Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I don't have time.......


"I don't have time......."   We have all had this thought about something or someone at one time or another.  In regard to our focus item this week, I have often thought "I don't have time to think ahead to soak..." or "I don't have time to cook beans.....ever".  Well, with age I hope comes wisdom.  We are about to see.

Hopefully by now you have read the posts that focus on the different types of dry beans that are available.  Please know that this is not an exhaustive list!  The most popular question I have heard next to "I don't know what kind to get" is "What do I do with them?"  Well here is one option.....can them.

If you purchase beans in the can, then this option is one you can really do instead of buying them in cans.  The best part is....it is one of the easiest things to do.  To get started you will certainly need you beans, some salt, water, jars, lids, rings, and your pressure cooker/canner.  If you don't have a Pressure Canner, ask a neighbor or friend to help you.   Here are the steps:


Wash and sort your beans.  Sometimes beans have rocks or small sticks in them.  I use my colander and do this step.


Clean and sterilize your jars and lids.



Set up your jars and place a funnel into the first jar.



For pints, put a 1/2 Cup of dry beans into the jar.  For quarts, use 1 Cup of dry beans.




For pints, put in 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  For quarts, use 1 teaspoon.





Fill up the jar with water.  Leave about 3/4 inch of headspace.  I just put water in until I reach the glass circle that stops the ring when it is screwed on.



Here, you see that I have 4 different types of beans.  That is one of the things that is so great about doing this.  I only can a few jars at a time....as I need them.  I have Black beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, and Kidney Beans that I will be canning in this batch.





Wipe off the top of the jar with a clean cloth.




Place a sterilized lid on the jar.




Next, place the ring on the jar.





Place the jars into your Pressure Canner.  If you have hard water, make sure you put in a few Tablespoons of Vinegar into the water in your Canner.  If you don't, your jars will come out with a hard-water film on the outside of them.  The beans will be fine, your jars will look.....funny.





Here, you can see that I have 7 pints in my canner.  This is equivalent to 7 cans of beans.  Process them for 90 minutes at 15 lbs of pressure. 





After 90 minutes, allow the canner to cool naturally.  Do not rush the cooling process as beans have protein.  You should never rush a canner to cool quickly when canning proteins.  After the cooling process, remove the jars from the Canner. 




Here is a jar of Navy beans.  As you can see, most of them are plump, but some are not.  There is no reason to worry.  After a few days, they all will be plump.



A few additional points:

1. This works with beans that are newly purchased, and beans that have been in storage for many years. The Kidney beans that I canned have been in my storage for over 7 years. If I soak them or slow cook them, they take forever.

2. A pint of beans is equivalent to a 15 oz can of beans that you purchase from the store. You can substitute it in your favorite soup or chili recipe.

3. I don't can batch after batch at one time. I just do one batch, and when they are gone, I do another. This is a great way to use your empty jars during the winter.

4. A can of Kidney beans on Amazon.com costs just about $1.30 a can. This comes out to $.08/ounce. An ounce of dry Kidney beans (same source) is less than half a cent per ounce. This works out to be about a 63% savings.

5. I am a very busy person! So, after work, I will quickly prepare 7 jars (it takes about ~5 minutes), and put them into the Pressure Canner. I set the timer and go about the other million things that I have to do on my list. When the timer goes off (after 90 minutes), I turn them off and usually wait until morning before removing them from the canner.

So, in response to the initial statement about "not having time", you really do have 5 minutes. You really do have 90 minutes while you are watching the Olympics or other primetime shows that you love.

Give it a try!

42 comments:

Desiree said...

I am from arkansas and the pressure I use for pressure canning is 10 lbs would it be the same for this process too?

The Little Red Hen said...

Desiree: Here is a link to the National Center for Home Food Preservation. It is all about altitude. I hope this helps answer your question: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/how/can_04/beans_peas_shelled.html. This link also recommends presoaking....so that is another consideration one can make. Enjoy!

katlupe said...

I can my beans almost like that. But I let them sit overnight in the jars of water. Then drain that water out and add new and then pressure can them. They come out perfect every time!

The Little Red Hen said...

Thank you so much for your input!

Karly Shelton said...

This is such a great post about pressure canning. I've only done water bath canning which I really enjoy. Thank you for these tips! Here is my blog about canning http://thislittlepintofmine.blogspot.com/.

The Little Red Hen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Little Red Hen said...

Karly,

Thank you for your kind comment. I did visit your blog and it looks like you are doing some really fun things! I look forward to learning from you. Thank you for stopping by!

Smile10e said...

I would suggest adding 1 tsp of baking soda to your beans that are soaked overnight. The next morning rinse and follow up with your great canning technique. This will solve the problem of hmmm... tummy talk.

Anonymous said...

I would really love to try this, but only have a water canner... I'm assuming it won't work, but would love your advice.

Jaime

The Little Red Hen said...

I am glad this interests you. You are correct that a Water Bath Canner will not safely do the job here. A pressure canner is needed. Perhaps you have a neighbor or a friend who would kindly let you borrow a PC for a few hours. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am new to pressure canning. I tried the presoak/precook for 30 minutes method and the presoak (no precook) method. Both times my beans came out very soft. I am canning at 10# pressure for 75 minutes in 1/2 pint jars. I want to try your method next. My two questions are: it looks like you are cold packing then placing your jars into a hot canner, is there a risk of breaking the jars? Also, you are canning at 15# for 90 min, is that because you are high above sea level?

Thank you in advance for your help. Great blog!

The Little Red Hen said...

Thank you for your questions. I am essentially cold packing, but I use hot tap water. I do place them directly in the canner. In regard to your second question, I do live at a high altitude. So, I process at 15 lbs. However, I have siblings who do this same method who live closer to sea level and use 15 lbs pressure as well. The beans seem to be very forgiving and usually come out very nicely. You could consult a canning guide or your local extension office to determine what pressure level you require for your area. I hope you like this method....it works!

Diane said...

I'm going to try this process. I've canned already cooked beans before, but this is so much easier! Thanks for the tutorial!

Dustin and Virginia said...

Have u done quarts? If so how long do u pressure cook those. I am thinking for chili and such opening two jars versus four would further save lids.

Kandice said...

I am in LOVE with the concept of canning beans this way. I was just setting out for my first batch of beans the "Blue Book" way when I found your tute, and decided to try your method instead. Question: Have you ever had a batch not turn out? I did a batch of red kidney beans in pint jars, following your measurements, etc. They don't look at all right. They didn't look like they had expanded at all when I pulled them out, though this morning they've grown a tiny bit, and they looked awefully mushy. :-( Has that ever happened to you? I'm hoping a few days in the jars will make a difference.

The Little Red Hen said...

You are correct to wait a few days, it is rare that they all don't plump up after a week or two. In regard to the mushy, I live at a high altitude, so I need the 15 lbs. However, others who have posted comments talk about using the pressure for the altitude you live at. I have sisters who live at sea level and as well as up in the mountains. We all use this method with the same pressure and time and the results are similar. However, you may want to check with your local extension service to see what pressure they recommend for your area. I hope, after a couple of weeks, you will be ready to use these wonderful beans!

Anonymous said...

Nice post - thanks! I just got a pressure canner and beans are next on my list, although I will be omitting salt due to hubby's dietary needs.
Here is a comment that I hope you will find useful. I think the step of sterilizing the jars and lids in advance is not needed. The contents of the jars are not sterile (beans/water), and moreover you are processing in a pressure canner which will sterilize everything anyway.
Thanks again!
Debra

Rosey said...

Great post! Yes, this method is absolutely wonderful! I use the 10 lbs. in WV with no problem. Sometimes, I also add spices and onions to the bottom of the jars to make chili beans--chili powder w/optional peppers for spicy or smoked paprika without pepper for mild -- tastes just like chili. You can also add onions, a few stewed tomatoes, a bit of ketchup and pork for pork and beans.

Of course, now your getting into a bit more time, but it makes for your own fast food for those evenings when you're dead on your feet. Add what you want, just make sure to use the 90 minute processing time.

Debra, I also read that the step of sterilizing for pressure canning, is no longer necessary.

Has anyone tried canning dried peas?

Thanks for the post.

Fairlightday said...

I just wanted to tell you how much I love this post. I have my umptenth batch of beans in the canner as I type this and it turns out perfect every. single. time. My husband says these are the best beans he's ever eaten. They are smooth and soft, like butter. You can eat them straight out of the jar and they are delicious and you won't get choked with the canned dry bean stuck in your throat. No hard skins either. We've not had any trouble with "tummy talk" after eating them and it's the handiest thing to have sitting on the shelf for a quick meal. I follow your directions to the letter, except I only use 10lbs of pressure since I love in the coastal South Carolina region. We regularly can garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and black beans and we love them equally. I'm very thankful that I can fit 9 pints in my canner, since we go through them so quickly! Thank you again for sharing your method. It's a wonderful recipe to have and a blessing to our family.

The Little Red Hen said...

Dear Fairlightday: Thank you for your comment. I am glad it works for you. I love being able to use my dried beans with this method as well. BTW, I used to live in South Carolina and I miss it. Say hello to the Palmetto Trees, and have a bag of boiled peanuts for me!

Lee McLean said...

I am afraid of pressure cookers and pressure canners so I only water bath can. Why will that not work?
Thanks for the reply!

MommySetFree said...

I absolutely love canning beans my own beans. It is SO worth it! Especially when you buy organic. I posted about it on my blog back in 2008 http://homeshalom.blogspot.com/2008/12/canning-dry-beans.html However, after I try your method - I think I will update that post and link my readers here!

I too have and beans in storage for a long time, as we have stocked up in bulk. But I have noticed recently what you described about them taking FOREVER to cook. That's fine if you are planning for that, but if your not it can put your meal in a "situation"! I have not taken the time to can bean but was getting the hankering and came across your post. I was so excited to see that you find this as a solution to the old bean issue! I am ON IT! :-) I also love that you can can them without soaking! I have always pre-soaked mine. This is so much nicer. So thanks so much for sharing it!

The Little Red Hen said...

Mommysetfree: Thank you for your comment! I looked at your blog and appreciate the good information you are sharing there. I will be following your blog to learn more from you. Good luck! The LRH

The Little Red Hen said...

Lee: Because beans are a protein, a water bath canner cannot get hot enough or penetrate deep enough into the beans to safely preserve them. I understand the 'fear factor' because I was there a number of years ago. However, these Canners now have more than one 'safety' mechanism and are very, very safe to use. I would suggest that you find a friend or neighbor who is experienced with using a Pressure Cooker/Canner and do a batch or two together. I am hopeful that you will be eager to can this way and no longer be fearful. Thanks for coming to our little blog. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I love your method... I just have one question, do you use hot water to fill the jars? it would seem that if you didnt the jars would break... Thanks for the info it makes my life a lot simpler!!

Leona said...

Thanks so much for this blog--and for all the comments. I'm currently waiting for my canner to cool after bottling pork. I'm excited to try beans next. This is the best tutorial I've found! Thanks so much!

Diane said...

I have canned dried beans by cooking them for 30 minutes prior to canning, but it is time-consuming and more difficult. The ability to can them without cooking first is attractive, and I'm going to try it right now! I have lots of beans of various sorts in my food storage, and I don't want them to get old. Canning is the answer. Thanks for your tutorial! Gotta go start canning!

Anonymous said...

I tried this in my new electric pressure cooker (also have a stovetop one, but 90 min is a bit too long for my level of distractability; the electric maintains everything for me) & all types came out beautiful, better than storebought & better than my usual slow-cooked. I did kidney, black, small red and chickpeas, all just right. I'm in KS & the machine is 12# of pressure.

Thanks a million, love this method!

Anonymous said...

What is the shelf life of these?

Anonymous said...

I've made 21 quarts of Great Northern White Beans. They turned out absolutely wonderful. 1 qt did not seal, so we had them for dinner. Delicious! Thanks so much for the post :)

Beth said...

Omgosh!! I love you. I knew there had to be an easier way. I am way too busy to go through all the steps and only do this a couple times a year. Girl, you've got me steppin' it up now! Nothing more gross than canned beans.

turneygirl said...

I love this post and I did the canning tonight in in Fagor pressure cooker, I did 7 jars , 2 black beans, 2 red beans, and 3 Garbanzo's.... My PC ran out of water and started to smell funny..(I have never had it do that before) I had to turn it off when there was 20 minutes left on the timer, after the pressure released I carefully took the lid off and all jars were ok. My question is ... How much water should I have put in the pot? I checked the National Center for Home Canning and the time for Pints was 75 minutes.. I am thinking I am fine with the jars but more curious about the water? Thanks in advance :)

The Little Red Hen said...

The amount of water depends upon your device. I usually put in about 2-3 inches, but that is what my device calls for. Perhaps a quick check of your manual or a call to the manufacturer is in order. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunrider said...

Is the salt absolutely necessary for the canning process? I prefer to season in the recipe instead of the preparation (have a husband with high blood pressure). I currently cook dry beans in a crockpot and then freeze them and put in a ziplock, but I would love to start canning them instead of taking up space in the freezer.

The Little Red Hen said...

No, I just do this as my family prefers it. Thanks for stopping by!

Martha Lydia Lanata said...

I am from Argentina , here in my country we have pressure cooker, Is it the same to do this technique?

The Little Red Hen said...

It may depend on your altitude. I have had 2 sisters and myself use this method. 2 of them live at sea level and I live in the mountains. The beans have turned out very well for both of us. Good luck and thank you for your visit to our blog!

Nicole Browne said...

I only have larger jars (quarts) - do I process the same amount of time? I have a large pressure cooker, so I think it should fit a good number, plus I end up using 2 jars of beans when I cook. What do you think?

The Little Red Hen said...

Because it is a protein, yes.

Sharlene (Mom/Granny) said...

I see that you process your pints of beans for 90 min. ..but the National Center for Canning only says 75 min. for pints and 90 min. for quarts..Who is right?? I'm confused. Thanks and by the way love your site..

The Little Red Hen said...

As I stated before this post, this process is not sanctioned by an authority like the national Center for canning. I Pressure can it for 90 minutes, and my beans are not mushy but nice, firm and delicious. Please do what you feel like is best for your family. Thank you so much for stopping by, I greatly appreciate you taking a moment to let me know your thoughts.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this. I have a bunch of beans that are old, and like you said, take forever to cook. Gonna try this method on them as soon as it cools down some here.

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