Friday, November 14, 2014

Pressure canning

We like to eat a variety of beans - pinto, kidney, chickpea, cannellini, black, and so on. Canned beans are more expensive than dried beans but oh so much more convenient.

I decided it was time to figure out how to pressure can dried beans so that I could take advantage of the cost savings without giving up the ease of a quick meal.

Step one on my pressure canning journey was to take a class at my local cooperative extension office. If you haven't tried this, I highly recommend it. I was new to any kind of canning and these classes gave me much more confidence. Plus they were fun. They offer salsa, jams and jellies, pressure canning (basic and meat), as well as others.

The set up. Those are my extensive notes.
Per the canning instructions (found here and here) I soaked the pinto beans overnight and then boiled them.
Cooking the beans, heating the jars.
My only complaint with most canning recipes is that the yields are always wonky. I can understand it with fruits and veggies as those cook down to varying degrees, but I thought a bean recipe that started with pounds and ended with pints would be a bit more exact.

I had more cooked beans than I could fit in my canner so I portioned them out for the freezer. We'll see how I like that storage option too.
Excess beans for the freezer
Then I started the canning process. A bit nerve wracking for this novice, but it went according to plan. I was impressed with the directions that came with the pressure canner (thanks Bailey for letting me borrow it!) as they were clear, easy to follow, and detailed enough to provide some confidence.
Building pressure
In the end I got 8 pints and 5 freezer bags of beans. Took all morning but most of that time was hands-off. I just had to hang around the kitchen to keep an eye on the pressure canner. Not exactly a hardship.
They look so pretty. 

No comments:

Post a Comment