How to Pressure Can Dry Beans

One item I always have on my pantry shelves is home canned beans. A good way to stock your pantry is to store dry beans such as pinto, black, kidney, or garbanzo. They do take some time to cook and that is why I pressure can the beans, so they are cooked and ready to use when I need them. Come into my kitchen and learn how to pressure can dry beans.

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What you need:

Dried beans: You can buy dried beans in any grocery store, but I buy beans in bulk from Azure Standard. I store them in food grade buckets with gamma seal lids. Navy beans, black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, and lima beans are all excellent varieties for home canning.

Canning jars: Use the jars that are specifically made for canning. They can be found in the grocery stores or hardware stores.

Canning lids/rings: My favorite lids are Superb lids. You will need wide mouth or regular mouth.

Canning tools: Usually you find canning tool sets, but you will need a jar grabber, headspace measuring stick, magnet stick, and funnel.

Pressure Canner: Beans are considered a low acid food so you must use a pressure canner.

Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother: I buy all my apple cider vinegar from Azure Standard in a five-gallon bucket. It is economical and a higher quality than what you can buy in the store.

Why Should You Can Dry Beans

There are several reasons why I choose to home can dry beans instead of buying the canned beans from the store:

Most canned foods from the store are lined with BPA. The canning jars I use are made of glass, and I feel much better about storing my foods in glass than I do the BPA lined cans.

(According to Exposure to BPA is a concern because of the possible health effects on the brain and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. It can also affect children’s behavior. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

No added ingredients. Store bought canned goods can be high in sodium, have added natural flavors, and even sugar. By home canning my beans I can control what goes in the jar.

I soak my beans. Store canned beans are not soaked before canning so they are not easily digested. That is why you may experience excessive gas after eating them. Soaking the beans in raw apple cider vinegar water helps with this digestion problem.

How to Can Dry Beans

Soak the Beans

The National Center for Home Food Preservation site says:

An average of 5 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 3¼ pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints–an average of ¾ pounds per quart.

Using this amount, I always have leftover beans that did not fit in the jars. I saw a video on YouTube (Three Rivers Homestead) where the beans were poured in the individual canning jars to soak. I thought this is the answer to my frustration! Genius idea! So, I started to play around with filling individual jars with beans to soak them. I finally perfected the amount of beans for each jar. No more leftover beans to deal with!

The night before you are going to can the beans, pour 1 full cup of dried beans into each quart jar or 1/2 cup of dried beans in a pint jar. Repeat the process until you fill the number of jars you are going to can. Doing it this way ensures you have the correct amount of beans for the right number of jars.

Fill the jars with water up to the one-inch headspace.

Add 1-2 tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. The vinegar breaks down the sugars in the beans which means they will be easier for you to digest. Set the jars in an out of the way space to soak overnight or at least until they double in size.

Now it’s time to drain the apple cider vinegar water out of the jars. Hold your hand over the jar opening and pour the water out, then fill the jar again with water and pour it out. I do this several times until the vinegar smell is gone.

After the beans are rinsed, fill the jar for the last time with hot water (I use the hottest tap water from my faucet) leaving a 1-inch headspace. Debubble the jar, wipe the rim of the jar with a clean cloth, place the lid on, and screw on the ring. Repeat the process with all seven jars.

Why I wait to turn on the heat

The contents in the jars and the water in the canner needs to be around the same temperature. I always had the problem of jars cracking and ruining my beans, because the canner water would get too hot, and the bean jar would be too cool. I even tried heating extra water on the stove to fill the jars with hot water to ensure they would be hot enough. I would still get jars that would crack after I put the lid on the canner. Such a pain. Now I do not turn on the heat to the canner until I have it loaded and ready to can.

This has helped tremendously! No more broken jars!

We are ready to pressure can

I will be following the manufactures instructions for my particular canner. Follow the instructions for the canner you are using.

Fill the canner with water up to the first line on the inside of the canner. Lock the lid in place and turn on the heat to medium high.

When a steady stream of steam comes up through the vent pipe, set the timer for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes, place the weight on the vent pipe. Once the weight begins to rock, process at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes for quarts and 75 minutes for pints. If you are at a higher elevation, you may need to adjust the pressure. For more information check the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

Let them cool off!

When the timer is finished. Turn off the heat and let the canner naturally drop the pressure. The air vent lock will drop when it is ready to open.

Take the weight off and wait five to 10 more minutes. It is super hot inside the canner and the beans will be boiling. Waiting a few extra minutes allows the contents to calm down a bit.

Turn the lid of the canner to open it, but don’t take it completely off. Be careful of the steam that will come out. Leave the lid on but at an angle so that the steam can escape. Wait five more minutes.

Avoid Siphoning

Sometimes siphoning can happen if you pull a boiling hot jar out of the canner into a lower temperature room. Siphoning is when the jar loses its liquid contents. It is not an ideal situation, and you want to avoid it as much as possible. Doing the steps I mentioned above has eliminated any siphoning problems.

Now that you waited for the beans to cool a little more, use your jar grabber to take the jars out of the canner onto a towel lined countertop. If you have a breeze from a fan or window blowing through your kitchen you may want to lay a kitchen towel over the jars while they cool.

Let the jars completely cool. Remove the rings, check for a proper seal. The lid should be sunken in and when you tug on the lid it does not release.

Wipe down the jars and label the lids. Store your canned goods in a cool dark place. At least out of direct sunlight. Use the canned beans within one to two years.

Ways to use Your Beans

Refried beans, Chili, dips, or soups. Because they are cooked, and shelf stable you can open a jar and use them immediately in a recipe! Homemade fast food!!

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pressure canned beans

How to Pressure Can Beans
Homemade fast food! Shelf stable beans ready to use in any recipe
Prep Time 6 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 7 quarts


  • 7 cups dry beans
  • 7 tsp raw apple cider vinegar


  • Wash 7 quart jars
  • Pour 1 cup of dry beans of any variety into a quart size canning jar.
    Add 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.
    Add water up to the one-inch headspace line.
    Soak overnight or at least for 6 hours.
  • Drain the vinegar water and rinse the beans without removing the beans from the jar. Just hold your hand over the opening and pour out the water. Fill the jar with water again. Repeat this process until the vinegar smell is gone.
    Fill the jar with water up to the 1 inch headspace. Debubble the jar, wipe the rim with a clean cloth, place the lid and rings on the jar.
    Prep your canner by filling it with water up to the first line on the inside wall. Place the canner on the stove.
    Lower the jars into the canner. Place the canner lid on. Turn on burner to medium high heat.
    When a steady stream of steam comes out of the vent pipe put on a timer for 10 minutes.
    When the timer is done. Put the weight on the vent pipe. Once the weight begins to rock set the timer for 1hour and 30 minutes for quart size jars, and 75 minutes for pints.
  • When the timer is done turn off the heat. Wait until the air vent lock drops. Take off the weight. After five minutes open the lid of the canner but do not take it all the way off. Leave the lid on at an angle to allow the steam to escape. Wait five-ten more minutes.
    Use jar grabbers to pull the jars out of the canner and place them onto a towel lined countertop. Allow the jars to rest undisturbed until completely cool.
    Remove the rings, check for a good seal. Wipe down the jars and label them.
    Store in a cool dark place for 1-2 years.

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