Canning By The Zodiac Signs
The Three Indian Princesses Move To New Territory

Pickled Beans And Corn - The Old Time Way

The first time I ever tasted Pickled Beans and Corn was back in the day when The Deer Hunter and I were dating. Seeing the pan of green beans and corn cooking on the stove-I wondered why these people mixed up their beans and corn before cooking-but was too shy to ask.

I must admit when I first tasted the mixture-I thought something was wrong with it-and hoped no one noticed when I scraped it into the garbage can.

For me-pickled beans and corn was a food that had to grow on me-and grow it has. Now I crave the stuff. One of my favorite meals is fried deer meat, stewed potatoes, cornbread, pickled beans and corn, and a glass of sweet tea-it just don't get any better than that.

In the days before grocery stores, freezers, and canning jars-folks had to have a way of preserving food to make it through the winter. Often they chose the pickling method.

For pickling a large amount of food they used crocks-large pottery containers-some hold up to 10 gallons. I've read, before crocks were plentiful folks used wooden tubs. After picking, the mixture could be stored in the crock-folks would dip out the product as they needed it.

Over the years as my love of Pickled Beans and Corn has grown-I've decided The Deer Hunter's Dad, Papaw Tony, is the master of pickling beans and corn. Here is his recipe:

Papaw's Recipe is for a 8 Gallon Crock-1 Bushel of Green Beans, 5 Dozen Ears of Corn, 3 Large Heads of Cabbage, Peppers to taste-you can use-banana, jalapeno, or cayenne (or you can leave the peppers out completely), 2 lbs of Pickling Salt-DO NOT use Iodized Salt it will not pickle. Papaw follows the signs and makes Pickled Beans and Corn when the signs are in the Head.


First: String and break green beans, wash well in sink.

Beans in pot 3 

Blanch-put in pot bring to a boil-drain-rinse again, put back in pot and boil for 30 minutes, drain and cool. (We use a gas fish fryer/turkey cooker to cook outside-this keeps the house cooler-and cooks faster)

Boiling corn2 

Shuck and silk corn, bring water to a rolling boil-then add ears of corn-cook for 45 seconds. (Papaw says "if you don't bring the water to a boil first-before adding the corn-you will over cook the corn")

Corn in sink

Drain corn, cool, cut off the cob.

Cabbage 2 

Chop cabbage-Papaw uses a food processor-chop the cabbage to a small consistency-but not as small as you would for slaw. Papaw adds cabbage-because his Mother did-if you don't want to add cabbage leave it out-the recipe will still work. You do not cook the cabbage.


Chop up peppers-the amount you add depends on your taste. The Deer Hunter likes his with a little heat-so he added about 10 Jalapeno Peppers. Me-I'm hoping he didn't add to many-cause I don't like it hot. Remember you can use-banana peppers-jalapenos-or cayenne peppers. Or you can leave the peppers completely out.

Adding salt 

Now it's time to put all the ingredients into the crock. Begin with a layer of salt in the bottom of crock, next layer of green beans-about 1 1/2 inch thick, layer of corn 1 1/2 inch thick, layer of cabbage 1 1/2 inch thick, sprinkle a few peppers, add another layer of salt.

Repeat the layering process until you reach the top of the crock.

  Adding water

When you've layered in all the ingredients-you add enough warm tap water to cover the mixture. As the water mixes with the salt, it will be the brine that pickles the corn, beans, and cabbage.

2 finished 

Use a kitchen plate to push all the ingredients under the brine water. Weight it down with 2 mason jars filled with water. Cover with a towel. After about 2 weeks the pickling will be finished.

After 2 weeks taste the mixture and if you don't think its quite right yet-leave it another week or so and check again. It is totally normal for a film of moldy looking goop to be on the very top of the mixture. Just take a spoon, ladle it off, and discard it. If the entire crock goes bad-don't worry you'll totally know by the smell-and the bugs that will be in it.

You can leave the mixture in the crock-or remove and can. We can ours using the open kettle method of canning (which means getting the pickles hot and the jars hot)-it will last several years after being canned. If you would rather-water bath the jars for 15-20 minutes. 

Making Pickled Beans and Corn is quite a process-but it is so worth it-that we make them almost every year.

Have you ever eaten Pickled Beans and Corn? Do you like them? Have you ever used a crock for pickling?


p.s. If you have any questions about the recipe-you can email me at


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Thank you for the comment and for sharing your mothers method of pickling! I have never heard anyone describe it before-but you know it makes good sense to me : ) I hope you have a great evening and I hope you drop back by the Blind Pig often!

I love reading the old articles. My mother usevto pickle corn, beans, and kraut in seperate crocks. One difference though, my mom would always sew large bags (pillow case like) to suspend her goodies in the crocks. Her crocksvwe 5-gallon units. She would mix pickling salt with wsrm water in the crock, drape the bag over the top and fill it with goodies. As she filled the bag it sank intobthe crock. When reasonably filled she would twist the top of the bag and tie it off. Push the goodies down and place a large plare on top with a throughly scrubbed river rock on top. She would add fresh water to the solution till the rock was half covered.

The signs were observed when pickling. 3-weeks following the event the bags were opened. Magic time, full ears of corn waitingbto be devoured. Kraut and green beans you could scoop out with a cup. Get what you want, retwist the bag and let it remain in the crock until you are ready to do some canning.

Going to mix up a batch this year. Try the full ears of corn. Awesome. Mom cut her kraut off off of the cabbage cob and would pack the cobs in the bottom of the bag for a special treat for us kids. DELICIOUS.

Mimi-don't drain the water use it to pack the beans and corn in : )

Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

Hello I need to know after the beans and corn have pickled. Do I drain the water and add fresh before putting them in the jars to can? Thank you!

Renita-I have never used coarse sea salt but I don't see why it wouldn't work. If you try it let us know how it turns out!


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

Can you use coarse sea salt instead of pickling salt for the mixed pickles?

Found this this mom used to am,e beans like this every year and they kept just fine in the furitcellar..despite what everyone says about having to use a pressure I am going to try the beans and corn because I have too many beans..and I like the addition of the one jar at a time method...because that's what she did...she lived to 90 +, never used a pressure canner or not water bath processing for her bean jar at a time method..have we become too worried about bacteria I wonder..


Thank you for the comment! Unfortunately I don't know the answer to your question. Hopefully a Blind Pig Reader will chime in with the answer. The only thing I can think of is maybe a potter?

Let us know if you discover an answer and we'll share your knowledge : )


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I have a large crock that was my mom's. I was told that the finish on the inside has worn off and that it needs to be redone. Where would I take it to have this done? I want to make some pickled beans and corn sooooo bad!! My grandmother used to make this and I haven't had any in many years. I can 'taste' them, but can't make 'em!!!! Help!

My mother made pickled beans every year and would always tell us about when she was a child they left them in the crocks all winter. Hearing her stories of having to break the ice on top to get to the beans or sauerkraut used to amaze me. She would always hide a few ears of corn on the cob amongst the beans and corn as special treat for us kids. She also pickled Crowder peas and purple hull peas in this same manner. I have beans and corn processing now in her old 15 gallon butter churn. Can't wait to cook some.


Thank you for the great comment! Hard to say what went wrong with the one crock. When you say went bad do you mean spoiled? If so I'd say either there wasn't enough salt. But its really hard to say for sure : ) I am thrilled you come out with one good crock and that your Mother had such good memories about them : )


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I decided to follow your recipe for pickled corn and green beans. I didn't have an 8 gal crock, so I had to split it between 2 smaller crocks. One crock was fantastic, the other went bad. Any ideas? Did I not get enough salt in one? I can't thank you enough for this post. As soon as we started canning it my mom said " this smells just like Mama's". All the work was worth that one memory.

Want to make the pickle beans and corn. Helped make this as a child. How much salt? Please advise the measurements in layers. Two tbsp. etc? Love your site.

Thank you,
Teresa, Macon County NC

I love this site I had forgotten how much salt to use . Hadn't pickled corn this way for years, this is the best way and reminds me of the corn grandma had in crock. Yummy. I have used gallon glass jars to and put in dark . So happy I found your site I'm doing my beans ,corn and cabbage tomorrow. I love pickled . This is the best way to do it . Hope to pass this old way to grand kids .

Thanks for the comment!!! Use the pickling brine to can the pickled beans and corn. Good luck-I hope they turn out perfect : )


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and
Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I made the pickled corn and beans a week ago, have not checked them yet but I have a question about canning them. Do you can the corn and beans in the brine they pickled in or do you drain them and add fresh water. Thank you for the recipe brings back memories about my grandmother, if they work, I will be sharing with my 90 year old Dad.

Debbie-thank you for the comment! I do not think it would matter what type of corn you use-yellow or white should be fine : ) Good luck!


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 1:05 PM,

We ate pickled corn with fried sweet potatoes and cornbread growing up in Kentucky. It was delicious having the sweet/sour flavor. I was looking on the web to find the recipe and type of corn used for pickling when I found your site. My mom used a white corn which I think was silver queen. Does it really matter what type of corn you use?

DA in PA

love the stories i am from Olive Hill KY ate Pickled Corn and Beans still love them and im 70 years old going to make some again hope to get some corn this year thanks again

Tipper, just checked my mix after three weeks and it is really good. It was my first try. In southern Ohio , where I came from we always did our beans and corn in different crocks. I still love the corn on the cob, but I will make a batch or this every year from now on. Thanks you

Ron Banks
Pueblo West, Colorado

Rose-good to hear from you! Hard to say what happened to your chow-but it wasn't leaving it too long. We leave ours at the very least 14 days-sometimes longer than that. I would guess you should have let it work a little longer before canning it or maybe cut back on the salt slightly.

I've never used frozen corn so I can't say for sure how that would work out. But we do always cook our corn-for about 45 seconds before cutting it off and adding it to the

Hope this helps!


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

I tried fixing chow last year. It was so sour I washed it a couple times. Still sour but we could eat it. What did I do wrong ? I left it 8 days my sister-in-law said I left it to long? Can I use frozen corn in my chow and do I cook the corn?


Haywood County NC

Karen-thank you so much for your lovely words! I'm so glad you are able to enjoy canning like your Mother and passing it along to your daughter and grandkids is just the best thing ever : )


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

Tipper, I really enjoyed your post. My Mom & I used to can our pickle mix this way. she always called it " Hot Mix". She would also just take cabbage, green tomatoes, & hot peppers cut up & make what she called "Hot Tomato Kraut". This brought back so many good memories of those times & got me back into canning again. I had not been canning anything for years & had forgotten how much I enjoyed it! Mom's been gone for years now, but since getting back into this way of canning again, I can feel her presence so close to me. It's so important to keep the old ways alive to pass down to our children! Now, my daughter is learning how to can this way & I just wanted to say Thank you for bringing back good memories to pass down to her & hopefully as her daughter gets older, she will like it as well as my daughter does & keep it going for generations! My Mom had nine daughters & only three of us enjoy canning like she did. Unfortunately, one sister has passed away, but I'm hoping that out of all the grandchildren & great grandchildren Mommy had, that some will continue to keep these traditions going. Again, thank you & God bless you & your family.

Tipper,I wanted to let you know that my corn and beans have been in the crock one week I just could not wait to check them so we did last nite and they were wonderful and brought back the memories of my mother-in-laws from years ago.I will wait the full two weeks and can them and will be taking her some I hope they bring back memories for her.I also have lots of silver queen corn coming in I hope I will still have some when I take the beans and corn out of my crock because I want to fix some pickled corn on the cob.
Thank you again for keeping these recipes out there.
Alice Jones
Pauline SC

Alice-thank you for the comment! Our crock doesn't have a lid either-just drape a clean towel over the crock as a lid-you can tie it around the top of the crock to keep it secure. I sure hope the pickled beans and corn turn out good for you and for your mother-in-law too!


Blind Pig The Acorn
Celebrating and Preserving the
Culture of Appalachia

Thank you for the recipe my mother-in-law fixed these many years ago and they are wonderful I had ask her about the recipe and she has gotten to where she does not remember a lot of things so I googled it and found your site I plan on making them when the signs are right in July and when I go to visit my mother-in-law I'm going to take her some.I do have a question and that is do you have to put a lid on the crock as mine does not have one and mine is a 5 gallon one so I plan on halfing your recipe do you think this will work again thank you fro the memories

Melanie-I would call your local hardware stores-especially the ones which sell animal feed. If they dont have crocks they should be able to point you in the right direction!

Blind Pig The Acorn

Celebrating and Preserving the

Culture of Appalachia

I'm just trying to find a crock to make pickled beans and corn (minus the cabbage and peppers) just like my grandmother used to make. Where do you find one?

Wow!!! I just tasted my first batch and boy is is good! My GreatGrandma made this when I was a kid and it was usually served with hot cornbread and nothing more. I tried for years to find someone in the family who was willing to tell me how to do it, but they either didn't know or weren't sharing. I cant wait to take some to my Mom. What a great memory straight out of Nantahala Gorge!
Troy, NC

my mother and i make pickled beans and kraut the old way in a crock but a good way to make kraut is called green tomato ketchup layering cabbage and green tomatoes in the crock can add a few hot peppers if you like yummy

My wife and I may two runs of corn chow by Papaw Tony's last summer. The first run we used bell peppers in lieu of green beans and let work for eight days before canning. It was good but a bit sour to our taste. The next run we used green beans Ian lieu of bell peppers and let work for three days. The last run was th best.

Fred & Pat Russell
Canton, NC

Glad to see someone trying to hang on to a little of the past. Had to move out of the hills to find work sure do miss them. You can go out of the hills, but can't change your ways. Had extra corn and beans thought I might try a run. Thanks for recipe.

How long can you eat corn from the crock and be safe? I have had it in the crock since summer. Is it still safe to eat?

I remember well my grannies pickeld beans and corn. For those that dont have a large crock, here is a simple ball jar recipe.

Boil corn for five minutes. Drop in tub of ice water for five minutes. Cut off cob and pack in pint Ball or Mason jars. I like the wide mouth jars for this. Add on teaspoon of pickleing salt per pint right on top of the corn. (use two teaspoons of salt if you are using some of the newer hybrid sweet varities of corn).
Pour hot water into each jar of corn until just about to run over the top of the jar. All corn must be covered with water. Add canning ring and lid but just screw down loosely snug. Place under kitchen counter for 9-14 days on top of a cloth towel. The jars will work off and emit some water. At the end of the 9-14 day period, take lids off jars and wipe down top of jars and lids to remove any residues that would prevent sealing. Reapply lids hand tight and place in water bath canner for 15-20 minutes. Let cool and lids should seal. Redo any jars whose lids donot seal. This method works very well for corn, beans, Okra, green tomatoes, or a combination of the above.

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