Beans, beans what a wonderful fruit they make you……… oh I mean, beans are the perfect must have staple for your pantry. So here, we are going to talk a little about canning your own beans. Pinto, black, kidney, garbanzo, green, you name it we can can it! This post however, is going to talk about canning the ol’ pinto bean. Since beans are a low acid food a pressure canner is absolutely necessary in the canning process. To learn more about the safety of canning read here. Otherwise let’s can it up yo.
I have tried a ton of different methods to canning beans; this method has been the easiest with the least amount of clean up.
First thing you want to do is make sure all jars are clean. There is no need to sterilize your jars because they are going into the pressure canner. If we were doing a water bath, then sterilizing is necessary. Next sort your beans out and take out any rocks or funky looking beans. Once jars are clean and beans are good to go, fill pint jars with a healthy ½ cup or for quarts with a healthy 1-cup of beans. Next fill jars to the top with filtered water cover with a paper towel and let soak over night. This method is considered raw packing even though you are soaking the beans you are not actually cooking them before processing them.
The next morning before you start anything, get EVERYTHING you need ready to rock. The more you are prepared the faster this adventure is going to go. Even though it is going to be the most fun you have ever experienced, half way through you are going to wonder why the hell you thought this was a good idea! That is the beauty of canning; it’s a love hate relationship. Get your filtered water boiling for your beans. For about 12-pint size jars a little over a gallon of water will fill all 12. Also, get your canner filled with about 3 inches of water and start heating it. Remember you always want to fill jars with hot liquid and add them to a hot canner. Otherwise you risk breaking your jars. Get a small bowl and fill them with your sealing lids and get a paper towel ready to dip in water to wipe the rims of your jars.
Ok let’s focus; you are going to want to drain the water by using a hand held mesh strainer. Hold strainer over the mouth of the jar and allow all the water to drain out. Once all jars are drained you are going to fill with boiling water leaving a half inch of head space. Head space is critical in any canning project, the amount depends on the food you are canning. Beans expand a great deal while cooking so we are going to leave quite a bit of head space. You also want to take a ladle full of boiling water and cover your lids in your bowl. This just softens the seal and gets them ready to suction to the jars.
Next we want to take our plastic thick knife looking tool (third tool in from the right in second picture) and push the sides down on each jar, this is just getting any air bubbles to rise to the top. Take your paper towel and dip it in your bowl of water with your seals and wipe the rim of each jar. This ensures no residue is left behind and a proper seal takes place. Place your jar rings on only finger tight. Any tighter and the air needed to escape won’t be able to.
You are now ready to place your jars in the canner. Place lid on and allow to vent for a full 10 minutes before you put your weight on. This step can take a good 15 minutes to reach a full stream of steam coming out of your vent. Once it reaches a full stream, start your 10 minute timer. Once your timer goes off put your weight on 10 lbs, check your altitude for proper pound needed to process, once your canner reaches 10 lbs cook for 40 minutes.
Once your timer goes off turn off heat, you want your gauge to read 0 before removing your weight. Let your canner sit for a good hour maybe even two. You want it to cool down and all the pressure to be released from the canner before opening. Do not speed up the cooling process by putting cold towels or water over it. Canning is about practicing your patience so get ready to be one calm easy going canning mo fo.
Once cooled, remove jars and place on a towel on your counter and try not to move for a full 24 hours. Sit back and listen for the sweet sweet sound of the PING. That sweet little sound says that you just canned yourself some frijoles!