A while ago, I posted about using only dry beans, instead of commercially canned. There are plenty of health and economic reasons to do this, but sometimes it's smart to can some dried beans. I do this because it's convenient to just grab a jar of beans off the shelf for cooking (no need to soak them the night before). In addition, if you live in the city or suburbs, there are times when clean drinking water isn't available. With home canned beans on hand, you can still eat beans without worrying about sanitizing your water first.
You may can any type of dried bean (or dried peas) using this method, but a few days ago, I chose to can some pinto beans - something I use frequently for chili or for making refried beans. It took about 5 lbs. of dried beans to fill 6 quart jars.
What You Need:
Canning lids and screwbands
Plastic utensil with long handle
Clean kitchen towel
Wire cooling rack or thick bathroom towel
How to Do It:
1. Review the general instructions for pressure canning, if necessary.
2. The night before, pour the dry beans into the large pot. Fill the pot with water. Let the beans soak overnight.
3. In the morning, drain the water from the pot. Pour the soaked beans back into the pot and refill the pot with fresh water. Boil for 30 minutes.
4. In the meantime, prepare the jars, lids, and screwbands. Fill the canner with water and place the jars inside it. Begin heating the water in the canner.
5. Drain the beans.
6. Remove one jar from the canner, pouring out any water from inside it. Fill the jar with hot beans, using the ladle; a funnel makes this job easier. Leave 1 inch head space. Using the ladle, cover the beans with boiling water, being sure to maintain 1 inch head space. Add 1/2 teaspoon table salt if the jar is pint sized and 1 teaspoon table salt if the jar is quart sized. Use the handle of the plastic utensils to remove any air bubbles.
7. Wipe the rim of the jar clean with a kitchen towel. Place a lid and screw band on the jar and tighten the band until it's fingertip tight. Using the jar lifter, place the jar back into the canner.
8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all the beans are used up or the canner is full.
9. Process pint jars for 1 hour 15 minutes and quart jars for 1 hour 30 minutes.*
If you're canning pinto beans, you may add 1/2 a jalepeno (cut in half lengthwise and seeded) to each jar. To make refried beans from the contents, simple pour everything from the jar (beans, pepper, and liquid) into a pan and reheat. Mash and add a little salsa, if desired. Nope, refried beans truly are not refried!
* NOTE: If you live at a high altitude, read this important information about adjusting canning times.