Dry Beans “Cooked in the Jar”

I know I’ve already shared “Cooked in the Jar” Ham & Bean Soup with all of you, but I wanted to take a minute this evening to talk about something that makes up a major part of that recipe … cooking dried beans in the jar :)

I was amazed how easy this was when I first discovered how to do it … how to cook dried beans as easy as 1, 2 … and 3:

  1. Choose pint or quart jars, and fill each one 1/3rd way with dry (rinsed and picked over) beans.***
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to each pint–or one teaspoon for each quart–then fill each jar with boiling water to one-inch headspace.
  3. Pressure can pints for 75 minutes/quarts for 9o minutes at 10 psi at low (under 1,000 ft) elevation. Adjust for higher elevation.

Simple, right? :)

This recipe works for every dried bean/pea I’ve tried: great northern, navy, garbanzo, black-eyed peas, pintos, small red beans, limas (of several varieties), cow peas … the list goes on and on! The only one I tried that we didn’t like was dried green peas I bought from an Asian grocery store. They tasted like paste–not peas–but every other dried pea/bean we’ve tried came out AWESOME!

Bonus points: just like with all of your other canning … herbs and spices are something you can easily add to your beans without fear of causing yourself problems with canning cooties. That way, the flavors cook right in your beans! I’ve used Mexican flavors to make my own chili beans, bacon salt to add a smoky flavor to lima beans, and more! And–extra bonus points–since you run your “cooked in the jar” beans through the same amount of time in the pressure canner as you do meat … then if you want to use a bit of meat to season your beans … feel free :)

Oh, and my Boiled Shelled Peanuts that are also “cooked in the jar” beans. They work the exact same way :)

***Note: if dried beans give you too much gas if you don’t soak them in advance … then you can do that with this method, too. Just measure your beans into each jar as I described above, then add soaking water to each jar, too. Change it out again after a few hours. People say two soaks of at least four hours each are a good place to start. Then, once you drain off your second batch of soaking water, add your salt, spices and other seasonings, and then top it off with boiling water and process just like the normal recipe. Perfect “cooked in the jar” beans … that are gas-less, too!

About Lane

Just a canner ... on this food journey called life :)
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3 Responses to Dry Beans “Cooked in the Jar”

  1. Dave S says:

    I’ve been duing beans like this for a while, a couple months ago I got a quantity of kielbasa/smoked sausage at a real good price, not wanting to just freeze the extra, I made the following:

    I added the beans to the jar, and some onions strips, red pepper strips, chopped up meat, and for the liquid, I added a watered down BBQ sauce heated to boiling, then canned for 90 min at 10lbs pressure.

    This tastes great heated up.

    I would reccomend that you heat the meat in the watered down bbq sauce before adding to the jars, as I initially had a number of failure to seals. I finally figured out that the meat was swelling up and causing the liquid to contaminate the seal. But heating up first solved that problem.

  2. Lane says:

    Hi Dave! :)

    Oh … yum!!!! That sausage/pepper/bean concoction is a great idea! I love anything with bell peppers in it!

    SOLD! :)

    I’m getting ready to experiment with canning some faux-baked beans “cooked in the jar” myself … so I’ve been thinking along similar terms. My husband’s family does what they call “Dad’s Beans,” and that may be my first project in that arena. It’s just like your basic baked beans–beans, a tomato-ly element, a mustard-ly element, a sweet element, beans and meat!–but this version has browned hamburger meat and cheese in it.

    Granted, I can’t do the cheese in a canning jar … but watch me go with browned hamburger meat, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beans, and seasonings. I can just add the cheese when I open the jars! :)

    On the issue of jar lids not sealing/opening back up if you don’t get the contents hot enough to start with … it’s real easy to get caught like that … especially when you’re working with “cooked in the jar” foods that you put in raw.

    How I learned to get past it in my kitchen is … I make sure to vent my canner a good long time before I seal it up and start building pressure … and I make sure that I respect headspace in my jars. Those two things are vital!

    If I’m starting a canner full of jars filled with room temperature-to-hot food–i.e.: food that’s cooler than the “boiling” most canner manufacturers recommend–first, I always make sure to keep at least the minimum headspace in ever jar, maybe just a smidge more. Food expands more in a pressure canner–and faster–than it expands in any other cooking method I’ve ever used, and you don’t want your Bourbon and Smoked Duck Baked Beans to come crawling out of the jar, now do you? Give it room to boogie :)

    Second, I don’t use boiling water in my pressure canner when I’m working with lower-temperature foods. I make the water in the bottom of the canner approximately the same temperature as what I’m putting in the jars. That way I’m not shocking the jars and their contents by putting them in water that’s a LOT hotter than they are. If you change temperature too abruptly on those jars, you can break the bottoms right out of them.

    I know. I learned that lesson the hard way :(

    Third, I also put about a half inch more water in my canner than it calls for when I’m starting with cooler jars. I’ll explain why in a second.

    And fourth, I put the lid on my canner, leave the weight off the vent pipe for now … and turn the heat on medium-high … not high. That heats the canner and its contents up much slower than just putting it on HIGH … which allows the stuff inside the jar to catch up with the burner easier. It will take a little longer, but it’s worth it. By the time steam starts streaming out of the top of your pot, everything inside has had a lot better chance to heat up … but I’m not done with it there, either. That’s when I turn the heat up to high … and let that column of steam grow to maximum first … before I turn on my timer to vent my canner. But …

    … fifth … I don’t vent my canner for the 10 minutes my manufacturer suggests. When my contents start out colder, after I bring up the heat slowly like that … I then vent my canner for more like 12-to-13 minutes … just to be 100% sure that I’ve given the jars and the food inside them a solid chance to come up to 212 degrees BEFORE I seal the canner up and start building pressure. That’s why I put a little extra water in there. I blow it out in steam making sure the inside of my pot is good and hot before I start pressurizing it.

    Since I started doing my jars that way … I can’t remember the last time I’ve had one not seal. Give it a try at your house :)

  3. Pingback: What can you do when you have open spaces in your pressure canner? | A Food Journey To Go

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