How to Pressure Can Dried Beans in Weck Jars + Giveaway

canned beans square

As I’m sure is the case for many of you, canned beans are a staple in my pantry. I try to always keep an assortment of pinto, kidney, garbanzo, and black beans in my kitchen cabinet. Even when I’ve not been shopping in awhile, I nearly always have tortillas in the freezer and some kind of cheese in the fridge. Combined with a can of beans, I’m only a few steps away from a bean and cheese quesadilla lunch (and all the better if there’s a jar of salsa on the shelf).

dry beans in bowls and jars

In recent years, instead of sourcing my stash of canned beans from the store, I’ve been making them myself. That’s because as cheap as canned beans are, dried beans cost even less (I typically get  at least four 1/2 liter or pint jars from a single pound of dried beans). And by using my own jars, I avoid the chemicals in can liners and also keep that waste out of the system.

soaking beans at the beginning

If you have a pressure canner, making your own canned beans is incredibly simple (though I’ll grant you that the first time through it will feel like there are a lot of steps but it will get easier). If you don’t have one, this might just be the technique that convinces you to get one. If you’re looking for a good starter pressure canner, I use a 16 quart Presto and love it. It’s affordable and fits easily on to my small stove.

fully soaked beans

As is the case any time you use dried beans, you start by soaking them. If I’m canning on a weekend, I’ll soak the beans overnight so that they’re ready for a morning canning session. During the work week, I’ll set them to soak while I make breakfast and will can them up after dinner. I like to pressure can in the evenings because it means that I can let the canner cool overnight. I’ve found that the longer you let the canner cool undisturbed, the better the jars seal.

soaking beans

When you soak your beans, take care to use a bowl big enough to hold the beans and water to cover by 2-3 inches. As you can see in one of the pictures above, I didn’t use a bowl quite large enough for the white beans and so they soaked up everything I gave them and threatened to spill out of the bowl entirely.

prepped Weck jars

Once the beans are sufficiently soaked, it’s time to start to prep them for the canning process. Like I do in all canning situations, the first thing I do is get the jars and canning pot set up. In this case, I put the rack in the pot, set the jars on top, and fill the jars with hot water from the tap (because the water isn’t coming into contact with food, I don’t worry about using hot water).

Unlike with boiling water bath canning where you need a full pot, pressure canning works with steam so the jars don’t need to be submerged. An inch or two of water in the pot itself is really all you need.

lids and seals

When I use Weck jars, I take care to also tuck the glass lids and rubber rings into the pot to heat (leave the clips out). When I use conventional mason jars, I tuck new lids into the pot, but keep the rings out as they’re hard to work with when hot. Settle the lid on the pot and bring the pot to a boil. No need to lock the lid into place yet, you’re just warming the jars.

simmering beans

While the canner heats, pour the beans and their soaking water into a pot and bring them to a boil. You may need to add some additional water as they still should be covered by about 2 inches of water. They need approximately 25-30 minutes on the stove in order to heat through and begin to soften.

Take note that the beans should not be cooked fully when they go into the jars. If you cooked them fully before pressure canning, your finished product would be total mush.

filled Weck jars

When the jars are hot and the beans have simmered for about half an hour, it’s time to fill the jars. Remove the jars from the canner and place them on a kitchen towel. If you’ve boiled out most of your water from the bottom of the pot, pour the contents of the jars back into the canner. If your water level looks good, dump the water from the jars out into the sink.

Fill the jars with the prepared beans. You want to add enough beans so that they come up about 2/3 of the way up the jar. Then cover the beans with cooking liquid, leaving 1 inch of headspace.

Ideally, you’ll have about an inch of water above the bean level. Don’t skimp on the water because the beans are going to continue to cook in the jars and so will need additional liquid in order to soften fully.

three clips for pressure canning

Once the jars are filled, wipe the rims with a clean towel. Settle the rubber seal onto the lid of the Weck jar and place the seal and lid onto the jar. Secure the lid with three Weck jar clips. When canning Weck jars in a boiling water bath you only use two clips, but the increased intensity of the pressure canner means that you need an additional clip to ensure that the lid stays in place. If you’re using conventional mason jars, apply lids and rings in the usual fashion.

To avoid chipping the lid with the clips, place the clip on the lid first and then push down towards the side of the jar. If you start from the side of jar and push towards the lid, you risk breakage.

jars in the canner

Once the lids are secured, lower the jars into the canner. My 16 quart canner can hold five 1/2 liter Weck jars, seven quart jars, or nine pint jars. Pour a glug of white vinegar into the pot to help keep the jars and pot clean and then lock the lid into place.

Bring the pot up to a boil and let the steam vent for at least 15 minutes. You do this by running the pot without the pressure regulator in place. That’s the little black and metal hat that sits atop the vent shaft. The reason for this is that a canner that has been properly relieved of its oxygen through venting can reach a higher temperature than one that is full of oxygen. The higher the temperature, the more effectively the canner will kill any botulism spores present.

11 pounds of pressure

Once the canner is properly vented, apply the pressure regulator and bring up to pressure. If you live at 1,000 feet elevation or below (as I do), you bring the pot up to 11 pounds of pressure. If you live at higher elevations, you need to increase your pressure (find those exact elevation adjustments here)

pressure canner working

Once the canner reaches the appropriate pressure, start your timer. If you’re working with pint or 1/2 liter jars, you process the beans for 75 minutes. If you use quart or liter jars, process for 90 minutes. Make sure to check the pressure gauge often to ensure that you’re at the proper pressure levels. If your pressure drops below the required level, you have to bring the pot back up to pressure and restart your timer.

close up black beans

Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave the pot alone. I like to let it cool for at least an hour after the pot depressurizes, but the longer you can let it cool, the better. Even after the pot depressurizes, there is still a huge amount of heat in the jars. It’s perfectly normal for the contents of the jars to be bubbling hours after the canning process has finished.

slipping seal on Weck jar

Weck jars work really well for pressure canning, but there are a couple tricks to it. I’ve already mentioned the first, using three clips instead of two. The second is that you really must ensure that the seal is in its ideal position before you settle the lid on the jar. As you can see, my seal slipped a little with this jar. It wasn’t enough to compromise the seal, but I knew that this rubber ring wasn’t as perfectly positioned as the rest when that jar went into the canner. I got lucky and didn’t ruin the seal, but that won’t always be the case.

pressure canned black beans

Now, for the giveaway portion of this post, which is sponsored by Mighty Nest (they also provided the Weck jars you’ve seen pictured throughout this post). They are offering one lucky Food in Jars reader a chance to win one dozen 1/2 Liter Weck jars (I like these jars for canning beans because hold about the same volume of beans that you get from a store bought can) and a 6 quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven. To enter the giveaway, use the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Related Posts:

, , ,

976 Responses to How to Pressure Can Dried Beans in Weck Jars + Giveaway

  1. 51
    LeAnn says:

    Black bean burritos are my favorite.

  2. 52
    Courtney Spencer Mitchell says:

    I would love to try this. I’ve just started canning in the last year and I love it. What a great idea and dried beans are so inexpensive. Only problem is that the startup costs of canning can be quite high.

  3. 53
    Sara says:

    We use pintos at least once a week for burritos and I love garbanzos over green salads or mixed into a pasta salad. I’ve been cooking my own pintos and freezing them. I need to look again at pressure canners…

  4. 54
    Jessica says:

    My husband I were just talking about this the other day. What a great idea. The wreck jars would be a great start to us doing this!

    Thank you for the great tutorial!

  5. 55
    Nisey says:

    Nachos! Hummus! Juevos Rancheros!

  6. 56
    Demarie says:

    I like to use beans in salads.

  7. 57
    christina altieri says:

    I have never used these jars before; I will check them out this canning season!

  8. 58
    amanda says:

    Ham beans and cornbread!

  9. 59
    Kym says:

    Easy weeknight soup is my favorite bean recipe. I can mine in the pressure canner, as well!

  10. 60
    Alana says:

    I use my canned beans for black bean and corn salsa

  11. 61
    Lydia says:

    I like adding beans to soup.

  12. 62
    Michelle says:

    black bean dip with frozen spinach, lime juice, sour cream, and spices.

  13. 63
    Jen says:

    My boyfriend and I like to make black bean, egg, and cheese breakfast burritos, and I’ve been wanting to learn to make and can my own dried beans to save money so this giveaway is perfect!

  14. 64
    Devon H says:

    My favorite way to use canned beans would be chili or soup, but I also love to use them in quick cold salads with veggies and grains and beans, homemade vinaigrette and a little bit of cheese if there’s any around. Perfect for summer or a week of work lunches!

  15. 65
    Kelly Joehrs says:

    I love canned beans in chili and black beans and rice. Thanks for the chance to win.

  16. 66
    Susan says:

    We love black and pinto bean chili as well as bean quesadillas. I’m gonna give this a go! I can imagine how much cheaper it will be to can my own! Thanks for the tutorial.

  17. 67
    Alica says:

    I use canned beans in lots of things…ham and bean soup or burritos most often.

  18. 68
    Sarah says:

    Canned beans are my go-to all winter for chile, soups, and easy dinners. Love those jars!

  19. 69
    Maria says:

    One word: TACOS

  20. 70
    Mallory says:

    Turkey chili…. yummm. Thank you so much for tutorial!

  21. 71
    Jennifer Stebbins says:

    Wonderful giveaway! Thanks for the chance! (:

  22. 72
    Ruthanne says:

    I am hoping to try my hand at canning for the first time this spring. I have no equipment yet to get started. This would be a great start! Thanks for the giveaway.

  23. 73
    Deborah says:

    Had no idea you could can beans – I have same pressure cooker, can’t wait to try it!

  24. 74
    Ann Marie Forbes Jones says:

    I love canned black beans for vinagrette salads. While I’ve yet to find a good reciped for canned refried beans I love those for crock pot enchiladas. Yum . Best wishes to all entrants including moi. :-)

  25. 75
    Robin R. says:

    I so need a pressure canner. I make a lot from scratch but being able to can beans would be amazing!

  26. 76
    Brian says:

    Taco salad.

  27. 77
    Blayne says:

    For chili, for quick dinners, for hummus…

  28. 78
    Ann Marie Forbes Jones says:

    oopsie! once I commented I wasn’t able to use the rest of the Rafflecopter for extra entries :-(

  29. 79
    Cindy says:

    I use beans for a lot of dishes but a big pot of chili is my easy once a week meal.

  30. 80
    Sarah says:

    Canned beans are GREAT in my mom’s ham soup. Makes it faster too:-)

  31. 81
    Kel says:

    I use them in chili!

  32. 82
    Allison says:

    I like mixing white beans with kale or collards, or alternatively with sausages and caramelized onions.

  33. 83
    Katherine says:

    They make chili so convenient!

  34. 84
    Ouida Lampert says:

    I have discovered the yumminess of refried beans made from dried beans – so, I would imagine that they would be wonderful from home-canned beans.

  35. 85
    Amber L says:

    I love to use canned beans in my chili or in a nice harvest soup.

  36. 86
    Sarah says:

    Chili and white bean/turkey soup are two faves :)

  37. 87
    SharonF says:

    Ham and beans with cornbread.

  38. 88
    NancyB from Many LA says:

    Cook them like Red Beans and Rice, New ‘Awlins style!

  39. 89
    Kathryn says:

    I love canned beans for chili and vegetarian burgers!

  40. 90
    Kris says:

    I usually use dried beans – don’t like commercially canned ones. The one time I tried canning them, they still turned to mush, though. In fact, the ones with the best texture were the ones that I put in the jars just soaked, and not cooked at all. I’m going to have to give it another try!

  41. 91
    Janet says:

    Chili!

  42. 92
  43. 93
    Jessica Christensen says:

    What a great giveaway!! I could put those jars to use!!

  44. 94
    Eileen says:

    I’m kind of intimidated by the thought of pressure canning, but this makes it seem a lot more approachable! One of these days. :) Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  45. 95
    Tiffany says:

    I love using beans as a substitute for meat in various dishes – lasagna, tacos, casseroles, etc. I don’t buy canned beans anymore; I cook and freeze them instead. Canning them myself would free up some space in my freezer.

  46. 96
    Staciejayne says:

    I love to use them in soups!

  47. 97
    Emily Rippe says:

    I love BEANS!!! This is great. However, I am one of the poor souls without a pressure canner. What is differences do I need to remember when I want to do this with good ‘ol boiling water?

    • 97.1
      Marisa says:

      There is no safe way to can beans without a pressure canner. There are no adjustments that can be made to make it safe.

  48. 98
    Helen says:

    I love to make ham and bean soup with cornbread! :)

  49. 99
    Jessica H says:

    I have a pressure canner and have not used it much. I might try this since beans are so cheap, if I ruin a batch or two that won’t cost me much other than time and I’d learn better how to use my canner.

  50. 100
    Chrissy says:

    My husband loves chili so most our beans are used for that purpose but they get tossed into soups here and there as well

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

Leave a Reply