Dilly Beans

dilly beans

String beans are one of my favorite vegetables around. My idea of a perfect easy summer meal is a tangle of lightly steamed string beans, dressed with a bit of butter and salt, along side some scrambled eggs and a sliced tomato. A couple of summers ago, I ate that for dinner three or four times a week for at least a month. Of course, that was before I had to think of Scott’s likes and dislikes when making dinner and sadly, he is a string bean hater. So my perfect little meal has been relegated to a once-in-a-while, solo experience (however, it’s a trade-off I happily make for love).

Thing is, I still find myself buying string beans like they’re a four times a week vegetable, which becomes a problem when trying to keep the refrigerator eco-system balanced. That is where the dilly bean comes in. It’s a gentle, zippy little pickle that preserves my green beans for months to come (well, if they last that long) and maintains the dinnertime peace.

One thing to note about string beans. They are perfectly safe to can in a boiling water bath when you’re making pickles out of them. They are NOT safe to can without the brine unless you’re using a pressure canner. One of the few documented cases of botulism that occurred last year was because a family ate some poorly preserved green beans. So if you want to preserve your beans but you don’t want to pickle them, either get yourself a pressure canner or blanch and freeze them.

Enough safety warnings, on to the recipe…

Pickled Green Beans (aka Dilly Beans)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed to fit your jars
  • 2 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (5%)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons pickling or fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons dill seed
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flake
  • 4 cloves garlic

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 4 pint jars. Place 4 lids in a small pot of water and bring to a bare simmer.
  2. Wash and trim your beans so that they fit in your jar and leave about an inch of headspace. If you have particularly long beans, your best bet is to cut them in half, although by doing so, you do lose the visual appeal of having all the beans standing at attending.
  3. Combine vinegar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  4. Divide the dill seed, peppercorns, red chili flake, and garlic cloves evenly between the four jars.
  5. Pack the beans into the jars over the spices.
  6. Pour the boiling brine over the beans, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
  7. Gently tap the jars on the counter to loosen any trapped air bubbles. For stubborn air pockets, use a chopstick to wiggle them free.
  8. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  9. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
  10. Once jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and test seals.
  11. Sealed jars can be stored on the pantry shelf for up to one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten promptly.
  12. These beans want to hang out for a least two weeks before eating, to thoroughly develop their flavor.

Notes

Adapted from So Easy to Preserve

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http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/

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196 Responses to Dilly Beans

  1. 101
  2. 102
    Abby says:

    These dilly beans are delicious! But a little too salty for my tastes. Is it safe to reduce the salt? Or will this affect the quality of the brine?
    Thanks!

    • 102.1
      Marisa says:

      You can reduce the salt a little. Don’t eliminate it entirely. It pulls the water out of the beans to make room for the vinegar.

  3. 103
    AnnaMagnani says:

    I’ve just made these Dilly Beans & they did not ping. I think I felt my heart break. As best I can figure out, I may have tightened the jars too much. And the stock pot I’m using is barely deep enough. I have ordered a new pot and will try again.
    Does anyone have anything to offer about newbie mistakes? I want to succeed.

    • 103.1
      Andreas says:

      Make sure the rim and threads of the jar are clean. The rings and jars can be sterilised in the hot bath water but the lids can not. The lids need to be in less than boiling water or the rubber may deform. When applying the ring to the jar, finger tight only. As the jar is being processed in the water, you will most likely see bubbles indicating air escaping from the jar. This is good as it helps to make a better vacuum which is what a good seal is all about. After the hot bath of boiling water (remembering that the time starts when the water returns to a rolling boil), remove the lid to the pot, turn off the heat, and leave jars in water another five minutes. Then place on towels to cool. After cooled, if you decide to store with rings on, remove and dry ring and threads on jar. Replace ring but don’t over tightened. If you are in hard water country and have scale on your jars, add 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar to the bath water. Hopes this helps.

  4. 104

    [...] you’re finding you have too many beans, consider canning them. You might like to try Dilly Beans from Marissa McClellan’s canning blog, Food in [...]

  5. 105
    laura says:

    these are so good! i just ate a ton of them, i can see how you could kill a pint in an afternoon for sure.

  6. 106

    [...] also made some dilly beans with another FIJ recipe. I used these unusual-looking big handled jars from Korea that I picked up at a restaurant supply [...]

  7. 107

    [...] of my favorite blogs that I follow, Food in Jars, has a great recipe with simple instructions on making dilly beans. I altered the recipe a little [...]

  8. 108
    Chantal says:

    Your book and this recipe are wonderful! On my current batch of dilly beans I didn’t pack the garlic cloves into the beans tightly and they are only half submerged in the vinegar at the top of the jar. Although I won’t eat the garlic, would this batch still be safe to store at room temperature? Thank you!

  9. 109

    [...] Dilly Carrots – receipe said the yield was 1 pint and a half jar, but I got 2 pints out of it Dilly Beans – didn’t change the receipe, my yield was 4 pints Garlic Dill Pickles – the recipes [...]

  10. 110

    […] some pickled green and purple beans, a recipe I got from my favourite online canning resource, Food in Jars. I have changed the spice ratio a bit, using less dill seed and adding a pickling spice in lieu of […]

  11. 111
    Hanna says:

    Losing my mind. Thought I used this recipe earlier this summer, but don’t remember the peppercorns, apple cider vinegar or chopstick! Also thought it was cayenne, not flakes. Do you have two dilly recipes?

    • 111.1
      Marisa says:

      Hanna, you’re not losing your mind. I tweaked this recipe recently. The previous version used cayenne, but I felt like this was a better incarnation.

  12. 112
    Laura says:

    One addition: I almost always have a little extra space, and I like to shove a few carrot coins in the top or down the sides. They look beautiful in the jar, help keep the. beans from floating too much, and they taste delicious when pickled.

  13. 113

    […] made some spicy dilly beans using my Auntie Sandra’s twist on Food in Jars’ recipe.  There are still plenty on the vine which we’ll eat as they grow as well as blanch and […]

  14. 114
    Amber says:

    Hey, I was wondering if you know how I would go about pressure canning these? Will they come out soggy if they are pressure canned? I am SO new to this and I don’t have a water bath pot. I do not know the weight or time that would properly preserve these. I am about 2000 feet. Thank you!

    • 114.1
      Marisa says:

      They will not be good done in a pressure canner. You can always use your pressure canner as a water bath canner.

    • 114.2
      Stacy says:

      The best website to learn about canning is the USDA canning guidelines. http://extension.usu.edu/utah/htm/fcs/food-preservation-canning/usda_home_canning

      You need to pressure cook green beans at 11 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes so the temperature will get hot enough to kill the bacteria. Making pickle beans is different because you only need to cook the bottles of beans in a water bath. The vinegar in pickled beans help to kill the bacteria.
      To water bath you just need to boil the jars in a pot that is deep enough you can covering the jars with 1-2 inches of water. (cooking about 5-10 minutes depending on your altitude) The water bath canners come with a metal rack to help you lift the bottles out of the water but if you don’t want to buy a water bath canner you can use any deep pot. The pressure canner will be deep enough for you to put that much water in, but you will not need to close the lid tight and bring the canner up to pressure.
      You will start to time the jars when the water is at a full boil.

  15. 115
    gfm says:

    My beans came out-wrinlked, why ??
    In using the water bath do you start to time when the jars go in or when it starts to boil ??
    Thanks

    • 115.1
      Marisa says:

      The wrinkling is normal. Over the next week or too, they should rehydrate and loose the wrinkled look. And you start the time for the water bath when the water returns to a boil, not when the jars first go in.

  16. 116

    […] making another batch this weekend (or I’m open to other peach recipes). I also have these dilly beans in mind […]

  17. 117

    […] our pickling adventure, she chose Food in Jars‘ Dilly beans. For cucumber pickles: Quick fresh-pack dill […]

  18. 118
    Brian says:

    I just canned some pints of dilly beans. I left the prescribed air at the top, and properly finger tightened the rings. Air bubbles did escape the jars while boiling, and the lids sealed very well. When cool, the lids did concave a bit, indicating a vacuum. I still, however, have some air left int he jars. Is this a problem?

    • 118.1
      Marisa says:

      Nope, not a problem. You occasionally loose some liquid during processing, which leaves some empty space behind.

  19. 119

    […] Also, two pints of dilly beans with the best of this morning’s bean harvest, using this recipe. […]

  20. 120

    […] the jam is cooking down, make these awesome dilly beans or pickled cucumbers while you wait.) When the jam is nearly done, prepare a boiling water bath […]

  21. 121
    Burnsie says:

    I found that the quantities of pickling solution and green beans did not quite add up to four pints when using standard mouth pint jars. Having extra beans, I adjusted the ratios to 2-1/4 # green beans, 2-1/2 cups each of water and vinegar, 3 tbs. salt, and sufficient spices to accommodate five pints. This worked out better for the style jars I prefer.

    Also, I add 1/2 tsp. of coriander seed to each jar as I like the flavor (and, I have heaps of seed from the cilantro patch). Does anyone else add 1/4 tsp. Ball Pickle Crisp to each jar? Seems to be more important with cukes since beans are pretty crisp after picking anyway.

    Great recipe!

  22. 122
    Theresa says:

    This year I planted a small garden and am now enjoying the fruits/veggies of my labour.
    I just picked enough green beans to make a batch of dilly beans! I have your book and loving it. Just a little confused on the water bath time though. In your book it states 5 minutes and on your website it is 10 minutes.
    Hope you can help this newbie out.

    • 122.1
      Marisa says:

      Either processing time is allowed. However, if you go for the shorter time, you should start with sterilized jars.

  23. 123

    […] See Marisa McClellan’s recipes for Dilly Beans on her blog, also named Food in Jars. […]

  24. 124
    Meaghan says:

    Sorry if you have answered this question already, but I made too many jars of dilly beans for the amount of brine I had. So, I made a half portion more of brine to fill the jars. Still ran out of brine and used all of my vinegar. I topped my jars with water…now I am worried that it could be harmful without the proper ratio of vinegar. I processed the beans and they all sealed. Are they ok to eat? Every jar also came out with air bubbles stuck to the beans. Thanks for your advice

  25. 125
    Tiffany Binks says:

    While the beans are hanging out to develop their flavor should I put them on the shelf or in the refrigerator?

  26. 126

    […] Spicy Dilly Beans Want to preserve your beans, or do you love a pickled bean? I have not yet tried my hand at canning, but it is something I would love to do. And I would definitely start with dilly beans as they are delicious! Here are a few recipes to get you intrigued: http://apassionateplate.com/spicy-dilly-beans/  and http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/ […]

  27. 127

    […] book, the author of Food in Jars has a blog of the same name.  It’s fun, and has another dilly been recipe I will be trying […]

  28. 128
    D says:

    I received a jar as a present for xmas..they were amazing. i ate them all. Now Im craving more, so I bought fresh green beans and added them to the jar (which has been in the fridge). Will these be ok to eat in a week? I read someones comment about Botulism, and was wondering if the beans have to be cooked in order to be safe to eat. Thanks :)

    • 128.1
      Marisa says:

      Cooking doesn’t impact botulism (it’s a matter of acid content, the presence of oxygen, and storage temperature). It’s not unsafe to simply add some beans to your leftover brine, but you’re not going to get the same flavor or texture as the original batch.

  29. 129
    Momcryns says:

    Hi there, I made these and they look great but all my beans aren’t quite submerged. I have almost an inch of brine free space, is this ok? Thank you!

  30. 130
    shannon says:

    Is dill seed the same thing as dill weed?

  31. 131

    […] I’ve already done Marisa’s Pickled Garlic (via a guest post at Serious Eats) and Dilly Beans, and I have the Nook* version of her new cookbook, Preserving in Pints.  With some extra […]

  32. 132
    Kate says:

    I love that you used apple cider vinegar as part of your brine. Haven’t seen that done by anyone else. The proportions worked out great- the green beans, brine and spices all fit into the jars with the half-inch head space called for. The next two weeks are going to be a killer wait. Thanks for the easy recipe!

  33. 133

    […] Beans, properly canned, but still super easy to make.  I used a recipe from Food in Jars, but I’m sensitive to garlic so substituted a white […]

  34. 134
    Debbie says:

    Have you ever made Refridgerated Dilly beans? I saw a recipe on the internet and it requires no canning or water baths. I’m wondering if it is safe to just boil the brine, pour over the beans in a regular jar and refridgerate.?? I have never canned anything, but just LOVE dilly beans! Your recipe came recommended to me but i’m afraid to do something wrong with the whole canning process and make my family sick!

    • 134.1
      Marisa says:

      You can certainly make refrigerator dilly beans, but you’d need to blanch the beans in some boiling water for 30 seconds before pickling. However, it is impossible to make anyone sick with high acid foods like pickles.

  35. 135
    Jenny says:

    What do you do if you can’t find dill seed?

  36. 136
    Jennifer says:

    This is the only way I would eat green beans as a child! I’m making some this weekend & hope my little guy likes them, although they’ll get eaten even if he doesn’t :) I’m new to your site & have been inspired to (safely) channel my grandma & start canning :)

  37. 137
    Vanessa L. says:

    I notice in the photo in this post, it looks like fresh dill in the jars, but the recipe uses seed. Can I use fresh dill (since it’s what I have on hand)? If so- how much should I put in each jar? One bean-sized sprig per jar?

  38. 138
    Erika Lynn says:

    Love these dilly beans so much. Just made them for the second time yesterday. I need to make another (maybe even 2 or 3 more) batch before the holidays, I love giving this kind of stuff out for gifts!

  39. 139

    […] too big to sell at market, we decided to pickle them! Here’s the recipe we followed (taken from http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/) and they are quite […]

  40. 140
    Linda Graves says:

    I see people commenting on Bloody Mary’s. I did 2 jar of celery using this dilly bean recipe just for this purpose. I Used quart jars for longer stalks and it came out wonderful! I will use this recipe again probably using store bought celery because my 2 trial jars are going fast. Thanks

  41. 141
    Shannon says:

    Can I substitute white vinegar for the apple cider vinegar?

  42. 142
    Shan says:

    My green bean vines were quite prolific this year. I wanted to find something different to do with them besides eating fresh, or blanching/freezing them. I decided to give these a try. They are great! (I am not a fan of cucumber dill pickles, but I like these!) I have canned many batches of these now with your recipe. Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Spicy Dilly Beans Want to preserve your beans, or do you love a pickled bean? I have not yet tried my hand at canning, but it is something I would love to do. And I would definitely start with dilly beans as they are delicious! Here are a few recipes to get you intrigued: http://apassionateplate.com/spicy-dilly-beans/  and http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/ […]

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    […] too big to sell at market, we decided to pickle them! Here’s the recipe we followed (taken from http://foodinjars.com/2009/07/dilly-beans/) and they are quite […]

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