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How to Pressure Can Pinto Beans


Pressure Canning Beans
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Why spend the effort Pressure Canning Beans?

I will give you a couple reasons.  The first is that it gives you storage options.  I don’t like putting all my eggs in one basket, and by canning beans and storing them dry I have two separate ways of getting at the same foodstuff.

The next reason is that by canning them ahead of time I cut down on prep time.  It takes hours of cooking to soften dried beans, but it only takes 90 minutes to pressure can beans, and then they are ready to eat right from the jar, or reheated with a minimum of fuel resources.

Pressure canned beans are almost always soft and tender, while it can be hard to get dried beans soft enough for my taste, especially if they have been in long term storage.

Lastly, in a disaster situation, I may not have the time to tend to a pot of beans cooking all day, nor the refrigeration to keep the left-over’s from spoiling.  With a can of beans, it’s a serving per can, with no leftovers, and very little time spent reheating them.
Because dried beans are a low acid food they require processing in a steam-pressure canner.  Before attempting to can dried beans, or any low acid food, make sure you are familiar with the steam-pressure canning process as well as the specific recommendations for your particular pressure canner.  Some, but not all, pressure cookers can be used for pressure canning.  Before using a pressure cooker for pressure canning purposes, make sure it is suitable for such use.

You Can Pressure Can Other Beans as Well

In the video and recipe below I specify pinto beans; however, other dried beans can also be canned using this method.

Depending on the desired use, other seasonings can be substituted for the salt.  As I did in the video, both the salt and the seasoning are optional ingredients and can be left out if desired.

If you are concerned about flatulence, a little lemon juice or citric acid in the soak will help break up the enzymes that cause the problem.

A one-pound package of dried beans will produce around 5 pints of canned beans.

How to Pressure Can Pinto Beans

  1. Wash beans and remove any stones or dirt clods.
  2. Place beans in a pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches.
  3. Let beans stand in a cool place for 12 hours.
  4. Drain beans and rinse with fresh water.
  5. Return beans to pot and add water to cover by 2 inches.
  6. Bring beans to a boil over medium heat and continue boiling for 30 minutes.
  7. Pack hot beans into hot canning jars, leaving 1-inch head-space.
  8. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to each pint or 1 teaspoon to each quart.
  9. Ladle hot cooking liquid over beans, leaving 1-inch head-space.
  10. Remove bubbles and wipe jar rim to remove any broth.  Adjust two-piece caps.
  11. Process pints 75 minutes, quarts 90 minutes, in a steam-pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure.

*Remember that processing times depend on your elevation, and that you must process for the required time to kill any bacteria spores.  Always follow a recipe approved by the USDA or canner manufacturer

Published inDIY Prepper ProjectsKitchen & Farm


  1. Brad Brad

    I attempted to can pinto beans [email protected] minutes. Jars sealed well; hoever after 3 or 4 weeks the bottom of the jars had a dark pieces that looked like bacteria or something. The jars were still sealed. Have you ever run across this problem???
    thank you

  2. Joe McCoy Joe McCoy

    Thanks for your video and recipe on the pressure canned pintos. One problem (or maybe problem), when I took my beans out of the pressure canner, they looked great, were still processing and had liquid up to the one inch head space. But after they had cooled, the liquid in the jar was below the top of the beans by between 1/8 and 1/4 inch. The seals were fine, but I am worried about the fluid level. Am I OK?

    • Mine did the same thing, it may look unappetizing, but I have ate it like that. It is partly from the beans soaking in the water, and partly from the canning process itself.


  4. mlbooth mlbooth

    my pressure canning book says to cook all meat (except fish and seafood) at 10# for 75 minutes . Why is yours different. 10# for 90 minutes.

  5. judy judy

    I have started to can again.. after a long time of buying at the store. I go by the ball canning books. Dry beans are listed in my older blue book . It’s so nice to see someone with great confidence walk me through this step again. . Made me have courage to keep at it. No corn syrup in my can beans. Why all the corn syrup in almost ever thing we buy. Remember to vent your canner before the weight is put on. A step I did forget. Thanks for the help. judy

  6. Laura Frisch Laura Frisch

    I have seen where some people do NOT cook their beans first. They clean then and put the cleaned dry beans in the jars with spices, onions, meat etc. And then pressure can. Her reasoning is that they cook in the pressure canner for almost an hour? Anyone try both and have a preference. This will be my first time and I want to make sure that I do this right.


  7. Jomicili110 Jomicili110

    Thanks!  Tonight was my first time to can any thing.  I watched your video several times. My beans are in my brand new canner as we speak. It is just a Presto from Walmart and not nearly as nice as yours.

    I was so nervous, I came back to watch your video again. I kept reading the instruction manual.   I  did made some mistakes. One, I did not use that little spatuala thing to get rid of the air bubbles. I didn’t remember until the beans were in the canner. Two, I put way too much water in my canner. I had to take some out. I did what you said not to do. I put the water in first, and then the jars. I was able to correct that mistake. Getting it started once the lid was on was a little confusing for me. I just wasn’t sure and turning it up high was kind of scary for me.  It is rocking along now (I should say gently rocking). I am still nervous and worried the whole thing is going to explode. 

    Oh, and I used your lemon juice suggestion, too. 

    Your presentation was great. It was clear and easy to understand. You helped me a whole lot. Thank you so much.

  8. katy katy

    I have found that it is easier for me, just to cook a whole crockpot full of beans, eat what I want today and cann the rest. They are great. You can fill your jars and put the cooker on, while you are making cornbread for supper:)

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