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Canning Beans (homemade convenience food)

One of the foods I will buy when I’m crunched for time is canned beans. I’ve been cooking dried beans for years, but sometimes I forget to soak and cook them and that’s where canned beans come in. They’re more expensive than dried beans, to be sure, and they’re also canned in BPA-lined cans, which I’m not a fan of.

So recently I decided to try my hand at canning them at home myself using a pressure canner. Cans must be canned in a pressure canner, versus a water bath canner, because of their low acidity.

I wanted the simplest method possible for canning them. I usually soak, drain, rinse, and soak again our from scratch beans, but I was going for simple this time. So I found a method that utilized the most simple of approaches – add dried beans and water to your jar and can.

And they actually turned out pretty well. Here’s how I did it…


The Process

I filled the jars with 1 cup dried kidney beans. I think I will use a bit more next time, maybe 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons, in order to fill the jars more completely with cooked beans. I then topped the beans with 1 teaspoon salt.

I then covered the beans with water up to the bottom of the lip of the jar where the canning ring is placed.

Then I put a new canning lid on followed by a clean canning ring.

Now it was time to place them in the pressure canner and add about 3-4 quarts of water. In pressure canning the water doesn’t have to come above the jars, it just needs to cover about 1/2 – 3/4 of the jar for the canning process to work. Then I placed the lid on and put the canner over high heat.

After a while the canner started to omit steam and I let it vent for 10 minutes before putting the pressure weight on the top of the canner. Then I allowed the canner to come to 11 lb pressure, which is right for our area.

Finally, I let the canner do its thing, maintaining those 11 lb of pressure, for the 90 minutes recommended for canning beans. After it was complete I turned the burner off and allowed it to cool overnight before removing the jars.

The verdict?

The beans were nice and soft and the bean liquid was a nice, thick liquid not unlike that of commercially canned beans. I think I’d like to can more beans, just to have on hand when I’m in a hurry, and might do just that the next time I’m going to be in the kitchen anyway.

Have you ever tried canning beans?

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