The Road Home

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Canning Dried Pinto Beans

I have wanted to try canning dried pinto beans for a long time. I have made many a large pot of beans and frozen the extra for later. It seems it would be much more convenient to open a jar instead of thawing them out. I don't know about the quality of canned vs. frozen. So, we will find out. As far as energy consumption goes, what takes more - the propane to can or the electricity to keep them frozen? I don't know the answer to that. It may depend on how long they stay frozen before they are consumed.

The beans I have stored are about five years old and getting to the point that they are taking longer to cook. So, it's time to experiment.

The canning recipe I used says to cover the beans with water, boil for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let sit for 2 hours. I followed everything but the wait time, it was more like 6 hours. The beans had to wait until the mozzarella was finished and the cheese pots were off the stove. But I figured the extra soaking time wouldn't hurt them any.

I had jars of frozen ham and turkey broth that I planned to use for the liquid when canning the beans, so out they come to thaw. Most recipes call for water instead of a broth, but I figured this broth would add more nutrients and a little fat which is a
necessity if you don't have any other sources in your diet. 

We brought the broth and beans to boiling.....

.....ran the jars through the boiling water. And simmered the lids and rings.

We measured the jars because the recipe says to fill them 3/4 full of beans. It doesn't look like a lot of beans, but they aren't cooked all the way either so they will absorb more liquid during the canning process.

Since we are using broth with some fat content, we wiped the rim of the jars with vinegar to insure a good seal.
We are using some of our Tattler lids on this batch. The process for using them is a little different, so we are practicing. I am glad we discovered these since they are reusable as long as the rubber gasket is good.

Process in the pressure canner for 90 minutes with 10 lbs. pressure. We came out with 27 pints of beans! I didn't know about quantity - x beans = y pints....and I am very happy with the results. 

This will be a good, nutritious meal in times to come and I won't have to depend on the freezer or use cooking fuel if I am trying to conserve energy. I would encourage you to learn something new everyday that will benefit you and your family. You just never know when that experience will come in handy.

Until next time - Fern


  1. We can beans all the time. We use them for burritos, baked beans, with fried potatoes, etc. They are a quick meal and delicious. I put one cup of beans in a quart jar then 1tsp of salt, and fill to neck of jar with water. Then pressure can them. I haven't tried soaking them previously. I know people who can them with garlic or onions but I haven't tried that yet.

    1. Thank you. I always like to hear how other people do things. If the beans don't have to be soaked and boiled first that would save time and fuel.

      When we ate the beans we canned, I was surprised how tender they were. They needed some salt, but we were very happy with our experiment.

      Thank you for your recipe. We will try it.