Canning Dried Beans

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First things first. If you are canning dried beans you MUST process them in a pressure canner.
How to can dried beans is just below. Click here for directions on using a pressure canner.

You’ll need about 3/4 pound of dried beans per quart jar.  Follow the instructions below, you are soaking the beans, then partially cooking them before putting them in the jars. 

On this page, You’ll probably notice my images have several types of beans, pinto, black and northern. I can dried beans often and I just pulled from images I’ve taken at different canning sessions. In fact, I often will prepare a couple of types of beans and do a few jars of each in one canning session. They all have the same processing time.

When I say canning dried beans… I mean northern, 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!

Canning Dried Beans

Why is canning dried beans a good idea?

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! Precooked jars of home-canned beans on the shelf is great convenience food. Canning dried beans yourself is so easy it makes no sense to purchase canned dry beans from the store. The cost savings are 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.”

Various jars filled with light and dark canned dried beans.

How to soak your beans for canning.

The first thing you will need to do is soak your beans. There are 2 methods for this. Overnight soak or quick soak.

Overnight soak

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”

Pouring water into a pot of dried beans.

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

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.

How to Can dry beans.

Gather Your Canning Supplies


  • dried beans of your choice
  • canning salt

Next prepare your jars and start preheating water in your canner. The goal is to have the canner hot but not necessarily boiling when the jars are ready to go in.
(see pressure canning for more specific directions)

Rinse your presoaked beans. Using a colander is the easiest method. This rinsing is important as it removes all the soaking water from the beans. Discard any water from the soaking step you don’t want to reuse.

Rinsing off black beans in a colander.

Place the beans back in the pot and recover with fresh water. Bring them to a boil reduce heat and keep them at a low boil for 30 minutes. Now you are ready to fill your jars.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart jar, if desired. Salt is optional but I highly recommend it.

Fill jars with beans leaving a generous 1-inch headspace. A little more is even ok. Beans will tend to soak up more water as they process so leaving a little extra room for more water is fine.

Jars filled to one inch headspace with black beans.

In this picture you see the level of the beans. I still have not gone back and filled with the liquid.

Next you’ll want to add your hot water. You can reuse the cooking water or use fresh boiling water. I tend to use fresh water that I’ve heated up in my tea kettle. It makes it super easy to fill each jar without ladles. Much neater.

It is important that the liquid you add does come up to the proper 1-inch headspace. The beans will be fully covered.

Next you want to clean off the rims of your jar with a damp dish rag or paper towel. This is so there is no food residue to interfere with the seal of the lid.

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

When all your jars are filled you are ready to process.

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

Pint jars double stacked in an All American Pressure Canner.

Canning Dried Beans Processing

Remember you MUST use a pressure canner. Canning dried beans with a water bath canner is NOT safe. If you are not familiar with how to use a pressure canner check out this page…

How to Use a Pressure Canner

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.

Raw pack method for canning dry beans.

I get messages from folks who use a different method for canning dried beans. They measure out dry beans directly into the jar, add water and process them that way. It seems this is common. But it is all anectotal. Tested resources I’ve found always say to soak first. Time in the canner has not been tested from the dried state. Dried beans are far different from fully rehydrated beans.

So my suggestion is to follow the tested canning methods. Always 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 because I admit, it would make the process so super easy. I would love to be able to share it. Contact me and send me a link. Please note I would be looking for an official source that has tested this method. Not someone who just has done it successfully.

How do I use a waterbath canner for my dried beans?

I’ve been asked how to can dry beans the “old fashioned way” Meaning with a waterbath canner. I do NOT recommend canning beans or any vegetable or meat without a pressure canner. 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.

Another way to use dried beans is this pickled 3 bean salad.

Printable Recipe Card.

Please don’t forget all the notes and tips on the rest of this page too!

Canning Dried Beans

If you are canning dried beans you MUST process them in a pressure canner. Here's how to can dried beans SAFELY.
Print Recipe
Jars filled with various colors of cooked dry beans.
Prep Time:20 hours
Processing Quarts (adjust for altitude):1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time:21 hours 30 minutes


  • Dried Beans or peas, of your choice
  • Canning Salt optional
  • Water


  • Start by preparing your jars and getting water in the canner heating. You want the canner hot, but not boiling, when the jars are ready to be processed.
    If you are new to using a pressure canner, see this article for full pressure canning instructions. This includes more detailed information and step-by-step instructions on how a pressure canner works.

Hot pack only

  • Once beans have soaked, rinse beans. See post notes for both long and short term soaking options.
  • Put beans back in pot, covering with fresh water.
  • Bring beans to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add salt to jars (1/2 tsp. per pint or 1 tsp. per quart).
  • Fill jar with beans to a generous 1 inch headspace.
  • Pour cooking water over beans, leaving 1” headspace.
  • Remove bubbles, wipe the rim clean, and place on seal and ring. Place the jar in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars. Process in a pressure canner according to the directions below.


Processing with a Pressure Canner
Place the jars in the warm canner. Proceed to fill all jars placing them in the prepared hot canner. 
Put the lid on the canner leaving the weights off.  Bring to a boil. Watch for the steam to start coming out the vent pipe in the lid.
Allow the steam to ‘vent’ for 10 minutes then put the weights on. Use the proper weight for your altitude (check the chart below) This is when pressure will start to build.  
When the pressure reaches the pressure required for your altitude (check the chart below) that is when you’ll start your time.  Process for the full time indicated, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain the correct pressure for the entire time.
When processing time is completed turn off the heat. Do not remove weights yet. Let the canner sit undisturbed until pressure comes back to zero. Do not try to speed up the cooling process.
Remove the weight and wait 5 minutes.
Open the lid to allow steam to escape. (carefully don’t let it hit your face or arms!) Leave the lid setting on top of the canner slightly ajar and wait 5 minutes.
Take the lid off the canner and remove your jars. (optionally you can wait another 5 minutes if the contents appear to be bubbling so hard it is coming out of the jars)
Put the jars a few inches apart on a thick towel and allow them to cool to room temperature undisturbed. 12 hours is suggested.
When the jars are cool, remove the metal bands, check the seals, and store the jars in a cool dark place.
Processing Instructions (Hot Pack only) 
Process pints for 1 hour 15 minutes or quarts for 1 hour 30 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  
Altitude Adjustments for Pressure Canner  
Altitude – Weighted Gauge   
0-1,000 ft – 10 pounds  
1,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds  
Altitude – Dial Gauge
0-2,000 ft – 11 pounds
2,001-4,000 ft – 12 pounds
4,001-6,000 ft – 13 pounds
6,001-8,000 ft – 14 pounds
8,001-10,000 ft – 15 pounds
Adapted from: The National Center for Home Food Preservation 

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

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


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5 months ago

I just canned navy beans as per this instruction. I thought I followed as discribed. I did 14 pints. The beans now finished no longer seem to have liquid. Is this ok? What could have happened. I did use a generous 1″ inch head space. Thanks in advance for your help. I love your site and use it for all my canning recipes.

Christina Williamson
Christina Williamson
11 months ago

Hi Sharon.
Can you use this same method of canning beans if you want to add smoked ham hocks and a seasoned broth?

1 year ago

I have several #1 0 cans of different dried beans I want to can them but they are so hard and I just can’t seem to get them to soften up tenough to pressure can them help me if you can

Laura Hahn
Laura Hahn
1 year ago

I have searched but can’t find anything about canning baked beans? My family loves them and it would be nice to just have them on hand ready to eat, kinda like soup! Can you direct me to how to do that?

Linda Blakeman
Linda Blakeman
11 months ago
Reply to  Laura Hahn

i used store bought pork and beans,then i add onion…bell peppers…ketchup…brown sugar…black pepper.then pack into jars and pressure can pints 35 minutes,they are ready to heat and eat anytime.

lois chambers
lois chambers
1 year ago

I really love your website! So much information and so easy to follow. I have a question on the canning beans. Can you follow the instructions completely and use the syrup for Boston baked beans instead of the hot water?

2 years ago

I’ve been canning dry beans since I was in my 30’s that happens to be over 40 years ago and I have to agree that having those beans in the pantry when I’m in a rush to put supper on the table is great. I season mine with diced ham also. Not a whole ham hock but a bit of ham to flavor the beans. The process time in a Pressure Canner is the same for ham, (meat) as it is for the beans. I also do not soak my beans. I clean them & check for rocks & bad… Read more »

Bonita Breining
Bonita Breining
2 years ago

Your information regarding canning dried beans is SUPER! Please advise how a person can remove the ‘gas’ that often accompanies rehydrating dried beans, before canning the beans. It seems to be that this ‘gas’ could cause problems when pressure canning dried/rehydrated beans.
Thank You!

2 years ago

Sharon, does this guide work for legumes like lentils and mung beans?

Laurie B
Laurie B
2 years ago

5 stars
Wow, what a great idea. Thank you!

2 years ago

I started pressure canning dried beans last year and love it! Now I can grab a jar or two whenever I need beans. So easy! One of my favorite things to can are pintos. They make the best refried beans.

carole miles
carole miles
2 years ago

I just wanted to say that I’ve been canning dried beans for well over 5 years, and I have never
ever soaked them. I clean them, salt them, add water over them. I have never had a bad batch or a batch go bad. I steam pressure them.

2 years ago

5 stars
Hi Sharon! Thanks so much for sharing the information on bean canning. Would it be safe to include ham or bacon for seasoning in with the beans before processing? Thank you!

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  Crystal

Hi Crystal!

Technically, ham and bacon (as well as other cured meats) aren’t considered safe for canning. There are a few tested recipes that include minimal amounts of them, however. For example, this one: I hope this helps!

-Rachel (Sharon’s assistant)

2 years ago

Thank you, Rachel!

2 years ago

can you do this in an insta pot that pressure cooks too? also, if I want to take packages of dried beans and store for long term in mason jars, do they need a oxygen absorber in with them since they are already dried? and do I leave the rings on the jar also? thanks

Rachel Abernathy
Rachel Abernathy
2 years ago
Reply to  kat

Hi Kat, I suppose you could cook the beans themselves in the Instapot as the cooking process before putting the beans into the jars, but you should NOT process the jars in the pressure cooker to seal them. You will need to process the filled jars in a pressure canner instead. If it is going to be used in a reasonable amount of time, oxygen absorbers and airtight containers are not needed. For long-term storage, oxygen absorbers do help extend their storage time. 🙂 For storing dried beans in the pantry, for example, keep the ring on. For storing jars… Read more »

Debbie Kent
Debbie Kent
3 years ago

I love your website and photos but am confused with these canning beans instructions. The directions for soaking and cooking the beans is confusing. Why would we fill the jars with hot water before filling them with beans? Then… 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. (Why does it say you have not filled with liquid when you are adding beans and water to the jar?) Also no picture of filling the jars with… Read more »

3 years ago

love the information you put out! I mostly use water bath. I have only used pressure canning once. With your information Ill probably start