Problems with Pressure Canned Chili

LoriTLoriTFebruary 2, 2013


I tried pressure canning chili con carne using a recipe from National Center for Home Food Preservation. My problem is that when it was done, I removed the jars from the canner and the beans absorbed more of the fluid. Now the beans are sitting out of the liquid. They are sealed just fine, but I don't know if the food will be any good. Does anyone know?



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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

"Good" as in safe? Yes. Good as in flavor? Probably. Several possible explanations like maybe the beans weren't hydrated enough or extra beans used or maybe something mis-measured or pre-cooked too ling, etc.

But honestly it sounds as if it was just too thick when put in the jars - not enough liquid. It needs to be "soupy", more sloshy than you might prefer, when jarred so that during the processing the beans can absorb the extra and won't end up as yours did.

At any rate it is safe and while some of the food above the liquid might darken over time it will be safe to eat. Just add a bit more liquid to it when re-heating to eat.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Hi! Thanks for the input. I really felt like it wasn't enough liquid. I even questioned the recipe, because it said to drain off the beans and meat to mix together, so the only fluid was from the canned tomatoes. I should have gone with my instinct. I hated tossing it all out, but of course I have no desire to make us all sick! I never want to risk compromised food.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:44PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Beans are among the trickiest of foods to can due to their differing absorption rates. Even their age or freshness/lack of freshness will be a factor. Thinner product will be safer (i.e. lower density) than thicker so if you want to thin a bit with tomato juice I see no problem with it.

It took me a long time canning beans to determine an appropriate fill ratio of solids to liquid for an optimal result.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 2:55PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

Why did you toss it out since the response said it would be safe?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 6:27AM
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jill2761(Southeast Texas)

I made that same recipe with much the same results. It was the first time I'd made chili with beans and they did absorb a lot of liquid. It is thicker than it seems it should be, but I followed the recipe to the letter so I know it is safe. Yours should have been just fine. Just as a note, I made a different version of chili last time...without beans...and I liked it better than the one with beans. I didn't care for the NCHFP recipe for chili con carne all that much. It probably could just be tweaked with spice changes, but I might stick with my homemade cooking recipe for chili and freeze it instead of canning it.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 11:08AM
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I am sorry I guess I should have said I hated the "idea" of tossing it out. I did not toss it out. Thank you for everyone's input!


    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 2:32PM
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@jill2761 why not can your own recipe? I'd bet that all of your chili ingredients can safely be canned......

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 11:02PM
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