Gardening and canning season are fast approaching us. Which means now is the time for canning projects that don’t involve fresh produce from the garden, like pressure canning pinto beans!
During the summer months I am always flooded with canning projects from the garden. There is not any extra time to can beans, convenience meals, or broths during that time.
Which is why it is so important to use these winter months to get those items stocked on your shelf!
Low-acid foods require a pressure canner to be used. I am loving my new Denali Canner Pressure Canner that was created for glass top stoves! I have always been kind of a rebel using my All American on my glass top stove, but now I don’t have to! This canner is simple to use and is not too expensive.
Right now the canner is 20% off! But if you are reading this after the sale has ended make sure to use my code STEPHANIEHAGLUND for 10% off.
There are a few differences in how this canner works then how my All American Canner works, so make sure to watch the full video at the end of this post to get a video tutorial.
Why not just buy canned beans from the store?
There are a couple reasons I can my own beans at home. Yes, it is some work up front but I feel the benefits outweigh the work up front, so I keep doing it year after year.
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It saves money.
My first reason is, it saves money. In 5 years I have only had to buy a 25lb bag of dry beans twice. You heard me right, TWICE!
I have pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, and navy beans in bulk. I have only had to buy each of those varieties twice.
Dry beans last forever and are incredibly cheap. I buy all my dry beans in bulk on Azure Standard, check out my post on how to order for Azure Standard , and I store them in white buckets with a gamma seal lids.
Beans will store in those buckets for years, ready to be canned in pint or quart jars when needed. I like using pint size jars because it is similar to the size of a can of beans at the grocery store. When I am making a recipe that calls for a can of pinto beans (or black beans or kidney beans) I know that 1 pint is close in size.
If you know you plan to store beans for long term food storage, storing in mylar bags by Wallaby Goods is a great option. Use code STEPHANIE5 for $5 off your purchase!
I like to give my beans a long soak.
The other reason I like to can my own beans, is I like to give them a long soak before cooking them. Beans and legumes are high in phytic acid and when you give them a long soak, between 12 and 24 hours, their phytate level significantly reduces.
All posts, comments, and media on this website regarding health, diet, or lifestyle preferences are based on the authors own research and preferences. I do not claim to be a medical professional and I am not giving medical or diet advice or instructions. I am sharing my own personal understanding and research that I have done for my family. Always consult a licensed and trusted medical professional before adding or changing anything in your diet, medication, or for your overall health.
Studies have shown that phytic acid is not necessarily harmful to your health however high levels of phytate could potentially decrease the absorption of zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium.
I don’t necessarily worry too much about consuming too much phytic acid, however I do feel we digest beans better when they have had a long soak. For that reason, I take the added step in soaking my beans and then canning them.
Pressure Canning Pinto Beans: Ingredients and Equipment
Below is everything you will need to pressure can pinto beans at home, including your equipment. What’s linked below is what I use for all my home-canned goods.
- dry pinto beans
- pint or quart jars, I like to use wide mouth jars for beans but a regular mouth jar is fine too.I buy jars where ever I can find the best deals.
- canning lids and rings
- pressure canner
- jar lifter
- wide mouth funnel
Prepping your pinto beans and filling the jars.
- Can your beans dry if you feel you don’t need this step, however I always soak my beans before canning. So, 12-24 hours before you want to can the beans, measure out 1/2 cup of dry pinto beans per pint size jar and place them in a pot. Cover with water at least 3″ above the beans as they will soak up a lot. I use the chart in The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning for all beans, to figure out how much I need per pint size jar. Let beans sit for 12-24 hours, I like to do it over night.
- The next day take the soaked beans, dump out the water and cover with fresh water to just above the beans.
- Place your pot on the stove and turn it on to simmer. Simmer beans for about 30 minutes. This is just to get the beans to cook slightly and help you judge how much to fill in each jar. Beans tend to seep out of the jars easily so I like to do all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
- While beans are simmering, wash jars and lids in warm soapy water. Keep jars warm in the sink full of hot water. Fill your pressure canner with several inches of water. You do not want your jars to be completely submerged but you want enough water so it doesn’t boil out during the processing time. My rule of thumb is enough water in your canner to go up about 1/4 of the way up the jar.
Fill your jars.
- After the beans have simmered for 30 minutes, take your hot jars out of the sink to fill. Ladle hot beans into your jars using a wide mouth funnel, leaving 1 and a quarter to 1-inch headspace.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt for pint jars and 1 teaspoon of salt for quart jars. This is optional but it gives it some flavor.
- Add enough water to make sure you are at a minimum of 1 inch head space.
- Stick a utensil and jiggle it around a few times to remove any air bubbles.
- Wipe the rims of your jar with a clean wet dish towel. Make sure to remove any particles.
- Place with your Denali Canning lids and screw the rings on finger tip tight.
Pressure canning your pinto beans.
- Place jars in the pressure canner, ensuring that they are not touching each other and that your canner has a canning rack in it to keep the jars off the bottom of the canner.
- Place your lid on and lock into place. When using the Denali Canning Pressure Canner you want to make sure the weighted gauge is on. For my elevation I want to bring my pressure canner up to 15 pounds pressure. The Denali canner has a built in vent, so you do not need to keep the weight off for venting. It does it on it’s own.
- Turn your stove on to medium high heat. Your canner will then vent itself and seal off when it is done venting to start building pressure.
- Let your canner build pressure until it reaches the proper pressure for your elevation. Once you have reached pressure, the weight will begin to rock back and forth and hum.
- Start your timer at the first hum of the weight. For pint size jars the process time is 75 minutes and quart size jars it’s 90 minutes.
- Your weighted gauge should rock back and forth and hum the entire time if it is staying at the desired pressure. See video tutorial below for the sound.
- After your timer goes off, turn your stove off and let your pressure canner come back down until the dial gauge reads zero.
- After it reads zero, wait a MINIMUM of 20 minutes before opening the lid. The longer you wait the better. You do not need to remove the weighted gauge.
Storing your Pinto Beans
- Remove each jar using a jar lifter and place on a clean dish towel to let sit undisturbed until they cool completely. I usually let them sit over night.
- After they are cool, usually the next morning, I make sure every jar has sealed. Remove the rings, wipe down the jars, and label with the contents and the year. Place your jars of beans on your pantry shelf until ready to use!
Some of our favorite ways to use our pints of beans is in soups and chilis. I also love to whip up taco bakes and casseroles with loads of leftovers and throwing a jar of these beans in the casserole always hits the spot. It makes dinner or lunch a breeze!
Another one of our favorite ways to use these canned pinto beans is to turn them into refried beans! My middle daughter absolutely loves refried beans, and having these on my shelf makes the process so quick.
My oldest daughter prefers her beans whole, which means having my own canned beans I am able to make both sets of beans really quickly on taco night with no extra work. I can keep half a jar whole and whip the other half up in refried beans and everyone is happy!
Getting prepared for canning season.
Let’s switch gears and talk a little bit about canning season.
Right now is a great time to get beans, convenience foods, and broths on your shelf. However, gardening season is fast approaching and full canning season will be under way before you know it. There are a couple things you need to be doing now to get prepared.
First, gather all your canning supplies.
This sounds simple but it is really an important step. There is nothing more frustrating then having loads of produce coming into your kitchen and you don’t have enough lids or jars to put them up!
Months before I even put my starts in the ground, I go through my jars and make sure they don’t have cracks or knicks in them. I count how many and see if I need to add more to the collection. If you wait on this, you will run to Walmart in the dead of summer to grab a pack of jars for a project and they will be gone. Trust me, I’ve been there!
I also make sure to have plenty of canning lids and rings. You will need new lids for each jar, as they can not be re-used, so make sure to get plenty of new lids. I love using Denali Cannings lids and rings! The rings can be used over and over again.
Next, I pull out both my water bath canner and my pressure canner to ensure they are ready to go.
If you are using a pressure canner with just a weighted gauge you are good to go! If you use a canner with only a pressure gauge you will want to get that tested yearly at your local extension office to ensure it is good.
I make sure my water bath canner is good and wash out the inside if it needs a good cleaning. Adding a little vinegar to your pot when washing wont hurt either, if you are like me and have hard water build up.
Lastly, I grab all my favorite canning books and go through the tried and true recipes I always make.
This helps me to get my thoughts going on what I either need to grow or will have to get to complete a project.
I will make sure I have enough salt and vinegar for pickling projects, along with sugar and pectin for jams and jellies. Like I said above, there is nothing more frustrating then getting ready to start a project and not having everything you need to do it.
Now that you are prepared for canning season and know how to get home canned beans on your shelf, you are ready to go! Having beans on your pantry shelf ready to use at your fingertips is so convenient and saves money too!