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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54 responses to this post.

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

    Reply

  2. You’ve inspired me to try my hand at canning some dry beans :)

    Reply

  3. Reusable lids? Where do you get yours?

    Reply

  4. Posted by DearMyrah on January 30, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    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.)

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  5. 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!

    Reply

  6. 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!

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

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

        Reply

        • 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.

          Reply

  7. 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!

    Reply

  8. Posted by Kathy on May 10, 2012 at 9:49 am

    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.

    Reply

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

    Reply

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

      Reply

      • 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!

        Reply

  10. Posted by Nicci in Wyoming on June 2, 2012 at 7:39 am

    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…

    Reply

  11. Posted by Christine on June 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I was wondering what kind of reusable lids you use.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Diane on June 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    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.

    Reply

  13. Posted by Lori on July 10, 2012 at 10:26 am

    How much water do you put in the pressure canner?

    Reply

  14. Posted by Christy on July 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm

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

    Reply

  15. 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?

    Reply

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

      Reply

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

        Reply

        • 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 -

          Reply

        • Posted by Arlene on June 24, 2013 at 9:09 pm

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

          Reply

          • 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!

            Reply

          • 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.

            Reply

            • Posted by Mary Hathaway on October 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm

              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!

              Reply

  16. Posted by Lori on July 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm

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

    Reply

  17. Posted by Patricia Prenosil on October 3, 2012 at 11:35 am

    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!

    Reply

    • 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!

      Reply

  18. Posted by Sarah on November 14, 2012 at 11:20 am

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

    Reply

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

    Thanks -Desiree

    Reply

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

    Reply

  21. Posted by Betsy on March 17, 2013 at 3:35 am

    How much salt per pint?

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  22. Posted by Shelby Bingham on April 5, 2013 at 10:08 am

    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.

    Reply

  23. [...] (I’d grab a jar and blend or mash to make homemade refried beans) and here’s one for canning dry beans (black beans, garbanzo, [...]

    Reply

  24. Posted by Suzanne on May 3, 2013 at 12:05 am

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

    Reply

  25. Posted by Shirley on June 23, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    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 :)

    Reply

  26. 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?

    Reply

    • 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.

      Reply

  27. Posted by Teresa on August 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    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.

    Reply

  28. Posted by Brandy on January 21, 2014 at 10:33 am

    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.

    Reply

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