Tag Archives | pickled green beans

Canning 101: Tall Jars for Asparagus, Green Beans, and More

pickled asparagus in different jar styles

Whenever I’m about to start a canning project, I spent a few moments thinking about what I’m making, to ensure that I grab the best jars to do the job. This means that when I can jams, jellies, and fruit butters, I reach for the half pint (or smaller!) jars, aware that it will take me awhile to move through a sweet preserve.

When I pickle vegetables or can whole fruit that have a tendency to float, I use a regular mouth jar, knowing that the jar’s shoulders will help keep the veg positioned under the level of the brine. I do ¬†tomatoes in quart jars, since I’ve found that’s the most useful size in my day-to-day cooking. And I frequently reach for a pint & a half jar when making pasta sauce, as a pint is never quite enough and a quart is always too much.

pint & a half jars

And when it comes to pickling tall, skinny things like asparagus, green beans, and garlic scapes, I reach for lanky jars that will give me plenty of real estate for the vegetable’s full length. I’ve found that there are three readily available versions of the long, tall jar and so thought I’d do a little show and tell post, to make everyone aware of their options.

First is the Ball Pint and Half Jars. They are sold in boxes of nine, hold 24 ounces and are 6 3/4 inches tall. Like all traditional mason jars, the jars and rings are reusable, while the lids need to be replaced with each batch.

Depending on where you buy them, the price on these jars starts at around $9.99 for a box and tops out around $20. The best deal I’ve found online is through True Value. The jars cost $11.99 a box and if you select their free “ship to store” option, you don’t pay any shipping fees. The only hitch there is that you need to have a True Value store nearby.

Weck asparagus jars

The next option is 1/2 liter cylindrical jar from Weck. It holds a little more than a traditional pint jar, but instead of having that space in a short, squat jar, it’s been stretched out so that you get about 8 1/4 inches of canning real estate.

These jars are beautiful, feel substantial, and are endlessly reusable. According to the US directions, the seals need to be replaced each time they are used. However, European instructions say they can be reused until they start to crack or show signs of age.

The price for a box of six of these jars ranges from $18.25 (from weckjars.com) to $29.95 (that’s the regular Williams-Sonoma price. However, these jars are currently selling for $23.96, because they’ve got their canning stuff on sale). Shipping varies for jars bought through Weck Jars. Right now, shipping is including on Williams-Somona, but I don’t how long that will last.

16 ounce Paragon jars

Finally, we have the dark horse jar. It’s a 16 ounce Paragon jar. It is 6 3/4 inches tall and¬†seals with a one-piece lug lid (make sure to get one with a button, so you easily tell that it has sealed).

Made in the US and sold through jar distributors like Fillmore Container, this is the style jar that commercial producers are using for their tall, skinny preserves. Home canners can reuse these jars, but do need to replace the lids with each new batch.

They cost $5.61 a dozen. However, the lids are sold individually and cost $.25 a piece, which adds $3 to the total. The shipping can also add up, particularly if you’re buying just a single box. In the end, a dozen of these jars with lids would cost around $22 to get to me in Philadelphia. If this is the style you want to go for, see if you have friends who’d like to go in on an order with you, as it can save you cash in the end.

five jars

There you have it! A round-up of tall, skinny jars! Which one will you choose for your next tall project?

Disclosure: Fillmore Container gave me a box of the Paragon jars for review purposes. They didn’t pay me to write this post and my thoughts and opinions remain entirely my own.
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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…

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