How to Make Canned Beans

canned beans

It's truly a great idea. Canned beans are so economical to prepare....and think of all the yummy dishes you can make with them down the road. Refried beans, mexican casseroles, nachos, and even a quick chip dip are great ways to use those beans!

Why make canned beans when you could just store them dry?

That's exactly what we thought for years, too. Dried beans can sit on the shelves for years, and apart from getting dusty, they'll be as fresh as when you first bought them! A no-fuss method of being prepared, right?

Start thinking outside the box. What if a bad storm comes your way and knocks out the electricity for several days? How are you going to cook your dry beans? And think about how much water it takes to cook beans. In the case of an emergency, water may also be limited, so you definitely wouldn't want to waste it on cooking beans.

That's why we decided to start canning beans - it's literally a meal in a jar. Since self-sufficiency and preparedness is one of the reasons behind canning food in the first place, it seems like have pre-cooked foods (like canned beans) would be a good idea to have on hand.

What kind of beans to can

You can preserve any kind of bean out there - kidney, navy, white, soldier, pinto, split peas, and so on. I've had experience canning pinto beans, white beans, and kidney beans, but other types of canned beans are sure to be just as delicious!

As far as the quantity of beans you'll need, from our experience, 20 cups of dried beans will equal 20 quarts and 1 pint of canned beans.

Start Canning Beans!

canned beans

1. If the beans you're canning are straight from your garden, you will need to rinse them ahead of time to get the dirt off of them. By the way, if the beans are from your garden, make sure they are truly dried. Leave them on the stalk until their shells or pods because brown, dried, and crackly.

2. Place beans in a large soup pot or roaster and fill with enough water to cover the beans, plus some extra. Soak the beans overnight. The idea here is to have the beans soft and partially cooked, so that after they are canned, you have very soft, fully cooked beans. If you just put dry beans in a jar with water, they will be crunchy and half-cooked in the end.

3. The next morning, discard the old water and replace with new water. This time, you are going to bring to a boil for 30 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. While your beans are boiling, start preparing your canning jars. They need to be sterilized and clean; you can do this by boiling them, washing with very hot water, or running them through the dishwasher. However you do it, make sure the end result is clean jars.

canned beans

5. Now it's time to fill your jars with beans! Since your beans are now hot, your jars need to be hot too. If you place steaming hot food into a cold jar, you will often have jar breakage. You can heat your jars by pouring very hot water into them and letting them sit for a minute, then dump out the water and fill jars with beans.

There is no need to add any liquid to your beans, as they are pretty liquidy already. Leave a 1 inch headspace.

6. With a clean, damp paper towel, wipe the rims of your jars, then wipe them with a dry paper towel. This is a very important step. Food or food particles sometimes get on the rims of the jars, and if they are not wiped off, your lids may not seal. I've had this happen to me before, and believe me, it's not worth the trouble! Avoid lid failure by taking a minute to do this very important step.

canned beans

7. Place lids and rings on your jars. Rings (also called rims or bands) should be finger tight.

Lids do not need to be washed, since they are brand new. (Don't ever re-use lids! They should be thrown out after each us.) Rings, however, can be re-used, and they should be washed before using again.

8. Time to can those beans! Get your

pressure canner out and fill it with water according to your user manual's instructions. Place the jars in the canner and put the lid on tight.

Pints: 10 lbs for 1 hour and 15 minutesQuarts: 10 lbs for 1 hour and 30 minutes

canned beans

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