Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What to Eat Wednesday- Canning Beans

During my trip to Texas, one of my hopes was to can beans with my friend Donna. She has told me over and over again how easy it is to do. But I really wanted to see it done before I jumped in and did it myself. Well we got to do it, and it really is so easy. Much easier than I thought it would be. So here we go.

Canning black beans (or any dry beans)
Beans are exceptionally easy. Normally with canning you have so many pots on the stove, but not with beans.

Wash jars.
Heat a large pot of water to a boil and a small pan of water just to warm.
Sort and pick through beans- discard any bad or broken ones.
(or most of them anyway)

Then rinse them off. (if you want, I didn't)

Put 2/3 cup dry beans to each pint jar. (you could do bigger jars but this is about the size that most recipes call for- doing it this way you don't have any jars sitting open in your fridge-less waste)

Add heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt. You have to add the salt. That is what preserves it.
(add any other seasoning at this point- I was just doing black beans so I did not add anything else. But if you were doing pinto beans, you could add pinto bean seasoning.)

In the small pan of water heat lids, but do not boil.

It gets really steamy in the kitchen!

Pour boiling water into each jar of beans leaving 1 inch head space from the top.

It goes without saying, but I will say it- THE JARS ARE HOT!

Wipe rims of jars. The top and sides. Be sure the rim is very clean and dry, then add the lid (from the pan of hot water) and then screw on the band. Don't screw the band on too tight.

Fill the pressure canner with a little warm water. Add jars into the canner on top of rack.

Fill with more warm water about 1/4-1/3 the way up the jar. Then follow your canners directions on how to close your canner.
Cook for 60 minutes 8# of pressure.

After they are finished, pull the VERY HOT JARS out of your canner. Set them on the counter and wait for that oh-so-thrilling-pop. Resist the urge to push on them yourself to see if they sealed. Just wait. After everything is cooled off-then you can check. Any jars that did not seal can be put in the fridge and eaten soon. * thanks April for helping me see my mistake!

And that is it! You have cooked and canned beans. I am down to four jars. I am going to have to do some canning again soon! I just have to find a pressure canner. During the days canning, we tested out my 2 canners and found out that they were not closing properly. I will have to take them to the county extension after school starts to have them re-tested and find out if they can big fixed.


Amy said...

That is so cool! I have never canned anything, but I'd love to try it someday.

Tara said...

Ace has pressure canner supplies. I also have a pressure canner, if you want to borrow it. It's 2# off, so I just go 2# over what the recipe says. Let me know! That IS easy to can beans! I'll have to try it! (PS Peaches at Tanakas are really good and cheap right now if you can those. I did some... yum!)

Meghan said...

If a recipe calls for a 15 oz can of beans would that be roughly equivalent to what is in one jar? I am excited to try this.

Donna Ryan said...

Yes, Meghan, a pint jar is 16 oz., so that is perfect for your recipe. Have fun!

Anonymous said...


I wanted to confirm that you are putting dried beans directly into the jars, covering them with boiling water and then processing them in the pressure cooker? I mention this because every other recipe that I see instructs you to boil pre-soaked beans for 30 minutes before placing them in the jars and processing them. If your method works, it would be a great time and energy saver.


Anonymous said...

According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, salt is not a part of the preservation process and can be omitted from any recipe. It is only proper heat treatment that ensures that food does not spoil.

And though old recipes sometimes say that beans can be canned raw, most still say to pre-soak or boil for a better quality product.

Donna Ryan said...

Even if salt is not a part of the preservation process (??), it's nice to flavor the beans while they process. I have always used dry beans without soaking or boiling beforehand. Otherwise, what's the point, right?! They taste great. I stand by my salty not-boiled beans!

Ms. Art Teacher said...

beans should be soaked and properly cooked first.

Margie said...

This was a lot easier than i thought it was going to be! Thanks!!