Sometime last year I came upon several boxes of bagged dried beans. These were fairly old and, after trying a few pounds, I found them quite tough even after a long simmering.
At this same time I happened to have a neighbor coming over to help out with household chores (ahem, dishes) while I was recipe testing. She mentioned that her Mom had canned a bunch of old dried beans and that the long cook in the pressure canner softened them right up.
Well, it wasn’t until fall that I finally got around to it and it isn’t until several months later that I am now sharing this process with you all. (Have I ever told y’all that I procrastinate a lot and forget continuously and that you do not want someone like me in charge of anything that requires attention to detail or any type of precision… at all?)
Thankfully I have not had a canning endeavor go south thus far so I tell you that because I forgot to write down my process, not because we all got botulism. Again, thankfully.
I was talking to Susan about this a couple of weeks ago and confidently told her I filled the jars with approximately 1 1/4 cups of soaked beans. Confidently. And then I dug through the photos and found photographic evidence that I can’t remember a thing. Those jars were filled to at least two cups, y’all!
I now think that the 1 1/4 cup amount was used for canning dried beans but that is when no soaking is employed (see below).
So, instead of throwing out a tutorial I will first share my basic process and then several resources that got me through canning boxes and boxes of dried beans with nary a case of botulism.
My Process for Canning Dried Beans
- Soak beans in plenty of filtered water for 24-48 hours.
- Drain beans.
- Loosely pack into jars and fill remainder of jar with water (broth would also work), leaving head space.
- Process in pressure canner according to directions below.
Canning Dried Bean Resources
These are the main sites I looked at and, as usual on the internet, there is conflicting advice.
- National Center for Home Food Preservation has their recommendations.
- Home Joys is a lovely little blog with a great tutorial on how she cans beans. She also has some great sourdough recipes.
- Learning and Yearning soaks, cooks, and then cans the beans which is probably a very accurate way to do things so that you know exactly how much you are packing in your jars.
By the way, I have also skipped the soaking method when time is short. If you assume most dried beans triple in size once hydrated and cooked, approximately 1 1/4 – 1 1/3 cups of dried beans can be packed into jars, covered with water, and processed as is. In both the soaked and unsoaked methods I have found the end result to be a tender bean ready in a pinch on those days I’ve forgotten to start soaking a pot the night before.