Canning Dry Beans

I still had the canning bug, so I woke up early this morning and got started on some dry beans.  Beans are a cheap thing to practice on for new canners (pintos were actually the first thing I canned).  They are also a great time saver because you can get a lot cooked and stored rather than soaking a small batch of dry beans each night before you want to use them and waiting an hour for it took cook each time.

canning dried beans

Some of my friends were using a method where all you do is pour 1/2 cup of dry beans into your hot pint jars and top off with boiling water to 1 inch headspace.

canning dried beans

They are processed in a pressure canner at 11 pounds for 75 minutes. For quarts you’d use one cup of dry beans and process for 90 minutes.

Starting with dry beans produces beans that are still firm out of the can, so they don’t get over cooked when you use them in a recipe.

canning dried beans

I went ahead and did 3 batches: chickpeas, black beans, and pintos. You can see the water level on the pintos and black beans are lower. That’s because I stared with a recommendation of 2/3 cup of dry beans per jar. For the last batch of chickpeas I reduced the amount to a rounded 1/2 cup and you can see much less liquid was absorbed for a nicer level.

canning dried beans

UPDATED: I’ve had several questions about the cost of home canning dry beans. Here’s my calculation:

At Aldi’s, I got 2 pound bags of pintos for $1.49. That’s 75 cents a pound. Each pound is about 2 cups, so I could make 4 pints with it. That means these cost me 19 cents per pint.

In my case, that is the only expense because I am using reusable lids. You could add about 10 cents each if you are using standard lids. Pints are a bit larger than store bought cans.

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56 Comments Add yours

  1. Susan says:

    I’ve been wanting to try canning dried beans for ages! Thanks for this!

  2. Sarah says:

    You’ve inspired me to try my hand at canning some dry beans 🙂

  3. Toni says:

    Reusable lids? Where do you get yours?

    1. viggie says:

      They are Tattlers 🙂 This is their website, which is where I’ve seen them the cheapest.
      http://reusablecanninglids.com

  4. DearMyrah says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I just recently was wondering if it’s possible to do such a thing and then I found this! I do have a question, however… was this recipe adjusted at all for altitude? (As a resident of the Mile High city, I always have to lengthen my canning times to compensate for the altitude so I don’t want to just assume that directions for processing are always for low-altitude canning.)

    1. viggie says:

      You are correct that you would need to adjust for altitude. That’s not something I’m very familiar with and I know it changes depending on whether you have a weighted or dialed canner, so I won’t try to give advice there. But this recipe follows my canners directions for dry beans (omitting the part of pre-soaking or cooking the beans), so you should be able to follow those directions to adjust.

  5. Joel says:

    Awesome.

    What I love the most about this is how much work it could save in the winter; i.e. the amount of time it takes to pressure can a bunch of jars is less time than it would take to individually rehydrate the same amount of jars one-at-a-time.

    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Christina says:

    Would I be able to can my beans on a regular canning pot and not a pressure cooker?
    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I really want to make it!

    1. viggie says:

      Sorry Christina, they need to be done in a pressure canner. Nearly everything I’ve canned is done that way, it’s really worth getting one.

      1. Christina says:

        O.K. thanks for letting me know 🙂 …now to convince my husband that I need a pressure cooker! Hahaha!

        1. Wendi says:

          It has to be a pressure CANNER not a pressure cooker. Cookers do not get to a high enough pressure inside to kill all the beasties that could be in the food. The CANNER is the one you want because it climbs to a high enough pressure to kill the beasties. I have a couple of the Presto pressure canners and love them both. I also have two All-American pressure canners. Although they’re heavy duty and don’t need a rubber gasket, they’re VERY heavy. I’d stick with the Prestos…they can also be used on a glass top stove.

  7. Sean says:

    I’m the founder/moderator for Punk Domestics (www.punkdomestics.com), a community site for those of use obsessed with, er, interested in DIY food. It’s sort of like Tastespotting, but specific to the niche. I’d love for you to submit this to the site. Good stuff!

  8. Kathy says:

    We’ve been doing this for years, but I’ve never seen the method published. Thank you for verifying it…The first time we did it, school was called off all over the state (Montana) as it was soooo cold and the wind was blowing. My husband and I stayed in our jammies, had the wood stove going, and canned these beans. It is a nice memory.

  9. Kristie V. says:

    How long do you process a full quart (rather than 1/2 quart)?

    1. viggie says:

      “For quarts you’d use one cup of dry beans and process for 90 minutes.”

      1. Kristie V. says:

        Woah, that was fast! Thank you so much. I canned the chickpeas in 1/2 quarts, but found that I was using 2 jars at a time. We go through a darn lot of hummus around here. Thanks again, both for the method and for the response!

  10. Nicci in Wyoming says:

    has anyone used their beans since canning them? I want to do this but I don’t know what to expect when using them in recipes…

    1. viggie says:

      I’ve been using mine all along. They are firm out of the can so they are just right once they are cooked 🙂

  11. Christine says:

    I was wondering what kind of reusable lids you use.

    1. viggie says:

      These are Tattlers. I’ve been using them over a year now and am very happy with them.

  12. Diane says:

    Talk about a day late!!! I canned large lima beans yesterday using the cooked method. It took forever! I wish I had seen this before I did all that work.

  13. Lori says:

    How much water do you put in the pressure canner?

    1. viggie says:

      You would follow your canners instructions. My Presto has me fill it to the lowest line marked on the canner.

  14. Christy says:

    wow, so excited to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Brandi Hill says:

    I don’t have a pressure canner. Do you have a link to instructions for regular boiling prep? Or a quick note of what I need to do?

    1. viggie says:

      Sorry but this would NOT be safe to do in a water bath canner.

      1. Brandi Hill says:

        Thanks. I’ll do it another time after I price and find a deal on a pressure canner. 🙂

        1. marvelrae says:

          i finally found my presto at walmart.. you have to pay attention tho – they usually sell pressure cookers. i kept asking for a CANNER and they finally got some in. mine was about $50 –

        2. Arlene says:

          You might try Ebay. I get most of my equipment there. usually at a much lower price than retail!

          1. Iris Irene says:

            If you get a used pressure canner, be sure to have your gauge tested to be certain it records the proper pressure. When I was a girl, Mom would get her’s pressure tested at the local agriculture extension office. Recently my boyfriend, who works in an industry that needs to test pressure on equipment, brought his test kit over and tested Mom’s old canner for me. It is easily as old as I am (65) and still works perfectly!

            After you know the pressure is accurate, verify that the seals are good. Old brittle seals and pressure valves are dangerous. You can find new seals at a good hardware store or order them online at places like Amazon.com or from the maker of your canner.

            Happy canning!

          2. Iris Irene says:

            For what it’s worth, the going price for a 16 quart pressure canner, new, seems to be around $99.00. If you get a better price than that, jump on it.

            1. Mary Hathaway says:

              We finally broke down and spent money on an “All American” pressure canner. I can’t believe it, they have all sizes, and after years of pressure canning with a Presto I can do a whole days worth of canning in three hours max! My hubby got me the BIG one, 19 quart jars at once! I canned for 20 years first though in a little one, and we got older and busier and he felt it was time now! LOL. I’m giddy with the extra canning I am doing, and don’t even mind it. The “All American I don’t have to sit on it and watch it!

  16. Lori says:

    Do you rinse your beans first? Ive heard beans are very dirty

  17. Patricia Prenosil says:

    What do you mean by saying they are firm out of the can? One of the things I like about canned beans is that I don’t really have to cook them. They are pretty much cooked and just need to be heated up. When you say they are firm for cooking does that mean they are similar to soaked but not cooked beans? Or are they like store-canned beans? Thanks!

    1. viggie says:

      Beans that have been soaked/cooked and pressure canned per the Ball instructions end up being mush. So I wanted to point out this improves the texture greatly!

  18. Sarah says:

    So I’m still confused. Are these beans ready to eat out of the can? Or do they need to be cooked more?

    1. viggie says:

      Safety guidelines recommend cooking anything pressure canned for 10 minutes before eating.

  19. “Canning Dry Beans Viggies Veggies” definitely got
    myself hooked on ur website! Iwill wind up being returning considerably more regularly.

    Thanks -Desiree

  20. Melvina says:

    I have a weighted pressure canner with 5,10 & 15. What can I use for 11 lbs?
    Thank You.

    1. viggie says:

      In my gauged canner I use 11….for your weighted one you’d use 10 🙂 I’ve linked to an extension faq on this issue if you’d like more info.

      http://extension.psu.edu/food-safety/food-preservation/news/2012/how-much-pressure-10-or-11-pounds

      1. Mary Hathaway says:

        The county extension agent told me always go up to 15, never ever go lower than the recipe says! She explained to me she had a weighted gauge too and never had anything overcook in it. I can now say either have I!! Just go up to 15. I cheat a LITTLE and start counting time when it hits then goes above the pressure I need, but it then goes to 15 LBS and sits there til done. My food doesn’t over cook. I would not ever go lower, that is when canning becomes dangerous. As per our county agent. Just thought I would add this.

        1. viggie says:

          The link I posted is published by the Extension.

  21. Betsy says:

    How much salt per pint?

    1. viggie says:

      I have not seen a salt recommendation for canning beans. I don’t believe they are normally cooked with salt because it makes them tough.

  22. Shelby Bingham says:

    I used 1/2 tsp. canning salt, 1/2 cup dry beans, and water up to 1″ headspace — pints. I tried doing quarts, but even starting with dry beans they were much more mushy than the pints (longer processing time). I really liked the texture (firm, but not tough or undercooked) and the taste. I got the salt recommendation in the canning directions included with my canner.

  23. Suzanne says:

    Hmm, i’ll have to experiment with this. I do a bean and ham soup that works out wonderfully in the pressure canner.

    1. Stephanie says:

      I would love to see that recipe/procedure, Suzanne! Bean and ham soup sounds yummy!

      1. Suzanne says:

        The recipe (and at least a vague record of how i tinkered with it) is here: http://whatbelongstoafripperie.blogspot.com/2011/03/comfort-food.html For processing time, i went by what was called for in another bean and ham soup recipe – pretty sure it was an hour and fifteen minutes at ten pounds for pints, but probably best to double check that against a similar recipe.

  24. Shirley says:

    I did some pintos in quarts today after church…turned out perfect. I’m going to try Limas tomorrow. I’ve always loved to can and had often wondered about canning this way, but was unsure how to go about it. Thank you so much for the information, I’ll be trying to can everything is sight 🙂

  25. Iris Irene says:

    You did not specify the pressure you used. I see in the photo that the gauge is at about 13 lbs. pressure. Other recipes I have read say 13 lbs. pressure for gauge canners; 15 lbs. pressure for weight canners. You didn’t say. Do quarts need to be processed longer than pints?

    1. viggie says:

      You will always use the same pressure when pressure canning. It is dependant on your altitude. And yes, different times are specified for pints and quarts.

  26. Teresa says:

    I’ve been trying the kinda-sorta dried bean canning for a little over a year now, despite all the naysayers. I don’t like mushy beans either, nor do I like the extra hassle of boiling them first. I have been working on getting the ratio of beans to water right, and found your page when looking for guidelines – thank you. I too like ’em a little more juicy.

    One thing I do, regardless of whether I’m canning the beans or prepping them to go directly in a meal, is brine them. I know the whole soaking in salt water thing flies in the face of one of the big bean taboos. But this particular taboo is wrong!

    Soaking overnight (or longer…it’s not a very fussy process) in 1 gal. water + 6T of kosher salt (or 3T regular) makes them velvety without being mushy – even after canning. You’ll rinse all the salt water off then can as usual (or cook), and they turn out perfectly. Not salty. On the stovetop they cook in a lot less time. Even if they’re old beans, which is something that tends to happen a lot with supermarket beans.

    Right now I have a little over half my canner full of pints of brined black beans. I didn’t really measure out what I’d need, so came up short. To fill it up I very quickly rinsed some pintos and made a few jars with your method. Can’t really do an apples to apples comparison since they’re two different beans. I’m sure they’ll all be fine 🙂 Thank you again.

  27. Brandy says:

    I recently found this post and I’m very happy to try it myself as well!
    My one question is that clearly, since it was originally posted a while ago – How do the canned beans seem to keep? I’m always curious how long they stay good and how long people have theirs in the pantry before using them.

  28. Rebecca Henson says:

    Do you have personal experience canning the large Lima beans known in the south as butter beans?

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