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Canning Dried Beans: Planning Ahead for Fast and Easy Meals

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Canning dried beans at home makes them ready to use for fast weeknight dinners and it means you can skip the BPA-lined cans from the supermarket.

canning jars full of white beans

Have you ever come across some dried beans deep in the recesses of your kitchen cabinets? When they’re years old, they can take forever to cook. But even if you know this, you put them to soak so you can try to make your favorite bean soup anyway. After hours they are still a bit crisp and completely unpleasant to eat so you think of just tossing them to the compost.

But wait!

This happened to me just last week and thankfully I had this trick up my sleeve for canning dried beans in about five minutes prep time (plus 90 minutes of listening to the canner as I caught up in the kitchen). Yes, processing them in canning jars softens them like a dream.

The only catch is that you must pressure can them instead of water bath canning them. The lack of acidity in beans means water bath canning does not do a sufficient job in preserving them.

Canning Safety

Canning is an excellent way to preserve food for the pantry, but there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Know the difference between water bath canning and pressure canning. Low acid items must be pressure canned for safety. 
  • Altering ingredients may change the recipe’s pH, posing a safety issue. 
  • Use the proper jars and lids. Never reuse lids, with the exception of the Tattler lids that are intended for such a purpose.
  • For more on canning equipment, please go here
  • This recipe has been made following safe canning procedures.

Related: Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

pressure canner with steam emerging

Canning dried beans in the pressure cooker

This recipe makes seven quarts of beans. You’ll need to soak the dried beans for 8-to-12 hours. If you do this overnight, the beans will be ready for canning in the morning. Before you start, prepare seven quart-sized canning jars by washing them thoroughly, and make sure that you have compatible lids and rings

Home Canning with Confidence

If you’re new to canning but love the idea of filling your pantry with shelf-stable pantry items, consider investing in this Home Canning with Confidence e-course with my friend Melissa Norris from Pioneering Today. 

In it, Melissa covers everything from basic canning safety to pressure canning your own meat. (Yes, you can do that!) Head over to Home Canning with Confidence to learn how to embrace this method of food preservation and keep your pantry stocked with homegrown produce!

Once processed, these beans are shelf stable and can be stored in the pantry. Use as you would canned beans from the grocery store. If you can black beans, you can use them in this black bean dip. White beans? Add them to our favorite white chicken chili. You can even use dried garbanzo beans in this easy canning recipe and you’ll be all set for making hummus.

Related: How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot Refried Beans

canning dried beans in glass jars

★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below! ★

canning jars full of white beans

Canning dried beans in the pressure cooker

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Having these ready to eat legumes in the pantry makes for fast and inexpensive weeknight dinners.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds dried beans
  • filtered water

Instructions

  1. Pour the dried beans to be canned into a large pot and cover with enough water to give the beans a chance to at least double in size and still stay submerged.
  2. Soak for 8-12 hours.
  3. Drain off the soaking water and cover with fresh water by several inches. Bring beans to a boil and simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer beans and cooking liquid to clean jars, leaving 1" head space.
  5. Carefully fasten the lids and rings. Fill your pressure canner with water as indicated by the manufacturer's instructions.
  6. Move the filled jars to the canner and fasten the lid to the canner. Turn the heat on high under the canner and allow the canner to heat up until the top begins to steam out. Set a timer to allow the canner to steam out for ten minutes.
  7. Once ten minutes have passed, place the weight on the canner and allow the pressure to begin to build in the canner. Let the pressure build to 10 pounds (15 pounds if your elevation is above 6500 feet). Process at this pressure for 90 minutes for quarts or 75 minutes for pints.
  8. Once the process time is complete, turn the burner off and leave the canner to depressurize on its own. 
  9. Only when the canner's pressure has completely come down to zero should you remove the weight. The jars can then be lifted carefully from the canner and placed on a towel to cool and dry.
  10. Leave jars to cool completely (and seal!) before moving. Remove the rings before storing in a cool, dry place. Use as you would canned beans from the grocery store.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 9mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 11gSugar: 1gProtein: 17g

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Note for the lectin-free crowd: Pressure canning dried beans is recommended for reducing the lectins in beans. This method of canning beans fits with what Dr. Gundry suggests in The Plant Paradox.

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Meet the Author

Shannon Stonger

Shannon Stonger is the founder of the blog Nourishing Days, where she shares her family's journey towards sustainability. She is the author of The Doable Off-Grid Homestead, Traditionally Fermented Foods, and the sourdough baking book 100% Rye. She holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and lives with her husband, five children, and various farm animals on their five-acre homestead in Texas.

18 comments… add one
  • John Solan Jan 11, 2018, 3:55 am

    Great help!

  • Meredith Sizemore Jan 14, 2018, 8:56 am

    Why take the rings off before storing?

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 20, 2018, 8:58 am
    • Dionne Blanchard Dec 14, 2018, 3:04 am

      After setting and cooling for 24 hours I remove rings and actually wash jars before labeling and storing. Sealed jars don’t require lids…which if left on, will weld themselves onto the jars from beans water residue due to possible seeping during canning process. Also they will rust onto jar ruining the ring for reuse and again making it hard to take off. Normally I do have extra rings in case I am just using part of jar… but a plastic mayonnaise lid fits regular mouth jars as well. The rings are truly just needed during processing to keep lid in place.

  • HAnk Jan 15, 2018, 5:24 am

    I have used pressure cookers/canners for years to cook old dried beans. You are exactly right – cook old beans in the crock pot or stove top for 8 hours or more and they are still crunchy – yuk!

    Simply put the old beans (say 2 cups) in the pressure cooker (I have a small Miro), use a raised base, add several cups of water and one tablespoon of vegetable oil (cuts down on foaming.) Cook at 10 pounds for about 75 – 90 minutes. Gets you nice, tender beans every time.

    Just remember they will taste exactly like boiled, unseasoned beans, so plan on another several hours of simmering with salt and seasonings.

  • Rebecca Jan 16, 2018, 6:54 pm

    Interesting! I always soak mine overnight first, but they are always mushier than I like. I’m going to give it a try this way.

  • Phyl Feb 10, 2018, 5:13 am

    I don’t have a pressure cooker, how long will beans take to process using a cold packer?

    • Kris Bordessa Feb 20, 2018, 4:23 pm

      It’s absolutely not safe to can beans or other non-acidic foods in a water bath canner.

  • Nissel Baker Mar 2, 2018, 2:54 am
  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 3:02 pm

    Simple and easy. I’ll be making these again.

  • Jill Feb 12, 2020, 1:18 am

    Ive done this without soaking and works out just fine too

  • Raven May 8, 2020, 6:35 am

    I am canning dried Pinto beans as we speak and my beans always soak up all the water in the and are a tad too soft. Today I have washed and picked out all the bad beans and am going to pressure them with NO soaking whatsoever to see if that helps with the softened beans. I will add salt to each jar but nothing else. We go through a lot of canned dried beans of all kinds yearly and I give away many to my adult sons. God bless to all you canners, preppers and also those that do not prepare. God is Good!!!

    • Kathy Aug 12, 2020, 12:44 pm

      How much beans do u put in each jar

  • Ashley May 24, 2020, 9:47 am

    Can this be done with a pressure cooker rather than a canner? My instruction manual doesn’t say anything about how much water to add to the cooker.

    • Kris Bordessa May 24, 2020, 12:45 pm

      If you’re talking about an electric pressure cooker, no. They are NOT safe for canning.

  • Ashley May 24, 2020, 9:49 am

    Also, what happens if I cook on 15psi instead of 10 at a low elevation? Will it just lessen the cook time?

    • Kris Bordessa May 24, 2020, 12:45 pm

      You really need to follow canning directions to a T for safety.

  • Sami Sep 6, 2020, 12:27 pm

    We just canned beans yesterday using this method. One jar did not seal so we took advantage of that and ate them today. The texture and flavor was delicious. We chose to add a teaspoon of salt per quart. I figured we saved roughly $32 plus I was able to cook 26 “cans” of beans in 90 minutes. It would have taken me closer to 8 hours total in electricity doing them in separate batches over time. Thanks for the recipe!

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