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

  • Green Beans
    The end of bean season doesn't have to be such a bummer. With a little help from the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning, learn to can beans and you'll extend the lifetimes of all your favorite legumes!
    PHOTO: ISTOCK/DIRKR
  • Beans With Tomato or Molasses Sauce
    If you want to can some yummy baked beans, you'll need to use a molasses sauce.  Follow the process times recommended above, for molasses sauce, and tomato sauce, which is good for preserving unbaked, dry and savory beans.
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • Lima Beans Process Times
    Lima beans can be pressure canned using either hot or raw packing. Note that the process times for each style of packing, however, are the same.
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • Beans Peas Process Times
    After soaking and boiling your dried/shelled beans or peas per the USDA's instructions, you'll need to process them in a pressure canner. Listed above are the recommended process times for dial-gauge and weighted-gauge pressure canners.
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • Snap Italian Beans Process Times
    Italian beans are not only a tasty alternative to the common green bean, but they require significantly less time to process than many of their bean brethren. Follow the process times recommended above.
    UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

  • Green Beans
  • Beans With Tomato or Molasses Sauce
  • Lima Beans Process Times
  • Beans Peas Process Times
  • Snap Italian Beans Process Times

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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