner.8. Repeat steps 5-7 until all the green beans are used up (or all the jars are filled).9. Process pint jars for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

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