Wednesday, August 24

Canning Kidney Beans

Having precooked jars of beans on the shelf is a great convenience and canning dried beans yourself is really easy. Also, knowing what's in the food I'm eating, or NOT in the food is really important to me. Plus there's the money saving side to canning, and the great fresh taste and the sense of accomplishment knowing I did it myself.

Then there's forgetting to soak the beans the night before to use the next day. And freezing them poses the same problem. It happens. So having beans already cooked and ready to go means I can whip up something at the last minute if needed.

I like to can beans at the end of summer, right after finishing up canning my garden harvest. Canning the beans in late summer means they are ready to go for autumn and winter cooking of soups, stews, and casseroles.

These directions can also be used to can navy, pinto, peas and other dried beans. 

How Many Beans:
An average of 5 pounds is needed for 7 quarts or around ¾ pound per quart.
About 3¼ pounds is needed for 9 pints.

Tips and Suggestions:
The Ball Blue Book recommends soaking the beans 12 to 18 hours and then boiling them for 30 minutes before placing into jars. But the boiling seems to make the beans turn out a little mushy.
I have the best results by just soaking the beans overnight, rinsing, and then placing them into jars. This results in cooked but slightly firmer beans.

Presoaking the beans is important to "pre-expand" the beans to ensure the right amount of water is put in the jars for them to cook properly.

Beautiful dried kidney beans

I've also tried the method of just placing the dried beans directly into the jars without presoaking, then adding boiling water and canning but the results are inconsistent. Also, many times the beans absorbed too much of the water leaving little to no bean broth. And after a few months, the beans just don't look so good.

If you like, you can omit the salt. Salt is purely for added flavor- it plays no part in the preservation process.

Canning Kidney Beans

What You'll Need:

Salt (optional)
Canning jars
Pressure Canner
Canning tools: jar lifter, lids, bubble remover, etc.

Wash beans and remove dirt and debris

Wash beans and remove dirt, debris, and broken or discolored beans.
Place washed dried beans in a large pot and cover with water and let soak for 12 to 18 hours. Drain water and rinse the beans.
Prepare the pressure canner by adding the correct amount of water according to the directions that came with your canner.

Fill jars 3/4 full with beans

Wash and sterilize the canning jars and keep hot until ready to fill.
Either boil the beans for 30 minutes before filling the jars or just loosely fill the jars with the presoaked beans to about ¾ full.
Fill jars with boiling water, leaving 1-inch headspace.

Add boiling water

You can boil and use the water the beans soaked in or boil fresh water. 
Add ½ teaspoon of salt per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart to the jar, if desired

Add salt if desired

Remove any air bubbles using a bubble remover or the blade of a butter knife.
It may look like there are not enough beans in the jars, but don't worry. The beans will continue to expand and fill the jar.

Remove air bubbles

Wipe the jar rim and apply the two piece lid, just until fingertip tight. (meaning do not tighten to hard!)
Place jars in the pressure canner and process at 10 pounds pressure
  • Pints for 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Quarts for 1 hour, 30 minutes
Make sure to adjust your pressure depending on your altitude.
You can go to the website National Center For Home Preservation for the correct altitude pressures.

How they look before going in the canner. Yum!

Let the pressure canner cool down and unlock by itself. Then remove the weight and slowly open the lid. Remove jars from canner using a jar lifter and place on cooling rack or towel covered cutting board. The jars will still be very hot. 
Let cool for 24 hours then check the lids for proper seals. Wipe the jars clean and label before storing.


Click here for more canning recipes

Let me know if you have any great recipes using Kidney beans, I would love to hear from you!

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