Home canned bean quantity vs "commercial"

got_bullmastiffAugust 11, 2012

Good morning!

I'm going to try pressure canning dried beans this weekend. We eat a LOT of beans and the sodium levels in the commercial beans are insane.

My question is regarding the amount of beans per jar. I'm assuming that a pint of home canned beans is about the same as a 14.4 ounce can of commercial beans. Would that be about right? My standard recipes for meals read something like "add 2 cans of beans" so I'd like to attempt to match the proportions a bit.

I would not think that too many beans would be a problem.. I just want to have enough beans. (we really like beans)


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

For those who have never canned beans before there are a couple of important tips.

1) results will vary for each variety of bean but they will all be somewhat softer than commercial canned beans. They will swell during processing so its more like 12-13 oz. of actual beans but will still be ok for your recipes.

2) do not overfill the jars with pre-soaked beans as most of the liquid will be absorbed as the beans swell during processing. Only fill the jar 3/4 full with the beans and the rest with liquid.

3) No additives except dried herbs or spices.

Note the 2 methods of pre-soaking given. Personally I prefer the quick soak method but either one works fine.

Enjoy your beans.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Canning Dried Beans and Peas

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Fantastic... thank you very very much!!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 10:13AM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Dried beans are among the trickiest foods to can, particularly if you're working with home-grown beans which may vary in dryness compared to commercial beans. The age of commercially dried beans is also a factor.

Sometimes I fill jars even less than the 3/4 Dave recommends.

It might be a good idea for you to do a small trial run of a couple of pints just to see how they turn out and what adjustments, if any, need to be made. It's using up energy, I know, but it's worth it in terms of overall quality of the full batch.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 2:46PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Another idea is to do pinto beans first.
IF they come out too soft, you can always turn them into refried beans.
I totally agree with NO MORE than 3/4 full of beans and the rest liquid. It will seem watery when it goes in the canner, but after they come out and cool, you'll be amazed how thick they are.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 3:19PM
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I was just contemplating which ones to start with.. Pinto it is!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 4:49PM
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May I ask a question here concerning beans? Where does everyone get their beans from? Do you grow them in your garden? Beans was the #1 reason I wanted to learn pressure canning. I did not get to grow my own beans this year, nor have I attempted to grow them yet here in Missouri. Just one of those things I haven't done yet. I love the idea of not having to buy canned Cannelini or black beans or lima, or any other. Do you all purchase dried beans and process them?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I get dried beans in bulk at the grocery store.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 11:23PM
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Well I did 5 pints of pinto beans last night.. I'm going to crack one open this afternoon to see what the texture is like.. I got 5 pints out of one pound bag of beans.

I'm thinking I like this!

I was looking to see if I could get more jars in my canner.. I read some threads about it's ok if the jars lightly touch. I was leaving a ton of space between them..

For kicks I decided to stack some empty jars in an empty canner to see how many I could get in there. If I stack them on a second rack the pints seem to be very close to the lid. should this concern me? It's a 22 qt. Mirro
Because now I want to do 3 bags of beans at once.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 7:51AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

We grow our own kidney beans and several varieties of dried cowpeas. Limas we prefer frozen. The rest we buy in bulk at the store. It takes a really big garden to grow enough dried beans or peas for a canner load. EX: Pintos can often be found here for .75-$1 a pound and 10 lbs. gets you approx. 40 pints vs. the cost of buying commercial canned.

Jar stacking - it depends on the model. There are 3 different 22 st. models and the depth differs on all 3. As long as the top of the top jars is below the top edge of the canner pot it is fine. And yes they can touch.

Your model number will tell you specifically how many pints and quarts will fit in the canner but in part that depends on the type and brand of jars. Wide mouth jars vs. regular mouth or Ball vs. Golden Harvest etc.

When canning dried beans adding extra water is advised at the beginning since it is such a long processing time.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 9:56AM
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Perfection.. thanks! I did add extra water because I was worried about the time. I will check the height of my jars but I think stacking the pints will pop it over the top.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 11:12AM
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eh.. the top of the jars is *just* a hair under the edge. .I'm not going to push my luck

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 1:01PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Stacking also depends on the jars. Kerr pints are not as tall as Ball pints. (I'm speaking of wide-mouth which we prefer for beans.) So in my All-American I can stack all Kerr or one layer of Ball and one layer of Kerr, but not two layers of Ball. (I hope that makes sense.)

You do have to fiddle with configurations, but that's not something to play with in the midst of canning.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:32PM
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huh.. that's an interesting point.. I have mostly Ball jars. and a few Golden Harvest that were gifted to me.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:52PM
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