By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
I have had many people ask me over the last year or so, “why do I need to can my dried beans? They should last for years in the bags they came in from the grocery store.” Well this is just not true. There are two reasons why I can dry beans instead of keeping them in dry form.
First, according to the US Bean Council ( http://www.usdrybeans.com ) dry beans keep up to a year in an airtight container in a cool, dry environment, away from direct sunlight. During storage, beans may either absorb or lose moisture, which will affect the soaking and cook time. If stored longer that 12 months, or exposed to unfavorable storage conditions, beans may never soften sufficiently, no matter how long they’re soaked or cooked.
The other reason I can my dry beans is because when you need them they are already cooked. All you have to do is heat and eat. Canning turns your favorite foods into the ultimate fast food! If you can them, they will last for years.
Supplies Needed for Canning Dried Beans
– Pressure Canner
– 4 pounds of dried beans (your choice of variety)
– Canning Salt
– 2 gallon stock pot
– Long handled spoon
– Small sauce pan
– 7 quart canning jars or 14 to 16 pint canning jars
– Jar lifter
– Magnetic lid wand
– Canning funnel
– Measuring spoon
– A few old towels
Preparing for Canning
– Wash beans and remove any dirt, foreign debris and bad (broken) beans
– Place beans in two gallon stock pot and cover the beans with two to three times the volume of water as beans
– Bring the beans to a boil and simmer for one hour
– Stir occasionally and add water if needed
– Wash jars, lids and rings
Filling and Closing Jars
– Put 2” water in small sauce pan and bring to boil
– Remove from heat and place lids in water
– Fill sterilized jars with drained beans to about 1 ¼ inches from the top
– Add ½ teaspoon canning salt per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart
– Top off each jar with juice (from cooking beans) leaving ¼ inch of head space
– Wipe rims of jars with wet dish cloth or paper towel (I use a paper towel)
– Assemble lids and rings and apply to jars
– Tighten lids to hand tight
Canning Dried Beans
– Put 3” water in canner and bring to boil (don’t put cold jars in hot water)
– Place jars in canner and lock down the lid
– Vent the canner for 7 to 10 minutes
– Process at 10 PSI for 45 minutes for pints or 55 minutes for quarts (Check you canner directions for proper PSI if you live at high altitudes)
– When done allow pressure to drop off naturally
– Remove jars and place them on counter to cool (I usually place them on a towel on the counter)
Jars may take up to an hour to seal, but wait until they have cooled to room temperature to be sure. Remove the bands before you store them.
If a jar does not seal, which is uncommon, your beans will need to be eaten right away or placed in the refrigerator.