How to Can Pickled Beans

This was the third session of the Food Preservation workshop held by the Richmond Food Security Society. The instructor for this workshop is Chef Ian Lai from the Terra Nova Schoolyard Society, a community based project that teaches kids about organic gardening and food appreciation.


We had some freshly picked beans from the Terra Nova Sharing Farm. There were green, yellow and even some purple beans.


  • About 2 pounds of beans
  • 2 1/2 cups pure white vinegar or pickling vinegar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pickling spice
  • fennel seeds


The difference between the Pure White Vinegar and the Pickling Vinegar is that the pickling vinegar has a slightly higher acidity like 7% while the pure white vinegar is about 5%. Ian commented that he only used pure white vinegar for pickling or cleaning.


As a chef, Ian preferred Kocher salt which has a coarser texture where he can feel and see the salt.


Pickling spices can be purchased from the bulk sections of many groceries stores.


These fennel seeds are from the Terra Nova Sharing Farm too. They are used to flavour the pickled beans.

Source: Ian Lai

Yields 10 to 12 x 250ml jars or 5 to 6 x 500ml jars


Canning-Beans-2Prepare the pickling liquid by bringing to a boil of the vinegar, water, pickling and salt. Let”s simmer for a few minutes until all the salt has dissolved. If you want to spice up your pickled beans, you may add some chili flakes in the hot brine to bring out the heat of the chili.
Canning-Beans-8Wash, trim and cut the beans into length that fits the bottle.
Canning-Beans-9Wash jars in soupy water. Sterilize the jars by boiling in water. Sterilize the lids by soaking in boiled water for 5 minutes.Fill the jars with beans. Top with some fennel seeds.
Canning-Beans-10Pour the vinegar mix into the jar leaving 1 cm of head space.
Canning-Beans-11Ian also demonstrated another method of pickling called the lazy man method. Simply fill half the jar with vinegar and top up the other half with water, also leaving 1 cm head space.
Canning-Beans-12For the lazy man method, sprinkle some salt and pickling spice at the end.
Canning-Beans-13Centre snap the lid on the jar.
Canning-Beans-14Apply screw band just until resistance is met; fingertip tight. Do not overtighten.
Canning-Beans-15Place jars in a canner.Fill canner with hot water to cover jars by 1″.  Cover canner; bring water to a boil.  Boiled filled jars for 10 minutes.  For larger size jars like 500ml or 1 litre jar, the boiling time should be 25 minutes.  When processing time is complete, turn heat off and remove canner lid.
Canning-Beans-16Ian said we can stack the jars as long as they are not directly on top of one another. When boil subsides i.e. bubbles no longer rise to surface (3 to 5 minutes), remove jars without tilting.  Cool jars upright, undisturbed 24 hours.  Do not retighten screw bands. After cooling, check jar seals.  Sealed lids should curved downward and do not move when pressed. If the seal is not proper, refrigerate and  consume the product within a week. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars.  Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired.  Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.

Ian, thank you for conducting the workshop.

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  1. Crispy Lechon

    Hi Suanne, thanks for posting the canning procedures. I was thinking of joining the workshop but now I dont have to. I just have to follow the steps in this post. I wonder how long will the canned food last. A year perhaps till the following summer?

    1. Suanne

      Hi Crispy Lechon, properly can pickles will last a year.

  2. Pinoy Gourmet

    Suanne Can you use the recipe on other legumes like Soybeans or Lima Beans???

    1. Suanne

      Hi Pinoy Gourmet, I consulted Karen DW, one of the instructor in the food preservation workshop and here is what she said. “In theory, yes, soybeans or lima beans or romano beans could be preserved in the same way. So could carrots or asparagus.” She even preserved some garlic scapes from her garden last year.

      1. etranger

        I would try to get a recipe for other foods because the acidity is different. The “Ball Blue Book” is updated regularly and only costs a couple of bucks. With canning, you want to be safe so your food stays safe.

        I’m not a recipe follower as a rule but I do check the canning recipes.

  3. PinoyGourmet

    Thank you,I plan to preserve a 5 bean salad mixing Soy,Lima and other beans

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