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

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