How to Can Beans (and Peas), the USDA Way

With a little help from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, you'll discover that canning beans is far from difficult. In fact, it's a real a snap!

| August 18, 2011

Learning how to can beans is a great way to ensure that your bean season never comes to a close. While some favor freezing beans for quickness and simplicity, canning beans gives your beans the longest shelf life, as well as freshest flavor. And with this helpful excerpt from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Complete Guide to Home Canning, you’ll learn not only how to can green beans, but also baked beans, lima beans and many more varieties. So what are you waiting for? Break out that pressure canner and get canning! 

The following is an excerpt from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning on how to can all types of beans and shelled or dried peas. 

Beans or Peas — Shelled, Dried

All Varieties 

Quantity: An average of 5 pounds is needed per canner load of 7 quarts; an average of 3-1/4 pounds is needed per canner load of 9 pints — an average of 3/4 pound per quart

Quality: Select mature, dry seeds. Sort out and discard discolored seeds.

Procedure: Place dried beans or peas in a large pot and cover with water. Soak 12 to 18 hours in a cool place. Drain water. To quickly hydrate beans, you may cover sorted and washed beans with boiling water in a saucepan. Boil 2 minutes, remove from heat, soak 1 hour and drain. Cover beans soaked by either method with fresh water and boil 30 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pint or 1 teaspoon per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill hot jars with beans or peas and cooking water, leaving 1-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process. Recommended process times for all the bean and pea varieties mentioned can be found in the Image Gallery.

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