Pressure canning dried beans is an easy way to cut down on meal prep and less expensive than buying pre-canned beans.
We buy a lot of bulk, dried beans at the store. And they’re a great, inexpensive way to bulk up a meal with healthy proteins. But, they also take forever to cook and well… we have three kids, it doesn’t always work out the way I intended it to.
So, I try to take some of the dry beans we buy and pressure can them so that they’re ready for meals at the last minute. I know, you can buy canned beans, but this is much cheaper. Plus, it allows me to brush up on my pressure canning skills even when the garden isn’t producing.
By canning your own, you are able to control what’s in the jar, have beans at the ready for meals, and improve canning skills. All wins for me.
Tips for Canning Dried Beans
Use a pressure canner. You cannot safely can beans in a water bath canner. You need a pressure canner for this in order to safely can them since they are a low acid food.
Use a full canner load. Beans take quite a while to process, so it’s best to fill your canner up to make the most of your time. I use a 21 1/2 quart all american pressure canner and it will hold 19 pints or 7 quarts.
The amount of beans you need to fill a pint or quart will vary depending on the type of bean used, but you can estimate needing around 5 pounds for a 7 quart load and a whopping 7 pounds for 19 pints.
Can different types together. The process and processing time for canning all dried beans of any variety is exactly the same. So, you can mix and match your varieties. Use kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans or whatever your favorites are. You can even mix bean varieties in a jar.
Can you can dried beans without soaking?
Part of the reason you soak the beans is to make them a bit easier to digest. However, the other part of the reason you soak and pre-cook dried beans before canning them is a safety thing.
Beans expand quite a lot once they’ve been soaked and cooked. Since we are placing these beans into a jar, cooking them further, and sealing them, we want to make sure they don’t expand so much that they either make a mess or don’t properly seal.
So, you really do have to go through all of the steps to safely can beans. While lots of people cook dried beans without soaking them, since you’re putting these in jars, it’s not recommended to use just plain, rinsed beans to can.
However, if you’re really pressed for time, you can use the quick soak method. Simply bring a large pot of water to boil, add your dried, rinsed beans. Allow them to boil for 2 minutes before removing them from the heat, then allow them to soak for an hour before following the rest of the steps.
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.
- Dried Beans (any variety)
- Sea Salt (optional)
- Canning Jars
- Canning lids and rings
- Pressure Canner
Soak The Beans
- You'll start by picking through your beans to find any not-bean material. Rinse through them. Then, place them all in a bowl and cover them with water, plus a few inches as they'll soak up a good bit of water overnight.
- When I add water to them, I also toss in a tablespoon of fresh juice from a lemon. Alternatively, you can use whey if you have some around, or apple cider vinegar. It is supposed to make them easier to digest.
- You'll let your beans sit overnight in the water to soak. A minimum of 12 hours. Once they've soaked, drain them in a colander and rinse them with cool water.
- Place the beans into a large pot and cover them with water. Allow them to come to a boil over medium-high heat while you prepare you supplies. They do not have to boil for long. The ball book recommends 30 minutes, but they'll be kind of mushy. I find just 10 minutes while I get everything else going is adequate, but 30 minutes won't hurt them.
Prepare everything else
- Once you have your beans rinsed and are on to boil, it's time to get to prepare everything else. You'll begin by sanitizing your jars.
- When you're ready, you'll add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to the bottom of pint jars and 1 full teaspoon to quarts. Ladle the hot beans and liquid into your jar, leaving a generous 1" of headspace. Remove air bubbles with a spatula or wooden spoon and check the headspace again.
- Wipe off rim of jar with a clean cloth, center a lid, and finger tighten the ring down. Place the filled jar in the pressure canner. When you're ready to process, add about 3" of water and a Tablespoon of vinegar to the canner. Tighten the lid on top.
- Allow the canner to vent for 10 minutes once water comes to a boil on high heat. Place weight on vent. 10 pounds under 1,000 feet. 15 pounds for anyone over 1,000 feet. Allow the weight to start jiggling and the pressure to come up, reduce heat to medium. You should still hear and see your weight jiggle every 10 to 15 seconds.
- Process pint jars for 75 minutes.
- Process quarts for 90 minutes.
- Once jars have processed, turn off heat and allow canner to come down to pressure naturally. Once canner reads 0 pressure, carefully remove lid and allow the jars to sit for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove jars to a towel-lined counter and let sit undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Check for good seals after they've set. Store in a cool, dark place if the seals are good. If they aren't, refrigerate and use beans up within a few days.