John's Dilly Beans
This is a simple canning process requiring no fancy equipment – I use one of my stockpots instead of a canner.

Yield: 4 (12-ounce) jars


  • 1-1/4 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 sprigs fresh dill weed
  • 3 teaspoons kosher or pickling salt (see notes)
  • 2-1/2 cups distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2-1/2 cups water


  1. Pack the beans into four clean, 12-ounce canning jars. Place 1 clove of garlic and 2 sprigs of fresh dill in each jar. (I like to use nice big sprigs—and don’t worry, this part isn’t an exact science.) Add 3/4 teaspoon of salt to each jar.
  2. In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Pour over the beans. You may have a little extra liquid, but you want to make sure to have enough to cover the beans completely, leaving about 1/4-inch headspace.
  3. Fit the jars with clean lids and rings and process for 10 minutes in boiling water. Carefully remove the jars, and allow to cool completely.


  • Although the flavor will improve with each day the beans steep in the dill-vinegar solution, we’ve taste tested after just a few hours and they were quite good.
  • Jars must be covered with at least 1 inch of boiling water for processing.  Test for depth before bringing the water to a boil.
  • The jars should be placed in the water after it has come to a boil. Processing time starts when the water returns to a full boil.
  • You may use a stockpot instead of a canner to process the jars. Simply place a rack on the bottom of the pot (a perforated flat disk or a round cake cooking rack work well), and make sure the pot is tall enough to accommodate the height of the jars plus one inch of water.
  • The canner or stockpot should be covered during processing.
  • For many years I used basic kitchen tongs to lower the jars into the boiling water and remove them once finished.       Recently I purchased a jar lifter, which is a type of tongs specifically designed for grasping jars and offers a more secure grip.
  • When placing the lids on the jars prior to processing, they should be “fingertip tight,” meaning not too tight.       After processing, do not retighten the bands.
  • Do not invert the jars (turn them upside down).       Older canning recipes sometimes call for this, but Martha recommends against it as it can lead to a weaker seal.
  • Checking the seal: Once the jars have cooled, gently press the middle of the lid with your finger. If the lid springs up when you release your finger, the lid hasn’t sealed properly. In this case, refrigerate the jar and use within a few weeks.

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