Canning Dried Beans

First things first.  If you are canning dried beans you MUST process in a pressure canner.

How to can dried beans is just below.  Click here for directions on using a pressure canner. 

Why is canning dried beans a good idea?

I've caused confusion with my terminology.

When I say canned dried beans... I mean beans like pinto, navy, black...... Not green beans.  The dried beans are cooked and pressure canned in liquid.  Not canned dry in a jar.  Hope that clears it up! 

Beans are so easy to store in their dried state that it is easy to just leave them there and use dry. If you are looking at long term storage, don't can your beans.  Dry beans will store much much longer dry, vs wet like these directions. 

But how many times have you wished you had thought to soak your beans ahead of time so you could make chili? I've done it often! Having precooked jars on the shelf is a great convenience food.  Canning dried beans yourself is so easy it makes no sense to purchase canned  beans from the store. The cost savings is huge!

Recommended shelf life is one year. After that the nutritional value goes down.  It is not intended for long term storage.  Just short term storage and convenience. 

A reader sent in another good reason for having beans already canned (er jarred). Dirk says....... "You mentioned this if for convenience, but there is one other reason; It takes a LOT of water to cook beans no matter what method you use. If you are canning for rough times, water my be in short supply. By having a good supply of beans already processed and in jars ready to heat and serve you will not use ANY water at all."

Prepare

Gather your canning supplies

Ingredients

  • dried beans of your choice
  • canning salt

Procedure

The first thing you will need to do is soak your beans.

Check your beans for any small bits of rock, dirt or bad beans. Place dried beans in a large pot and cover with water.  Adding a little acid in the form of vinegar or lemon juice is a good way to improve the nutritional value of your beans.  Add about 2 Tablespoons or so.  I usually just splash a dob in.  How's that for measurments?  A "dob"

Soak 12 to 18 hours in a cool place. I usually do this overnight. Drain water.

Next prepare your jars, and start preheating water in your canner.
(see pressure canning for more specific directions)

Quick Soak

If you don't want to wait over night you can quickly hydrate beans. You may cover sorted and washed beans with boiling water in a saucepan. Boil 2 minutes, remove from heat, soak 1 hour and drain.

Rinse soaked beans.  Using a colander is the easiest method.

You'll probably notice my images have several types of beans, pinto, black and northern.  I can beans often and I just pulled from images I've taken at different canning sessions. 

In fact I often will prepare a couple types of beans and do a few jars of each in one canning session.  They all have the same processing time. 

Place them back in the pot and recover with fresh water.  Bring them to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart jar, if desired.

Fill jars with beans or peas and cooking water, leaving 1-inch headspace. In this picture you see the level of the beans. I still have not gone back and filled with the liquid.

When your jars are filled to 1 inch of the top, clean off the the rims of your jar with a damp dishrag or paper towel.

Place the canning lids on your jars and place in your preheated pressure canner.

This day I'm doing pints. I have double stacked 15 pints in my All American Canner.

Remember you MUST use a pressure canner.  Canning dried beans with a waterbath canner is NOT safe. 

Process

Processing times. 

pints - 1 hour, 15 minutes
quarts - 1 hour, 30 minutes

Be sure to adjust processing according to your altitude. For more information see this altitude adjustments page.

Adjustments for Pressure Canner
Altitude in Feet Dial Gauge Canner Weighted Gauge Canner
0-1000 11 10
1001-2000 11 15
2001-4000 12 15
4001-6000 13 15
6001-8000 14 15
8000-10,000 15 15

Frequently made suggestion.... 

I get messages from folks who use a different method for canning dried beans.  They measure out dry beans directly into the jar and process them that way.  It seems this is common. From anecdotal evidence it may be fine.  But any tested resources I've found always say to soak first. Time in the canner has not been tested from the dried state. 

(and if you are inclined to e-mail me and ask for more details on this alternative method.... I don't have the information you are looking for.)

I have made the decision to always stick with USDA tested directions. I just don't have the equipment needed to test at home.  And if I can use tested directions, I will.  

So my suggestion is to follow the tested canning methods.  Soak and partially cook your beans, then process.  

If you have a resource that has tested this method of canning beans from the dry state, I'd sure love to see it!  It would make the process so super easy. I would love to be able to share it.  Contact me and send me a link. 

Easy recipe to use those beans.  Baked Beans.  

• 2 Quarts Home Canned Pinto Beans (kidney beans works too) 

• 1/2 cup molasses

• 2 T brown sugar

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp pepper

• 1/2 tsp dry mustard

• 1/8 cup ketchup

• 1/2 cup boiling water (more or less as needed) 

• 1 T dry minced or chopped onion.

Heat all ingredients, simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.

EASY!

You can also add canned ground meat to this, ham, bacon whatever you might have on hand.  

Related Pages

Question from my inbox:

Canning Dry Beans without a pressure cooker

I have an abundance of dry beans I have purchased.  I am interested in canning them for quick use at a later time.  I know all the steps up to the processing time.  I do not have a pressure canner and must do it the old fashioned way.  Can you help me with an approximate processing time for this method. 

_____________________________________

answer:
I do not recommend canning beans or any vegetable or meat without a pressure canner. So I do not have any information regarding "old fashioned" methods. 

If you are not sure why, I recommend you read my section on botulism and canning safety. 
Food safety is a very important part of canning. I simply can't recommend something that I would not do myself.  Sorry I can't help you with this one.  

› Canning Dried Beans

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