Canning Dried Beans

This is a time of year when the canner sits idle.  The summer garden with its bounty of beans, peas and tomatoes to be canned, is gone.  The fall garden, with beets, carrots and mustard greens to be canned isn’t quite ready.  This is a time when I can take advantage of the cooler temps and can some dried beans. Why can dried beans?

  1. A lot of them are cooked at once and then all I have to do is open a jar, season them and heat them up.  We love all beans and it seems crazy to me to cook half a one pound bag at a time.  Even then, we have leftovers so cooking a lot of them at once and canning them makes sense.
  2. Dried beans are a good staple to have in my preparedness efforts and I still keep pounds and pounds of them in my stockpile but in an event without power, it would be so much easier to open a jar vs. cooking from the dried state.

Over the weekend, while Vince and I were grocery shopping, I had one can of black beans on my grocery list. I had used my last jar of home canned black beans about a month ago and just hadn’t gotten around to canning more.  One can of black beans here ranged from 85¢ to $1.25, depending on the brand.  That was a reminder to cook up a couple of batches of dried black beans and get them canned.  A 2 pound bag of Casserole brand dried black beans was about $2.50 and though there were less expensive beans, I opted for the Casserole brand.  I got the equivalent of 21 pints (17 pints/2 quarts) out of those two bags.  All I added was salt.  Depending on what I’m using the beans for, I’ll season some of them differently when I cook them. Except for the cost of the propane used, and it didn’t take much, the cost per pint is a bit less than 24¢.  Home canned!  No weird ingredients!  No preservatives!  Just beans, water and a bit less than 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Sound like a good deal to anyone besides me?

But, why stop with the black beans?  I had never used my new big canner that I bought a good while back.  I got the All American 30 quart and, after using it for two batches yesterday, I love it!

My old Presto on the right, the new All American on the left.  Here’s my review of the All American after using it for two batches of beans.  It’s heavy — real heavy.  For me to bring it over to the house from the upstairs storage room, I had to carry the lid and go back and get the bottom.  But, heavy and big is what makes it good.  You will notice that it has the weighted gauge and the dial gauge.  The first batch, I had it loaded . . stacked to capacity (14 quarts).  The second batch was only 9 quarts. The weighted gauge was quite noisy throughout the second batch.  I’m not sure if it’s because the canner wasn’t full but if Vince had been home, it would have aggravated him.  I love that I can process 14 quarts at once.  The beans had to process for 1-1/2 hours and it was nice to be able to do double the amount that I can do in the Presto canner.

Also, with the Presto canner, I struggle to keep the pressure at 10 pounds.  I often have to turn the burner completely off for a second because the pressure is creeping upward toward 15 psi even with the burner as low as it will go.  With the All American, I found a spot, not even all the way to low, where the canner maintained 10 psi.  By the time the second batch was processing, I was completely confident to sit and knit and check on the canner every 15 minutes or so, without having to stand there and watch it constantly, like I pretty much have to do with the Presto.

I canned 8 pounds of pinto beans and 4 pounds of black beans.  That came out to 17 pints of black beans, 2 quarts of black beans and 21 quarts of pinto beans.

That’s a lot of beans!

Comments

  1. 1

    Impressive! I need to get that done here! Wanna come show me how. ;)

  2. 2

    You are a woman after my own heart. I can’t say that I love canning but I can say I do a lot of it. I never thought of the dried beans. Good idea!! We use tons of pintos for all of the mex tex recipes we use. Another item of interest from you blog… The All American pressure canner. I looked at them last spring on the internet. Expensive but…Another timesaver because of the even pressure and the amount of quarts you can process. Because of your wonderful referral I’m going to look again and probably will have one for next year. More quilting time. Yay.

  3. 3

    Want to understand this correctly. You cook the beans and then put them in the jars and can??? Or do you put the dried beans in the jar with liquid and process and cook at the same time. Thanks in advance!!!!
    Hugs!!!!

  4. 4

    I’ve been thinking about doing that, but haven’t gotten around to it. I used to all the time when we were young and lived on the reservation, but I’m not even sure I remember what I did back then! It seems to me that I put about a 1/4 jar of beans, filled with water, and it came out right.

  5. 5
    Julie in WA says:

    I echo Roberta’s question…do you cook the beans first, then can, or do the beans go in raw? I have never considered canning dried beans….I always grow pole beans and at the end of the season I let beans hang on the plant, let them dry, then plant the seeds next season. But I always have way too many. Now I want to know more about canning them…please fill us in!

  6. 6

    I just finished the last of my apples and am working through sweet potatoes and pumpkins for the freezer. I was just wondering what to can next… I think you answered my question. Thanks!

  7. 7
    Norma in Oregon says:

    i LOVE casserole beans….we can’t find them here in oregon…so family that visited from texas brought us 100 lbs….

  8. 8

    very interesting! I’m learning so much from you :)
    I can’t wait until I have my new 6 burner gas range, I think I will try this. But I have the same questions and a few people above, do you cook the beans first? Off to google…..

  9. 9
    Ruth Anne shorter says:

    Do you cook them first as I expect you would? Thanks!

  10. 10
    Cindy from CA says:

    Ok! I have the same question!
    I just inherited my m-i-ls pressure canner and know NOTHING about pressure canning (only water-bath for the last 30 years!
    Just what is the process for canning dried beans??? and while you are at it — how do you can roasted peppers??? I still have a bunch on the plant here in CA – but I need to do something with them soon!
    Thanks!
    Cindy

  11. 11
    Linddylou says:

    Wow, I remember when I was young, a few year ago, and my Mom was making dinner with the pressure cooker. Not sure what went wrong but there sure was a mess on the ceiling of the kitchen. Not sure if she ever used that pressure cooker again. My Dad got me a pressure cooker when I canned but was always leary of the thing. LOL

  12. 12

    Didn’t know where to put this short cut. I came across a Dr. Pepper slow cooker recipe for roast. I know how you love Dr. Pepper Judy. So here is something for you all.

    http://www.bigbearswife.com/2012/02/slow-cooker-dr-pepper-bbq-roast-beef.html

  13. 13
    Lori in South Dakota says:

    To dingle or not to dingle–I prefer a canner that dingles. I’ve used a gauge–but often I get to doing something else and unless I HEAR the canner–I forget to watch the pressure. Oh dear–can you imagine cleaning beans off the ceiling? My mom did once–she said they were stuck up there like cement.

    • 14

      I like the jiggler too…for the same reason. I’ve never wound up with anything on the ceiling, but DH’s aunt had to scrape chicken off hers….the story still lives!

  14. 15
    Debbie King says:

    How long will the beans keep after canning them before there are unsafe to eat?

    • 16

      I wouldn’t hesitate to use them two or three years or longer after they’re canned. As long as the lid isn’t bulging, there is no foaming or weird colors and they smell right, in my opinion, they’re fine.