The science clearly proves the bacteria that causes botulism is not killed until the temperature gets to 240 degrees. Water bath does not get the temperature that high. There are other bacteria that can be present too, but botulism is the killer.
The botulism bacteria is fairly common in nature, but it is not everywhere. Personally, I follow the recommendations.
Learn to love pickling if it's not tomatoes. Tomatoes you have to add bottled lemon juice or citric acid (I use Mrs. Wages.) There are a ton of mothers out there that didn't use a pressure canner for things and lived... but, basically, it comes down to that if you don't follow the USDA guidelines for canning and use a pre-approved recipe for any canning it is the internet's duty to inform you that you are going to die a horrible death by botulism poisoning. My fear of botulism now outweighs my desire to play around with the rules.
I did read about an alternative method of preserving green beans in a crock full of salt... that might be an option for you if it's green beans. Also, there is always the dehydrator...
Okay, I know that the "canning FBI" would put me in jail, but here is how I can my tomatoes and also green beans. I was taught to can by my Grandmother who is now 86 and lively. We canned this year 145 quarts and 90 pints of "plain" tomatoes. 130 quarts of green beans and 45 pints. 30 pints of tomato relish, 30 pints of pear relish, 25 pints of jellies, 15 pints of hot pepper relish, 15 pints of corn relish, and a few other odds and ends I'm sure I forgot about. There are 10 people who regularly eat these canned items and 5 extras on Sundays. It's a family affair, lol.
Take tomatoes and put in sink with stopper in to hold water. Pour boiling water over tomatoes and let sit for a few mintues. Scald your hands fishing tomatoes out and peeling and coring them. Chop them up coarsely into a large pot. When done with all tomatoes whether you have one 12 quart stock pot or 4, cook tomatoes on stove to a gentle boil removing the foam that floats to the top. When the tomatoes are boiling and they quit foaming (this could take 30 or 40 minutes of cook time) you put your clean jars in a 200 degree oven and put your lids and rings to steam on the stove. Don't boil the lids or they might not work.
Take hot jars out of the oven and pour the cooked tomatoes in them. Put 1 tsp of non-iodized salt in each quart of tomatoes. Put your lid and ring on and continue until all jars are filled. Cover the jars with a towel and wait for the pop of the sealed lid.
That's it. We use them to make salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili, vegetable soup, beef hash, and other things. None of us have ever died or been sick from eating them. I understand my risks.
Normally we snap our green beans after picking. They go through 2 or 3 washes in the sink. We have a 1 (or 1/2 cup) cup of salt, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 quart of water for each gallon of snapped beans. We cook them down in this solution until they are dark green (takes about 15 minutes). I take hot jars from the oven and fill with beans 1" from the top and then add liquid from the pot to cover the beans. I usually have just enough to fill each jar with the water solution. I put a hot lid and ring on and screw down tight the ring and set on the table. Later you will hear the pop of the seal. To eat them we drain and wash the beans from the jar and using a little water just bring them to a boil, pour this water off and put new water and boil again. They taste great to me.
ETA: None of us own a pressure cooker or water-bath canner.
I did use my tamale steamer as a water-bath canner this weekend to try some fig jam. It was absolutely wonderful recipe I found. Perfect consistency and taste. I processed them in my tamale steamer because I had never tried this recipe before and that's what it said to do. I need to find a water-bath canner, using the tamale steamer was a nightmare, or I need to buy a burner for a turkey fryer. I could heat the tamale steamer outside, quickly. It took forever to boil that much water.