Under pressure: Canning dried beans
Special to The Union
Canning dried pinto, navy or kidney beans, is a great way to stay on top of your canning duties in the winter time. You can start with a small batch of three or four jars or make a large batch. I did this for my mom and we had a great time watching the pressure gauge and keeping watch in the kitchen.
You will need:
Five pound bag of dried pinto, red or kidney beans, canning salt, and enough jars, lids and bands. It is always good to have more jars, lids and bands around then you think you need.
Take your dried beans and go through them to make sure there are no rocks or trash of any kind in them. Wash several times to clean well. Place them in a large pot and fill water to at least 2 inches above the beans, put on stove and bring to boil. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and let them soak for one hour. Drain. Add beans back to pot and again add water 2 inches above the beans. Bring to boil and boil for 30 minutes.
Drain again. Now put a pressure cooker on the stove and put two inches of water in the bottom, make sure your jars are being heated. Remember hot food, hot jar.
I place enough water in the pot to put my jars in to warm them. I also have an extra bowl or pot beside the stove to dump the extra water in. Turn on medium heat and warm water. (No lid) Put another large pot of water on to boil to use as a packing liquid with the beans.
On a back burner put a small sauce pan of water on low and add your lids to warm. (Do not boil) Place beans in hot sterile jars adding 1/2 teaspoon canning salt to each pint jar. Remove air bubbles. Wipe the rim of jars. Place hot lids on hot jars. Place jar bands and finger tighten only.
Now put lid on pressure cooker turn heat to medium high and warm pot until a steady stream of smoke comes out of vent pipe on right side. Notice zero pounds of pressure and safety valve on front is in down position. Let your pressure cookers vent for 10 minutes when a steady stream of steam escapes from vent pipe. Once this done venting, place pressure regulator on vent pipe and watch the pressure start to build. Make sure to make your altitude adjustments for your beans. I am at 1,500 feet, so I try to keep the pressure at 12 to 14 pounds. Once the pressure is reached, I start my timer and keep a good eye on the gauge. They need to be canned for one hour and 15 minutes.
After your time has passed turn burner off and walk away. Allow pressure to go to zero on the gauge. Your lid will again look like this with your gauge at zero and the small pressure safety valve in front in the down position. Only then will you remove your small round pressure regulator. Unlock and remove lid. Carefully open away from face and allow steam to escape.
Remove jars from canner and place on folded towel to protect counter from hot jars. As jars cool the lids will sink in and make a pinging noise to signal that the jar is sealed. Allow to sit overnight and cool. Remove rings and wash with warm soapy water to clean. Dry thoroughly and label with contents and date it was canned. Enjoy!
April Reese is a certified master food preserver through the University of California at Davis. She has been canning and preserving food for more than 15 years. She can be reached at (530) 274-3871 at the A to Z Supply Garden Center or you can email her questions at email@example.com.
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