How to Can Beans

by GettingFreedom on June 22, 2011

Preserving and storing food is a favorite of mine.  I truly enjoy looking at my full freezers and pantry shelves and making up more homemade convenience foods to put back in their place.  

When we were still in the planning stages of Project Major Home Addition, one element I was adamant on was a large pantry, even though we were also to have a large kitchen.  My reasoning behind it was that freezer space is highly limited and it is a continued cost {the electricity}.  Not only that, but there are some days when I forget to pull out an ingredient for dinner that is tucked away in my freezer and I end up having to wait longer for it to thaw

Many foods can be safely canned at home using a pressure canner or a water bath canner–you just have to follow specific directions.  For my family, learning to how to can just made sense .

Why Can Beans?

Dining on beans is already a frugal choice for dinners.  However, you can stretch your grocery dollars even further by using dried beans.  They are far cheaper than buying already canned beans from the store, and like everything else homemade–you control the ingredients, namely the amount of salt. 

Not only are dried beans easy on your grocery budget, they’re super easy to cook!  The hardest part, for me anyway, is remembering to give them a good long soak the night before.  Before now, I’ve always cooked them for a couple of hours on the stove top, bagged them up in about one pound portions, and popped them in the freezer for use later.  However, I’ve noticed there have been lots of instances {especially lately since my mind is going every which direction, but the way I need it to be!} when I’ve forgotten to pull our our beans for dinner and I’ve had to wait on it to thaw. 

After a few frustrating times, and delayed dinners, a light bulb went off.  Why can’t I just can these?!  So I started to research–and indeed, beans can be canned at home and really, it’s pretty easy!  During the canning process, your beans are cooked to perfection–from start to finish {minus soaking time} you should be done in under 2 hours!

How to Home Can Beans

In order to can your beans at home, you have to have a pressure canner.  Beans can not safely be canned in a water bath canner because a water bath canner cannot reach the temperature needed to kill any bacteria that could be lurking in your beans.  This isn’t something to take lightly, so please, do not even attempt it!

Soak Your Beans

Like I mentioned, I’m pretty scatter brained on this step, so I just soaked mine in hot water for about 3 hours before I began.  I knew I was wanting to do 7 quarts, so I measured out about 11 cups of beans.  Your beans process in the pressure canner long enough that you won’t have to worry about them not getting soft–the soaking here is mostly to remove the gas and any debris.


Sterilize your lids and jars.  You can see a step by step tutorial in this post.  While I’ve never done it this way, you can also run your jars through your dishwasher, without soap, on the sterilize setting.

Fill Your Jars

Add your beans to your empty jars; 3/4 cup beans for pints, and 1½ cups for quarts.  Once you’ve added in your beans, fill with water making sure to leave 1 inch of headspace. *TIP*  This is basically to the bottom of the rings on your canning jar.  Wipe off the rim of your jars, and add on the lid and ring.


While you are filling your jars, prepare your pressure canner.  Once your jars are ready, carefully add them into the pressure canner.  Process pints for 75 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes–both at 10 pounds pressure. 

*New to pressure canning?  This post will walk you through the steps, even though it’s for green beans. :) 

*You can process pints and quarts together, although it isn’t ideal.  You will need to process them for the longest time, which in this case would be 90 minutes.  This ensures that the quarts are processed correctly, and it’s better to over-process them than to under-process {as there could still be bacteria lurking in there}.

Once your time is up, remove from heat and let your canner cool on it’s own.  After the pressure has returned to zero and the vent lock has went back down, it is now safe to remove the weight.  Let the steam escape, remove the lid {Be very careful, the canner still contains steam.} and then remove your jars using a jar lifter or silicone mittPlace your hot jars on a towel to cool down.  Check your seals after 24 hours.

What’s the Cost?

If you’re a number person like I am, and are curious as to roughly how much home canned beans cost–here it is::  While I buy my beans in bulk, I’ve figured up that it cost me roughly 25¢ a cup for dried pinto beans.  With those figures, a quart of home canned pinto beans {about 2 store bought cans of beans} cost right around 38¢.  Now that’s a bargain! :)

These instructions work for canning most dried beans, such as pinto, black, navy and kidney beans.  As for my canning adventure that I hinted to on facebook and in yesterday’s post??  They were canned beans alright, canned refried beans!  TONS better than my regular ones {although those are fabulous, too!}.  I’ll definiltey share that recipe soon!

This post is part of Frugal Friday.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: