I love preserving our food! It’s a fun, satisfying hobby of mine. When our garden starts producing, I get busy in the kitchen preserving it all so we can have a pantry and freezer full all winter long. I love feeling like I’ve been productive in feeding my family nutritious food that I helped grow, harvest, and preserve! The sense of accomplishment it gives me is like no other. Nothing beats the pride you feel looking in your pantry stocked with filled mason jars.
I know you can buy canned beans at the store, but this is so much better! You control exactly what goes into them, you control who has handled them, and it’s just an overall satisfying feeling to can your own food! Plus, it’s easy!
I canned a few bags of light red kidney and pinto beans this weekend for that very reason. I thought I would share how easy it is to accomplish this.
Enough rambling, though. Lets get on to the tutorial!!
How to Can Dried Beans
Note: you MUST use a pressure canner to can dried beans. A water bath canner will NOT work!!
- A pressure canner (I use this one, and I love it. It’s an investment worth every penny!)
- Canning jars with lids and rings
- A Lid Magnet
- Jar Tongs
- A Canning Funnel
- A measuring cup
- A large pot to boil water in
- A colander to drain the beans
- A small pot to sanitize your lids in (if you aren’t doing very many, you can throw them in your pressure canner with the jars while they sanitize)
- Dried Organic Beans (pinto, kidney, black, navy, any type of bean will work and follow the same cooking times)
- Sea Salt (optional)
Prepare the beans
- Open your bags of beans and throw them in a large bowl. Go through and check for any rocks or other not bean items and toss them.
- Cover your beans with water plus a few inches of water. The beans will soak up the water and expand, so the more water you’re able to add, the better. I’ve had mine soaking before and had the top layer with no water because they had soaked it all up. Note: At this point I personally add a Tablespoon of organic lemon juice. This is totally optional, it just helps the beans become easier to digest once you consume them.
- Soak the beans in the water overnight. I recommend a minimum of 12 hours, 24 hours is even better.
- Once your beans have soaked, drain them in your colander and rinse them with cool water.
Prepare everything else
- Start by washing all of your jars, lids, and rinse in hot, soapy water. Set the rings off to the side. You will need about 6 pints or 3 quarts for every pound of dried beans.
- Add 2-3 inches of water to your pressure canner. Fill your jars about 2/3 full of water and place them in the canner. Turn the heat on medium or so and bring the water to a gentle boil.
- Fill a small saucepan with water and add your lids to the water. Turn on the heat and bring those to a gentle boil as well.
- Add several cups of water to a large pan, and bring that to a boil. Reduce heat, but keep heat on it in order to keep it hot.
- Keep your jars, lids, and water nice and hot while you gather all of your other supplies. Make sure you have all of your counter space cleared off and put a towel or two out to put your hot jars on.
Pack your jars
- With a pair of jar tongs, grab one of your hot jars out of your canner and place it on the towel-lined counter.
- Place a jar funnel in the top of your jar and add your beans. You’ll add one scant cup to pints and a scant two cups to quarts.
- If you want salt, add your sea salt now. You’ll want 1/2 teaspoon for pints and 1 teaspoon for quarts.
- Carefully ladle some of the hot water you had boiling in the large pan. You’ll want to leave 1 inch of headspace.
- Using a spatula, remove air bubbles. Check headspace again, and adjust accordingly.
- Wipe off rim of jar.
- With a lid magnet, grab a lid and center it over the jar.
- Add a ring, tighten down finger tight.
- Place filled jar back in pressure canner with jar tongs.
- Repeat until you have filled all of your jars, or you run out of space in your canner!
Process jars and store
- Place canner lid on canner. Tighten appropriately. Do NOT put your weight on yet!
- Once tightened, wait until steam escapes vent (where you put your weight). Allow to vent for 7 minutes (or as long as manufacturer instructions say).
- Once vented for 7 minutes, place your weight on. You’ll process at 10 pounds unless you’re over 1,000 feet you will process at 15 pounds. The time is the same, regardless of elevation.
- Bring your canner up to proper pressure and start timing. Process pints for 75 minutes. Process quarts for 90 minutes. If for any reason your canner goes below pressure during the processing, you will have to start your time over. Do not start timing until your canner has reached proper pressure!!
- Once processing time is up, turn off heat. Allow pressure to release naturally. Once your pressure gauge reads zero, you can safely remove the weight. Wait two minutes after removing the weight.
- Once your weight is removed and you’ve waited two minutes, you can safely remove the lid. Allow the jars to sit in canner for another 10 minutes before removing.
- Place jars on towel lined counter to cool overnight. Do not disturb.
- After 12 hours, check seals by pressing down on the middle of the lid. If it pops, it didn’t seal. If it doesn’t give, you have a good seal. Never check seals until you’ve allowed the jars to cool for 12 hours, you can cause a false seal if you press down before they’ve had proper time to cool and seal. If it did not seal, don’t fret, just place in the refrigerator and use within a few days.
- If you have good seals, you can remove the ring, label, and store until you decide to have something with beans! They’ll be ready to go in a moments notice and won’t take all day!!
That’s it! I hope this tutorial helped you and inspires you to give it a try! It’s really worth it, and the satisfaction you’ll get from knowing exactly what you and your family is eating… something you preserved yourself, that feeling is a feeling you cannot get any other way! Good luck!