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How do I? ...Can Vegetables

Selecting, Preparing and Canning Vegetables

Beans, Fresh Lima - Shelled

Quantity: An average of 28 pounds is needed percanner load of 7 quarts; an average of 18 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints. A bushel weighs 32 pounds and yields 6 to 10 quarts – an average of 4 pounds per quart.

Quality: Select well-filled pods with green seeds. Discard insect-damaged and diseased seeds.

Please read Using Pressure Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Shell beans and wash thoroughly.

Hot pack – Cover beans with boiling water and heat to boil. Fill jars loosely, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Raw pack – Fill jars with raw beans. Do not press or shake down.

Small beans – leave 1-inch of headspace for pints and 1-1/2 inches for quarts.

Large beans – leave 1-inch of headspace for pints and 1-1/4 inches for quarts.

Add 1 teaspoon of salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Add boiling water, leaving the same headspace listed above.

Adjust lids and process using the recommendations in Table 1 or Table 2 according to the method of canning used.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Lima Beans in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints 40 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 50 11 12 13 14

Table 2. Recommended process time for Lima Beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 1,000 ft Above 1,000 ft
Hot and Raw Pints 40 min 10 lb 15 lb
Quarts 50 10 15


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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