This method doesn't take much time that you will actually be working, but you do have to do a little bit of planning since it requires some prep the night before you want to can them.
Make sure all of your jars are washed and ready to go. You also might want to count your lids since I didn't have enough when I was canning my green beans earlier!
After you have all of your supplies ready, it's time to get the pinto beans ready. Measure out 3/4 cup of beans for each pint jar you want to can. Then wash and sort the beans. I have never found rocks in my beans before, but as you can see, this time around I actually found 2 - so don't skip this step!
In the morning, empty the water from the jars and refill with hot water to leave 1 inch of head space. You may need to adjust some beans. If you want, you can save and heat the water that was in the jars to use. This leaves more nutrients, however, it also leaves more bean gas. I use new water. Another option is to add 1/2 tsp of salt to each jar, but I skip this step. After the jars are filled, put a lid and ring on each jar according to the manufactures instructions.
Place the jars in the pressure canner, bring them to a high heat to adjust head space, and process at 10 lbs pressure for 75 minutes. (Remember, this time is only for pint jars.) Be sure to follow all of the directions that come with your canner. (Also, do not can beans with a water bath - see comments.)
After they have cooked and the pressure is gone, remove the jars from the canner to cool. When they are cool, wipe down the jars, label them, and put them in your cupboard. You are done!!
For those of you who like to watch the dollar, here are the numbers. I spent $2.38 on my bag of pinto beans. There are enough beans in the bag to make around 17 pints of beans. I'll say that's 14¢ per pint jar in beans. Lids are $1.29 for 12. I'll also say that is 11¢ per lid.
If you really want to be technical, you can figure in the electricity to heat the stove for the canner, but then you can argue that the heat from the stove heats your house and makes your furnace not work as hard. (A good reason to leave beans for winter canning - doesn't fight against your air conditioner or make your house too hot.) Although if you heat with wood, that changes things too. I'm not about to think that hard, so I'm leaving the heating cost out.
So my beans cost me 25¢ per pint. Keep in mind, that a pint of home canned beans is equal to at least two cans of store bought beans. You end up with a jar full of beans with little to no liquid - the store beans are a can of liquid with some beans floating around in it. If you want to make your beans even more economical and you eat them in large quantities, can them as quarts. (Sorry, I don't have the canning time for this. DON'T use 75 minutes!) That would have given me twice the amount of beans per jar for 39¢. We don't eat that many at a time though so I do pints.
So there you go. Canning pinto beans. I would love to find some recipes for canning pinto beans that include some spices making them even more ready to go. Anyone have any?
** To learn how to pressure can beans, you can check out my series on Beginning Pressure Canning. **
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Tools of My TradeBeans must be pressure canned due to their low acidity in order to kill all bacteria that would cause dangerous food born illnesses. They can be safely canned by using the recommended times and pressures given for your altitude. I have a couple older Mirro pressure canners given to me that work wonderfully, and my mom has a newer one that she loves as well. If you do some asking around, you might find someone who has given up canning and has one available, or you can look for one like the one pictured below. It should hold around 9 pint jars or 7 quart jars.