Ever have one of those nights when you’re playing Chopped with the ingredients in your fridge, throwing together this epic dinner that you just randomly thought up? Until you realize you’re short 1 ingredient. Uuuuuuuugh.
That was me – the failed Chopped Champion that had to substitute kidney beans for black beans in my yummy Mexican rice skillet dinner. Kidney beans? Really? It wasn’t the same.
So the next day I grabbed some dried Pinto Beans and Black Beans off the kitchen shelves we built, dug out my pressure canner, put the toddler down for his nap, and got to stocking up on canning dry beans for our pantry.
Why Can, When You Can Buy?
True, everything we need these days seems to be just a click away – Amazon, Target and Walmart pickup, plus a can of beans only costs like $.50, right? So why put the effort in on canning my own?
A 15oz. can of beans may only cost $.50, but a 16oz (1lb) bag of dry beans costs $1.00, so how it that a better price? Because in this recipe, you’re using 1/2 cup of dry beans in each pint jar, and there’s about 2 cups in each small 16oz bag of dry beans, which then works out to be 4 cans of beans that you buy at the store!
So that works out to $.25/can, possibly less if you buy your dry beans in bulk!
Besides canning dry beans saving you money, you know exactly what is going into your beans – no preservatives, less salt, and you can customize the seasonings. Plus you can make them in less time than it takes Target to fulfill your pickup order.
- Pressure Canner (This is a MUST. Beans cannot safely be canned in any other method)
- Beans – Pinto, Black, Kidney, Cannellini, Chickpeas, etc
- Pint jars with lids and rings – I used 7 for this recipe
- Canning funnel – optional
- Canning tongs/Jar lifter
- Measuring cup/spoons
- Preheat pressure canner with a couple inches of water or to the first line inside your canner
TIP: You can add a splash of vinegar to your canner if you have hard water like I do. That will prevent your jars coming out with a white haze on them
- Measure 1/2 cup of dry beans into each jar
- Add 1/2 tsp of salt to each jar
- Add whatever seasonings you want to flavor your beans with. For the black beans I chose 1/2T garlic powder and 1 tsp diced jalapenos from our garden. For the pinto beans I used 1T of my Mexican Pinto Bean Spice Blend
- Add hot water, leaving 1 inch headspace
- Wipe jar rims with vinegar (optional, but trust me, the time you don’t do it is the time something is on the rim and your jar doesn’t seal)
- Top with lids and rings
- Add jars to preheated pressure canner, place lid on and lock into place (Do not have the regulator weight on at this point. The canner needs to vent first.) Turn heat up to Medium high.
- Wait til the little lock on the lid pops up and you see a steady stream of steam coming from the vent. Then let it continue venting for 10 minutes.
- Place regulator on the vent and bring canner to 10lbs of pressure (depending on your altitude. You can check your canner manual to see if you need a different amount of pressure) then lower your heat to stabilize it at 10lbs
- Once it’s at 10lbs, set a timer for 1 hour 15 min ( 1hr 30min for Quarts) and your beans are on their way!
TIP: I like to keep an eye on my pressure, as Pressure canners like to fluctuate and usually need adjusting
- Once your time is up, turn off the heat and let the pressure come down to 0
- When the lid lock drops, you can take off the regulator and all the pressure is out of your canner
TIP: I like to let it sit and cool a little longer, but you can take the lid off at this point. Just be wary of the steam that will come out of the canner and where your hands/arms are situated. That’s not a fun surprise!
As you can see, the beans have expanded to almost fill the jars! This is why I only put 1/2 cup of dry beans in, because they usually almost triple when cooked. You could probably even get away with using 3/4 cup.
From what I’ve read, some of the main reasons for the traditional method of soaking beans overnight is to help them become more digestible, plus to rehydrate them and keep cooking times down. That makes sense if you’re going to use them directly in a dish, but for canning that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Plus I’ve know people that say their beans get too mushy when they pre-soak. But do whatever you feel most comfortable with when canning dry beans!
How To Use Your Beans
- Any and all delicious Mexican food – tacos, burritos, nachos, tostadas, even just rice with beans!
- Black Bean Soup
- Refried Beans
- Salsa or Cowboy Caviar
- Bean Dip
- Black Bean Burgers
How do you think you’ll use your Canned Dry Beans?