Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Canning Pinto Beans....step-by-step directions!

 Well...I canned more Pinto Beans!  I love having these on hand, they are so quick and easy.
 Here's my process....I have found that 4lbs of dry Pinto Beans will end up being 7 quarts once they are canned.  I picked up an 8lb bag for $7.42.  That will come out to be 14 quarts at a total cost of 

.53 cents per quart!!!!
 Since my canner will only hold 7 quarts at a time, I only work with half of the bag at a time.  I "look" the beans and rinse, rinse, and rinse some more.  Then I put them in a big bowl to soak overnight or 4 to 5 hours.  Either one is fine. 
 As you can see they really plump up after soaking overnight, but again 4-5 hours will be fine too. 
 Since I know that this will make 7 quarts, I start with 7 hot sterile jars.
 I distribute the beans in the jars and try to get close to the same amount in each.  This doesn't have to be exact, but you don't want one completely full and another half get the idea, right? 
 At this point they will look like this...
 Now I usually put a strip of bacon in each jar.  I don't guess that it really matters but I put it about halfway down in the jar.  Not cooked, just a slice of raw bacon.  It will cook in the canning process.  I didn't have enough bacon this time so each jar ended up with about half of a piece.  That's okay because I just add a small spoonful of bacon grease that I always keep on hand.  I have done this many times and it works just as well.
 I add 1 tsp of salt per jar.  This is optional, but this is how I do it. 
 Now remember these beans are not cooked at this point but they will cook during the canning process.  They have only been soaked.  

Now it is time to add boiling water over the beans.  Be careful!!! 
 You want to fill them up until you have 1" of head space from the top.  Take something and poke down in the jars to get rid of the air bubbles.  You might have to add a tiny bit more water after doing this. 
 This is what they will look like at this point...
 You will need a tiny bit of white vinegar to wipe around the rims to remove any grease or anything else so you will have a good clean rim for the lid to stick to. 
 Simply dip a rag or napkin in the vinegar and wipe the rims.
 You need to have your lids soaking in hot/warm water to soften up the seal.  Some do this and some don't.  I do because it has always worked well for me.  Lay your lids on your jars and add your rings. 
 When adding your rings to your jars, make sure that the rings are ONLY FINGER TIGHT.  Not too tight and not too loose.  :)
 The jars are added to your awaiting pressure canner that has the hot water already waiting in it.  Check your manual on your canner to see exactly how much water is needed.  Mine says 3 quarts.  

These beans are then PRESSURE CANNED for 90 minutes at 10lbs of pressure for my area.  Any dried bean or meat needs to be canned for 90 minutes for quarts.  These have both so 90 minutes, it is!  :)

Once they have been in the canner for 90 minutes they are finished!  After the pressure has returned to ZERO open the canner and carefully remove your jars.  
 As they are cooling on the counter you will hear the "pinging" of the lids sealing.  Make sure that if one doesn't seal that you put it in the fridge and use it during the next few days. 
 You can see that they plump up and are fully cooked.  After a day or two the juice will be so thick in the jars that you will have to rake them out of the jar with a spoon. 
They are completely done and ready to store or to eat!  All you have to do at this point is pop open a jar and heat them up on the stove or the microwave.  If you like thinner soup, just add a tiny bit of water.  My family likes good thick juice so I usually don't add anymore water.  NO COOKING, just heat and serve!!!!  

I always have cornbread in the freezer to be popped in the microwave.  It takes "1 minute" in my microwave to thaw out a piece of cornbread.  Heat up your beans and cornbread and you can have a good heart meal within 2-3 minutes without cooking all day!!!!  


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