Friday, April 6, 2012

How to Can Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans MUST be pressure canned because they are a low acid food.

Only prolonged exposure to high heat can kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Water bath canning can't reach a high enough temperature. Water bath canning reaches 212 degrees where a pressure canner will reach 240.

Yields approximately 14 pints or 7 quarts

You will need:  
1- 4 lb bag of dried pinto beans (try to get them as fresh as possible)
2 ham hocks (You can use salt pork if you want to or no meat)
If using Salt Pork use 3/4 inch cube per jar.
Canning Salt
Open your beans and sort them.  This is simply removing any little rocks or bad beans. 
  1. Wash beans in warm water and drain
  2. Put in a very large stainless steel pot and fill pot to the top with cold water.  ( Beans will swell when soaking)
  3. Let soak for 12 to 18 hours.  I let mine soak as long as possible, they do better if you take this time.
  4. Put ham hocks in your crock pot and cover with water.  Cook them overnight while beans are soaking. 
  5. When ready to start, get your canner and all equipment ready. 
  6. Drain the water off of the beans that they were soaking in and put in fresh water
  7. Bring to a boil and boil for 30 minutes.
  8. Pull all meat from the ham hocks and evenly distribute it among your jars. 
  9. Pack hot beans into hot jars leaving 1 inch head-space.  Make sure you have plenty of the liquid in each jar.  The beans will soak up a lot of it.  Add 1 tsp of canning salt to each pint jar.
  10. Remove all air bubbles with non metalic utensil and adjust head-space by adding more liquid.
  11. Put on lids and rings.  Tighten them finger tight and place in canner.
  12. Bring canner to a boil and vent steam for a full 10 minutes.  Close the vent and allow pressure to build to 10 lbs for weighted gauge or 11 pounds for dial gauge.  
  13. Once you reach the desired pressure, maintain pressure and process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.
  14. Allow pressure to drop naturally.  Open vent and wait 10 minutes before you remove the lid.  Let sit for 10 more minutes to allow the jars to adjust to the temperature of the room. Move your jars to the counter. (Always sit on a towel, the jars are very hot)
  15. Let sit for 24 hours and then test your seal by pressing down in center.  Lid should not pop up.
  16. Wash jars.  Label and Store in a cool, dark room.  You should remove the bands. 
Refer to charts for different elevations.
 Recommended process time for Beans or Peas in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar SizeProcess Time0 - 2,000 ft2,001 - 4,000 ft4,001 - 6,000 ft6,001 - 8,000 ft
HotPints75 min11 lb12 lb13 lb14 lb

 Recommended process time for Beans or Peas in a weighted-gauge pressure canner.
Canner pressure (PSI)
at Altitudes of
Style of packJar SizeProcess Time0 - 1,000 ftAbove 1,000 ft
HotPints75 min10 lb15 lb

Many people like to can their beans without soaking them by putting dry beans in a jar and covering in boiling water.  This is not recommended and because of the toxins in dry beans it is not safe to can them without soaking them first.  For more information on this please click the link below and pay close attention to number 11. 
It states: NOTE: The following procedure has been recommended by the PHLS to render kidney, and other, beans safe for consumption:
Soak in water for at least 5 hours.
Pour away the water.
Boil briskly in fresh water, with occasional stirring, for at least 10 minutes.
Undercooked beans may be more toxic than raw beans. 

If beans must be soaked in order to be safe for consumption, then common sense tells me that they should and must be soaked before home canning them in order for  them to be safe for consumption