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Friday, June 27, 2008

Canning Refried / Burrito Beans

I have been wanting to can pinto beans with spices added for quite awhile, but I just hadn't found the right recipe to want to do multiple jars of it. This week, however, I stumbled across one that won my husband's approval, as well as mine.

Since yesterday was a cool, rainy day I figured that it was a good opportunity to try a batch of these. (I don't like canning if I don't have to when the house is already warm, since it does produce a bit of heat.)

If you haven't ever canned pinto beans before, you can look at this earlier post. All that I did differently was dump in the seasonings right before I added the water just prior to putting the jars in the canner.

Here is the recipe I used. It just a tad bit different from the original. (These proportions are for quart jar size.)

4 T tomato sauce
2-3 T chopped onion
1 tsp chili powder
tsp paprika
tsp salt
tsp cumin
tsp black pepper
tsp garlic powder
tsp sugar
tsp ground oregano

If you want, instead of measuring out for each individual jar, you can just add an equivalent amount of spices to the water that you will be adding to the jars. The reason I don't do this method, however, is because sometimes there is left over water or not enough. This will change the strength of your seasoning in your jars.

These jars will come in quite handy this summer when we are busy on the farm and tired of sandwiches. They will be great for a quick, high protein meal. All you have to do is open one up, mash the beans with a potato masher, and heat them up. (Although it is pretty good cold too.)

The beans can be added to tacos, rolled up in a tortilla, used for a side dish, or even just be a yummy dip. To jazz it up a bit as a dip, just sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top.

Also, this recipe (minus the tomato sauce) can be used to substitute one packet of store bought taco seasoning. I tried it with our taco beef, and it was great in that as well.

** To learn how to pressure can beans, you can check out my series on Beginning Pressure Canning. **

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Tools of My Trade

Beans 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.

This book is a wonderful book for beginning pressure canning.  It includes the science behind safe canning, tools needed for canning, the method of canning, and is filled with tons of recipes that will help you can anything from produce from your garden to meats and broths.  I still enjoy flipping through my book to find new recipes to try!


TX Poppet said...

Oh what pretty beans! Well done.
TX Poppet at Canned Laughter

Mechela said...

So how many beans did you use for the quarts?

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Mechela- I ended up using 1 1/2 cups of beans, which was double the pint size. It worked out well.

If you do quarts, however, you need to adjust your pressure canning time since it takes longer to get the center of a quart jar hot enough to kill all the bacteria.

I used 10 lbs pressure at 90 minutes, but always be sure to check the charts an instructions that come with your canner.

Also, you can do pints with quart jars, but make sure that you use the canning time for the quarts.

Sarah said...

I can't wait to try this! Thank you for the recipe! I Love refried beans, but the recipes I've tried (okay, recipe - we only tried it once) just didn't really stack up. Yours looks fantastic!


Gabriela said...

Hi Becca,I came across with your recipe of refried beans and loved it. I did changed it and blended the beans then watter canned them.
to my surprised they all bubbled and spoiled within a week. What could have I done wrong?I really would like to make more and keep them since is a great healthy recipe.
Thanks in advance,

Gabriela from Australia

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Beans have to be pressure canned. If you check a presser cooker chart it will give you the time and pressure needed. Hope that helps.

Jolene "The Farmer Girl" Black said...


I just found your blog and it looks great and is full of good entries. I'm excited to try this recipe. My husband loves refried beans and we were just talking the other day about how great it would be if we could can them ourselves instead of purchasing the can from the store.

Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to try them.

Melissa said...

I love this recipe, however I had one problem. I followed the recipe to the letter, only omitting the onion (I forgot it). Followed the canning directions to the letter as well, however when I pulled the jars out of the pressure canner about 70% of the liquid was gone from the jars. The beans were still partially hard, and one did not seal at all. I used the same recipe, and cooked the other half of my beans (that did not fit in the canner) on the stove top, simmering all day. They were wonderful!! The best flavor. I then mashed these beans and put them in freezer containers.
If you want to jazz these beans up a bit instead of using plain chili powder, use McCormicks Chiptole chile powder. It is a bit spicier, and will definitely give it some kick, as well as a slight smoky flavor. If you don't want something that is too spicy, but still has the smoky flavor, use half the amount called for.
Thanks for this recipe!!

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

I have had the missing liquid problem too. I'm pretty sure that it is due to overpressure. If that is the case, the heat needs to be turned down as much as possible while still keeping pressure. Also, I have found that if my burner is not level, the gauge will not rock right and will over pressurize. A lack of liquid would most likely cause the beans to remain partially hard.

I'm glad they worked well on the stove top and thanks for the seasoning tips!

Nikki said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I just have a quick question. I've made the recipe and also had the missing water problem. I let the jars sit a week, and just opened one. Everything smells fine, but I'm worried that because of the missing water, the beans might be bad? I can't find any help online, has anyone else ate their jars with missing water? Thanks!

Cheri said...

Hi ladies -
One of the things you may want to check on your pressure canning is to make sure that you vent the canner for the full 10 minutes before you put the regulator on. I know that is one of the things that will cause liquid loss.

I haven't tried this recipe yet but I am looking forward to it.

Becky said...

The missing water problem could be coming from two places: fluctuating canner pressure and too many beans. If you're fiddling with the heat too much while you're canning and it causes the pressure to change a lot in either direction, this could be why the water is disappears. If you've canned a few times using the same stove and pressure cooker, you should get the hang of how to adjust the pressure in small increments to avoid this.

I can my own pintos and I only use 2/3 cup of dry beans per pint. I've never had a problem with jars coming up dry or beans still hard. I don't like a lot of water in them when they're done (seems like a waste of space) and this way each jar comes out without the beans floating in juice like they do from the store. Each jar is filled with beans with just enough liquid to keep them wet and get them cooked. Hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

I love multi-purpose recipes, and the spice mix sounds right. I think this is what I've been looking for. Thank you.

brenda from ar

sheofthesea said...

Hey!! I got some dry beans and I was wanting to can some but I don't own a pressure canner. If I add more tomatoes or even some lemon or lime juice, do you think it would be acidic enough to water bath can??

The Beginning Farmer's Wife said...

Beans do have to be pressure canned to avoid dangerous bacteria. They are classified like meats are when it comes to canning. A general rule is that if you add anything into a canning recipe, you always need to can to the highest pressure and time of any ingredients included.

Shelly Morrison said...

other sites say to pressure can quarts for 90 minutes.

David said...

First, we loved these beans. Even my five year old ate them, which is saying a lot (I cut the chili powder down a bit). Here is how I made them. I don't yet have a pressure canner, but I made a batch of these beans in my pressure cooker. I boiled 1lb of beans for 3 minutes. Drained and rinsed them, then added the beans, spices and tomato you recommended, plus 6 cups of water. I cooked for about 24 minutes at pressure. Then simmered the cooked beans to reduce some of he water. Than took an immersion blender to them. Yum!

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