Canning Beans

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  • Dried Navy beans or small red beans
  • Pressure Canner (NOT a pressure "Cooker") NOTE: A pressure canner is needed to produce higher temperatures to kill bacteria such as botulism. 
  • Large pot for sterilizing jars. (If you have a dishwasher, you can use that instead of the pot, to wash the jars and sterilize them). 
  • Salt (optional) I use canning salt. However, you may eliminate the salt altogether
  • Quart or pint sized mason jars with lids/rings
  • Wide mouth funnel
  • Jar grabber
  • Bubbler - a plastic stick to remove air bubbles. Using a metal knife could scratch the jars, causing them to break while processing. (A plastic knife or chopstick will work just as well)
  • A large pot of boiling water (tea kettle will work fine). You'll use this water to cover the beans after you filled them in the jars. I use a large pot of water, so there's plenty if I need it. 
  • Clean towel to place hot jars on after processing
  • Paper towel, clean dish cloth or napkin


Pick through your beans to remove any foreign objects, such as pebbles or other debris. 
Rinse the beans and soak them overnight in a large pot or bowl of water, at a ratio of 1 part beans to 3 parts water.

In the morning, wash your canning jars and lids. You can wash the jars in the dishwasher. Otherwise, place the jars in a large pot of water and boil them for 10 minutes. Place the lids and rings in small separate pot (easier to remove). Boil for 5 minutes. After the jars and lids have been cleaned, leave them on the stove in the pots until you're ready to fill them. 

Next, rinse and drain the beans.
Put the beans into a large stock pot and cover them with about 2-3 inches of water.
Bring the water to a boil for about 15 minutes. NOTE: Some methods call for boiling the beans 30 minutes. I found that doing so, makes the beans rather mushy. I've had much luck boiling them for only 15 minutes which makes for a firmer bean. 

While those beans are cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil. Then lower to a simmer. (This is the water you'll use to cover the beans after you pack the beans into the jars). 

  • Using the wide mouth funnel, ladle the beans into the clean jars.  
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  • Add 1/2 tsp salt to each pint jar, 1 tsp to each quart jar. (Optional)
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  • Cover the beans with hot water, making sure to LEAVE 1 INCH of space at the TOP of the jar.


  • Headspace is the unfilled space between the food in a jar and the lid of a jar. This is needed because the because food expands while being heated.
  • With the bubbler or plastic knife, poke around the sides of the jars, releasing as much air as you can. 
  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean dish cloth, paper towel or napkin.
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  • Put the lids and rings (bands) on the jars and seal them by tightening the ring. Not too tight using all your strength, but just tight enough the keep the ring and lid on - finger tight. 


  • Place the jars on the rack in the canner. Add the amount of water to the canner according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
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  • Put the lid on the canner (STILL VENTED. Don't put the gauge on yet)
  • Bring the canner to a boil allowing the canner to vent steam for about 10 minutes. (SEE the manufacturer's instructions for your canner)
  • Once the steam has vented, place the gauge on the vent.

PROCESS PINT JARS 75 minutes 10lbs

Process quarts 90 minutes 10lbs

After beans have processed, allow the canner to cool COMPLETELY before removing the lid. 

Remove jars from canner, letting them cool on the counter, on a towel or wooden cutting board. This will normally take several hours or overnight. As the jars seal, you'll hear a popping sound. 

After the jars have completely cooled, to check for a seal, run your finger over the middle of the lid, pressing it slightly. It should be smooth. If it pops up and down, the jar did not seal. You can place these in the fridge or in a freezer container to use later. 

Label sealed jars and store in a cool dry place. 

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