canning dried beans

October 6, 2006

We use a lot of beans and I would like to can my own since they take so long to cook. I was thinking some seasoned and ready to make into chili, some bean soup, and some plain beans. My Mom used to can beans and wouldn't cook them first. She said this is the best way to go since it is so easy and you don't have to work with a hot product, but I don't see recipes for beans canned that way---maybe its deemed unsafe now, although we grew up on them. Any suggestions? Good recipes???



I canned for the first time(by myself) this year and am hooked. I made 3 batches of Annies Salsa. My family loves it. Now I am ready to try more. I may see about getting some apples and making apple butter or apple pie filling.

I am so glad there is a forum like this so begginers like me have a place to start. Thanks again!!!

Comments (19)

  • readinglady

    You're right that the only recommendation is for re-hydrated (soaked) dried beans. Actually, if I go back to my thirty-year-old canning books, it's the same recommendation.

    Years ago (many years ago) I did can dried beans raw once, which is how my DH's family routinely did it, but I wasn't happy with the results. It's too difficult to predict the rate of absorption of the water during the canning process and I found the product didn't equal the quality of the hot pack.

    So because the recommendation is for hot-pack (due to density issues) and because the product is better anyway, that's what I would recommend.

    If you have an up-to-date copy of the Ball Blue Book it has several recipes for soups, etc. using dried beans. If not, I've linked you to the National Center for Home Food Preservation Vegetables page. You'll see recipes for dried beans, baked beans, etc. Also if you hit the "soups" link there's information for beans in soups.

    Good luck, Tyffanie. Welcome to the world of home-preserving!


    Here is a link that might be useful: How to Can Vegetables

  • gw:marian-m

    I don't know if this is up to code or not,(Ithink it is....) but this is how I can dried beans. First rinse and soak the beans in cold water for 12-18 hours.Drain. In pot bring beans and fresh water to a boil. Hot-pack into pints leaving plenty of headspace.Add 1/2 teas. salt and cover with the water you boiled beans in. Add lid/cap. and process at 10 lbs pressure for 75 minutes.

    Canning beans is fairly easy. Have fun!

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  • readinglady

    The newest recommendations are pretty close to that. But the latest instructions are to boil 30 minutes before jarring.

    Adding to what marian-m said, if you want to do quarts it's 90 minutes at 11 pounds Dial Gauge and 10 pounds Weighted Gauge.


  • spyfferoni

    Thanks for all of the info. I make stewed beans the most, Puerto Rican style with sofrito(onions, green peppers, garlic, cilantro(I don't have access to culantro/recao) and oregano---I run this through the food processor with some vinegar and a little olive oil and then I freeze it in small container that I keep in the fridge, and I add a couple of TBS to stews, rice, beans---whatever.) I also add to the beans a little tomato sauce and cubes of winter squash, and sometimes a little bacon or ham. We eat this with rice, and the left overs I cook with rice and make a spanish rice with beans. OK, I am getting to my question. Could I can somthing similar to this---I could leave the oil out of the sofrito, would this even taste good after going through the pressure canning process. I know you are only supposed to use tested/approved recipes. Could I follow a bean soup recipe and substitute these ingredients for the herbs and vegetables? I do have the Ball Blue Book and saw a couple of soup recipes and a recipe for beans with tomato sauce and pork. Maybe I should just stick with canning plain beans to use in my recipes. Thank you so much for reading through my ramblings.


  • SuzyQ2

    I can both black beans and chickpeas regularily. I like having them ready to go because I make a lot of dishes based on those two beans. I follow the BBB instructions - which essentially have them par cooked when you put them into the canner and fully cooked once they are sealed. I leave mine unspiced, etc. so I have the flexability to do what I want with them when I put them to use.

  • bejay9_10

    I tried the BBB recipe for pinto beans, and they came out well - flavor-wise. However, I tried to stack jars in the canner, and 4 jars failed to seal. Whether that had any effect or not, I can't say. I was having difficulty with some lids that I bought at about that time - so that, too, might have played a role.

    The only other thing - be sure to wipe the rim edges well, before putting on the lids, as that could also be a negative factor, due to the thick nature of the mixture.

    I also did white Navy-types in a soup form, and that is good too. So nice for making quickie soups, chili or Mexican dishes. My next venture will be the black beans, or perhaps kidney types, as we use the latter a lot also.

    I prefer to put spices in when making up the recipe after opening also, instead of adding before processing.


  • readinglady

    I probably would skip the sofrito and just continue to add that when using the beans. Sofrito should freeze very well, especially with the oil, and it's condensed, so wouldn't take up much space. Some flavors suffer with canning.


  • gran2

    Your technique and recipes sound really neat. If i'm reading it right, you kind of mash the beans? That's not a great proces for canning, because of the heat penetration. Would suggest just canning the beans and mashing later. Seasongs are good, except for the oil, of course, as long as you allow for them in the processing time. Remember, too, that if you add tomato, for some reason in the chemistry, the beans won't get any more "done".

  • gardenlad

    Gran, the acid in the tomatoes is what prevents further cooking of the beans. Salt can have the same effect, which is why you add salt only in the last five minutes of cooking.

    What happens is that the acid/salt cause the skin of the bean to harden, which, in turn, prevents further absorbsion of water. Net result: The beans don't soften.

  • mogardener

    I have found that 8-9 cups of beans after soaking will fill 7 quart jars for a load in my canner. Also, I use regular quarts and use the point at which the shoulder starts to turn inward for my head space. Even though I have done adequate soak/precooking, the beans usually continue to swell somewhat during processing.

    Home canning beans is such a time and money saver that I do it regularly and have convinced several of my home canning friends to try it too. Why not? You get at least 7 meals'worth of beans for the time and energy that cooking one batch would take plus the cost of the lids. We don't care for frozen beans at all. Those are just too mushy when they thaw.

  • melva02

    Since this thread was recently referenced in another, I wanted to add something I read recently in Cook's Illustrated, the magazine that produces America's Test Kitchen.

    Their tests confirmed that boiling beans in salted water makes them undercook, because salted water prevents some of the starch granules from bursting. However, they found that soaking the beans in salted water, then boiling in fresh water, confined the salt's effect to the outside of the beans, mostly just the skin. They say that during soaking, the sodium replaces some of the calcium and magnesium ions in the skins, and sodium is a weaker ion that allows more water to penetrate the skin, which makes the skins softer.

    They recommend 3T salt in 4q water for 1lb beans. Soak them for 8 hours for a creamier texture or bring to a boil and soak 1 hour.

    They also recommend cooking the beans at a near-simmer in a low oven if you want the fewest burst beans. Pressure canning would clearly be the opposite of this. Do home-canned beans tend to burst?

    Great way to save energy though, since you are cooking 7 or more meals' worth with one cooking time.


  • ric_in_nc

    Just learning to can and using dried Pintos made a fine and inexpensive project. I used the overnight soak with the 30 min pre-boil method and it worked perfectly.
    1 lb of dried pintos rendered 4 pints (2 quarts). I left a little extra space for the beans to expand more during processing.
    Now soaking Black beans for tomorrow's process.
    It's very convienent for me to have pints ready to heat & eat on hand.
    It seemed silly at first to can dried beans since they keep & store so well while dry, but now recall many times when having a 16 oz jar ready to use would have been helpful.

  • greenhouser

    How long did you process them for and at how many lbs of pressure? Did you include any seasoning other than salt?

  • melissa_or

    My family has been home processing foods for years, it is something of a family tradition. In the 70's, my aunt did a program here in Oregon that taught people how to home process foods. I have a recipe that we use that has been very successful for us. We use this for Pinto, Navy, and Black Beans so far. Limas have a tendency to become too mushy.

    1 Cup of Dry Beans per Quart
    1 tsp Salt

    Add 1 Cup of Dry Beans per quart to jars. Fill with hot water and let sit overnight. In the morning, drain the jars and fill the jars three times to rinse.

    Fill to top of the neck of the jar with water and add 1 tsp of salt.

    Add hot lids and screw bands.

    Process in Pressure Cooker @ 10lb for 90 minutes.

    Best of luck and happy canning!

  • mamabear2

    If the beans are already cooked can I still pressure can them? Filling the hot beans to 1 inch of top of jar and processing at 10lbs for 90 minutes. I'm afraid of exploding a jar if there are too many beans.

  • digdirt2

    mamabear2 - Yes you can. Per the NCHFP instructions I posted on your other question about this. Add a little extra liquid so that the beans are surrounded by liquid.


    Here is a link that might be useful: Canning Beans

  • newcouponmom28_yahoo_com

    I just started canning but jellies and jams only and I am HOOKED! I'm getting a canning 23 qt Pressure cookier for Mother's day. I want to can Pinto beans but I want to season them. I want to cook the beans for 30 minutes only but season them already. I haven't seen a recipe anywhere for seasoned beans. I am hispanic and we season with "SOFRITO" which is garlic,onion,red pepper,cilantro (in a blender) Then we add either tomato paste or sauce.

    Would it be possible to can like this? I realize the beans will cook completely when it's in the pressure cooker.
    Any tips? I plan to do 1 pint jars, Live in FL

  • digdirt2

    I realize the beans will cook completely when it's in the pressure cooker.

    Gennel - per the safe canning instructions linked above (and re-linked below) all dried beans must be fully re-hydrated before canning. The instructions give you 2 approved methods of doing that but cooking dried pinto beans for just 30 mins. won't do it, sorry.

    Unless fully cooked first the beans absorb all the liquid in the jar while in the pressure canner and you end up with unsafe jar seals and insufficient liquid remaining in the jars.

    The Sofrito is a problem and has come up for discussion before. Using dried cilantro, peppers, garlic, onion, etc. and no oil at all might be safe but isn't recommended.

    But with fresh herbs, oil, and ingredients it can't be included in with the canned beans. Oil is prohibited in canning and the other ingredients would affect both the density and the pH of the product and so invalidate the processing time. Instead it is suggested that you make it ahead of time, freeze it, and add it to the beans after you open the jars of beans to heat them just prior to serving.

    Hope this helps.


    Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Canning dried beans and peas

  • bejay9_10

    Yesterday, I canned 4 pints of black beans. They turned out fine. After reading the above posts, I followed the advice to allow more head room for the expanding beans and it paid off.

    My first attempt awhile back on pintos, produced the results that were discussed - some beans on top that weren't quite covered with fluid and had expanded during processing - so I was quite relieved to find the black beans OK, after adding more bean water and allowing more space.

    Now, all I need is a few good recipes to try on those black beans. I have made a large pot of chili this a.m., using my very own pintos, enchilada sauce and ground pork sausage. With the addition of a few more spices, oregano, basil, my GS, says "it's perfect."



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