Gardeners who grow pole beans in a summer garden will have a luscious harvest of beans growing vertically up a trellis or fence. Pick the beans when they become long and tender but before you can detect the seed beans within the pods for the most delicious bean harvest. Once you pick your beans, store them carefully before you prepare them for consumption.
Pick the pole beans from the plants when they are long and tender. Collect the beans in the basket and take them inside to your kitchen.
Place the beans into clean plastic containers or bags without washing. If you wash the beans before you store them, you risk mold appearing quickly on the beans. Seal the containers or bags and place them into the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator. Store the beans in the refrigerator for as long as three days.
Remove the beans from the containers or bags and place them into the colander. Wash the beans thoroughly under cool, running water.
Snap both ends off each bean and discard the ends. You may slice the beans into smaller pieces or leave them whole. According to the University of Illinois Extension, keeping the beans whole provides the most nutritional value.
Fill the saucepan with 2 inches of water and place the steamer basket over the top of the saucepan. Place the saucepan onto a burner and set the burner to medium-high.
Add the prepared beans to the steamer basket and cover the saucepan. Steam the beans for less than five minutes until they are slightly tender, yet still crisp and bright green. Serve the beans immediately.