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How to Can Dried Beans

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Dried beans are a pantry staple for most homes, but they also take planning in advance for proper soaking, and hours to cook. Thankfully, canning dried beans are easy and provide you with healthy, shelf-stable ingredients to make weeknight meals a cinch.

Dry kidney beans ready to be canned

I love cooking from scratch, it allows me to use real food ingredients, it helps me connect to my food in a way that many don’t experience anymore, and it helps me control what’s in my food.

The caveat to cooking from scratch is most of us are pressed for time in today’s modern world. Whether you work outside the home, work from home, or a million different scenarios, time is limited in the hustle and bustle of today’s world.

While we love beans, and while I love cooking from scratch, I can’t say I love spending 6 hours or more in the kitchen every day to attain that goal. And beans, they take quite a while, and some planning to put them on the dinner table.

First, you have to plan so you can soak your beans overnight, then you have to put them in a pot and cook them down for hours before they’re ready. Sometimes, we just don’t have time for that.

And that’s where convenience comes in. I already regularly can bone broth, and keep our pantry stocked with our favorite raspberry jam, applesauce, fruits, and even canned venison to make meal prep easy and have convenient, healthy snacks and staples on hand that I made right at home.

So, I’m no stranger to pressure canning, and using my pressure canner has become second nature to me. While dried beans store for a long time at room temperature, I’d rather have some useable beans sitting on my shelf to throw together a last-minute venison chili, some refried beans for burritos, or chicken tortilla soup.

Canning beans at home is really easy, it doesn’t take any more time to can up several pints or quarts than it does to cook a pot of beans, and they’re a shelf-stable pantry staple that can be stored for up to 18 months.

Each year, after the busyness of the harvest season, is over, I can up several canner loads of dried beans to keep in the pantry for the next several months to use in our favorite recipes. I end up with multiple jars for quick meals to store right in my pantry, if we start getting low before the winter ends, I’ll can up several more pounds to take us through the summer months.

Tips for Canning Dried Beans

  • Beans are a low acid food. To safely can all low-acid foods, you cannot use a water bath canner, you must use a pressure canner.
  • Pressure canners are different from pressure cookers. I love my All-American 921 which holds up to 19 pint jars or 7 quart jars in each canner load.
  • According to the National Center for Home Preservation dried beans should be soaked and simmered before being processed.
  • A canner load of 7 quarts will require about 5 pounds of dried beans, a canner load of 19 pints will require about 7 pounds.
  • Home canned bean broth can be used in cooking instead of needing to rinse the beans.
  • Any type of bean can be canned including pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, navy beans, lima beans, garbanzo beans, even chickpeas, and many others.
  • You can can multiple bean varieties in the same canner load, you can even mix and match varieties in the same jar if you want to, as they are all processed for the same amount of time.

How to Can Dried Beans

Step 1: Soak Beans

There are two methods for soaking beans. You can soak them overnight, or you can do a quick soak if you decided a little late that you had time to can up some beans.

Overnight Soak: Rinse your beans and sort for any stones or damaged beans. Place rinsed beans in a large bowl and pour enough cold water to cover beans plus 2 inches of water. Cover the bowl and put them in a cool place to soak for 12 to 18 hours, drain water and rinse with fresh water.

Quick Soak: Rinse beans and sort for any stones or damaged beans. Place beans in a large pot and cover with boiling water, cover and boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, soak for one hour, drain water and rinse with fresh water.

Step 2: Cook Your Soaked Beans

After soaking with either method, drain off the soaking water and rinse your beans and place them in a large stockpot. Fill the pot with water to cover about 2″ above the beans.

Bring the pot to boil over high heat and boil beans for 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to low to keep beans warm while you prepare to can them.

Step 3: Gather Your Canning Supplies

While your beans are cooking, gather your supplies, for the recipe you will need:

  • A pressure canner
  • 7 Quart Jars or 19 Pint Jars (or however many jars your canner will hold)
  • Lids and Rings
  • Canning tools: jar lifter, lid lifter, bubble popper, and canning funnel
  • Ladle

Step 4: Prepare Canner, Jars and Lids

Wash jars and lids in hot, soapy water, rinsing well. Place jars filled with water in a pressure canner fitted with a canning rack and fill the canner with 3″ of water. Cover canner and boil jars for 10 minutes.

Place your lids in a small saucepan filled with water and simmer for 10 minutes until ready to use.

Keep jars and lids warm over low heat until ready to use.

Step 5: Fill Jars with Pre-Cooked Beans

Now, pack hot canning jars with the partially cooked beans and cooking liquid. Note that the beans will still be quite firm at this stage, that’s ok, they’ll finish cooking in the canner.

You can add a teaspoon of salt to each quart or a half teaspoon of salt to each pint if you want to, but adding salt is optional and not a requirement for safety.

Add hot water to the jars to cover the hot beans, leaving a generous 1-inch headspace. Use the bubble popper to run through the jar and remove any air bubbles.

Check for headspace, adding liquid as necessary for proper headspace.

Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth. Center lids on jar rims and tighten screw bands to just finger tight. Use the jar lifter to place the packed jar back into the canner.

Step 6: Process Jars in Pressure Canner

Once all of the jars have been packed and placed in the canner, you’ll want to process your jars. Each canner can be slightly different, so you’ll want to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations for how to operate your particular canner.

However, for mine, I put the jars in the canner on top of the rack and ensure there is 2-3″ of water in the bottom of the canner. Next, I place the lid on, tightening the bolts on top. Then, I allow the canner to steam and vent for 10 minutes before placing the weight on. This helps ensure the canner is filled with an adequate amount of steam and even heating will occur during processing.

After the weight is on, allow the canner to come up to proper pressure for your altitude. Processing time for pints is 75 minutes, process time is 90 minutes for quarts.

Altitude adjustments for canning dried beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner:

  • 1-1,000 ft – 10 lbs
  • 1,001 ft and above – 15 lbs

Altitude adjustments for canning dried beans in a dial-gauge pressure canner:

  • 0-2,000 ft – 11 lbs
  • 2,001-4,000 ft – 12 lbs
  • 4,001-6,000 ft- 13 lbs
  • 6,001 ft and above – 14 lbs

Once processed, allow the canner to naturally come down to 0 pressure. Remove the weight after the gauge reads 0, then unscrew the lid and carefully remove it.

Using a jar lifter, remove the jars to a towel-lined counter and allow them to cool for 12-24 hours before checking for proper seals. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place for up to 18 months.

How to Can Dried Beans
Yield: 7 Quarts

How to Can Dried Beans

Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 13 hours 15 minutes

Make meal prep a cinch with these easy canned dried beans. It will make all of those bean dishes so easy and you'll have home canned beans to prepare your meal.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Pounds Dried Beans (8-9 Cups)
  • Sea Salt (optional, see note)
  • Water

Instructions

Soak The Beans
Overnight soak method:

Sort through dried beans, removing any stones or damaged beans. Place the sorted beans into a large bowl and cover them with cool water reaching two inches above their surface.

Soak beans for 12-18 hours in a cool space, drain soaking water and rinse.

Quick soak method:

Sort through dried beans, removing any stones or damaged beans. Place beans in a large pot and cover them with boiling water. Cover pot and boil for two minutes.

Remove from pot from heat, continue soaking beans for one hour. Drain soaking water and rinse.

Pre-cook Beans


Place beans in a large stockpot with fresh water. Bring water to boil over high heat, boil beans for 30 minutes.

Bring an additional pot of water to boil over high heat to ensure you have enough liquid to top off your jars when packing.

While beans are cooking, prepare jars, lids and pressure canner according to manufacturer's instructions.

Pack Jars


Hot pack prepared jars with beans, top with hot liquid leaving a generous one inch of headspace.

If using salt, add 1 teaspoon of salt to quarts, 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints.

Remove air bubbles with air bubble remover and check for proper headspace, adjusting as necessary.

Wipe jar rim with a clean towel. Center lid, tighten screw band just to finger tight and place jars back into canner with a jar lifter.

Place lid on pressure canner and allow canner to vent for ten minutes, place weight on and bring canner up to pressure (see notes).

Process pints for 75 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes.

Turn off heat and allow canner to naturally return to zero pressure before removing lid and unloading canner.

Allow jars to sit, undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours before checking for proper seals.

Notes

Adding salt is optional, use one teaspoon for quarts or a half teaspoon for pints.

Quantities of beans needed will vary based on canner load. This recipe will fill 7 quart jars. Larger canners that can accommodate more jars, you can adjust accordingly. Roughly 4 pounds fills 7 quarts for me. A standard canner will hold 9 pints, you'll need approximately 3 pounds of beans to do 9 pints.

Altitude adjustments for canning dried beans in a weighted-gauge pressure canner:

  • 1-1,000 ft – 10 lbs
  • 1,001 ft and above – 15 lbs


Altitude adjustments for canning dried beans in a dial-gauge pressure canner:

  • 0-2,000 ft – 11 lbs
  • 2,001-4,000 ft – 12 lbs
  • 4,001-6,000 ft- 13 lbs
  • 6,001 ft and above – 14 lbs

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Karen Martin

Tuesday 27th of July 2021

Even after following directions to a tee, my 14 pints of home-grown pinto beans boiled dry with five minutes left and warped my fairly new canner. Three quarts of water is not enough even at medium heat for 75 minutes. This was an expensive lesson. Mirror is testing my canner for any problem but my beans are a no-go.

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 27th of July 2021

I'm sorry that happened! Nowhere in my instructions do I say three quarts of water, though. I'm assuming you mean your canner dried out? You should be following the directions for your canner, but three inches of water on the bottom of your canner is typically what is recommended and should be more than adequate if your canner is operating properly and being used correctly, it shouldn't go dry. I've canned dry beans multiple times using this exact method with 3" of water in the bottom of my canner and never had any issue. Hopefully mirro can sort it out for you.

Debbie Bird

Tuesday 13th of August 2019

I have canned dried beans but I cook them somewhat before canning them. Just curious if they get completely done in the canning process if you can them dried with no cooking prior.

Kim Espinola

Thursday 28th of October 2021

@Debbie Bird, Please check with your state extension agency for information about NOT canning beans dry. I canned dried beans that only went through the soaking process. They expanded beyond the jar, and did not seal. Danielle is correct in doing the partial cooking before the canning.

Danielle McCoy

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Hi Debbie! Thank you SO much for pointing out that I didn't list cooking before I canned them. I just recently redid all of my recipes so that they post on these printable cards. I somehow posted green beans and dried beans with the same exact process. I'm so sorry! I am fixing it now, though!

mel

Wednesday 27th of April 2016

Could I put a bullion cube in a pint instead of the salt?

Danielle McCoy

Thursday 28th of April 2016

Bouillon has more in it than salt, so, no it wouldn't be safe to add it to a pint. You could omit the salt altogether, though. Then, when you're ready to warm up your beans, you could throw them in some broth or add a bouillon cube to add that flavor in if you'd like.

Bonnie V

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I've been wanting to can dried beans. It seems a lot cheaper and healthier than store bought, and we do use a lot of beans. It's so much easier to have them already soft from canning.

Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. Your post has been selected as one of our weekly features. Please feel free to stop by http://www.notsomodern.com/homestead-blog-hop-67.html/ and grab a Featured button to add to your post.

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I'm a planner by heart, but I always, always forget to set out my beans! We try really hard to properly prepare our foods, plus not having the beans soaked means they take for-ever to cook lol. It makes it so much easier to just pop a jar open and use them however I want to at the last minute! Thanks for featuring! I'll go grab a button :).

April J Harris

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

I've pinned this post to my Canning and Preserving Board. I know so many of the readers at the Hearth and Soul Hop will love it. Thank you for sharing how to can dried beans. I've never done any canning before but it is such a wonderful way to preserve food and be self sufficient!

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 2nd of February 2016

Thank you for pinning :). I appreciate it! Canning is a lot of fun for me. I enjoy learning different ways to preserve food, but canning is my favorite. It definitely helps you be a little more self-sufficient!

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