This tutorial is a pictorial illustration of proper safe canning technique as outlined by NCHFP. The recipe and instructions followed can be found here…
Black beans are a pantry staple for me. But buying cans of black beans, while very convenient for me can get rather pricey. For me, it depends on the store, brand, quality and availability. So when I find dried black beans at a reasonable price, I usually pounce on the opportunity. This 2 lb bag of beans I found at a local grocer cost were $1.29.
I find that for most of my beans and rice dishes, a one pint jar is usually sufficient for me for dinner and leftovers for work the next day. So I usually can these in pints for convenience. Per instructions and for safety, all shelled beans must be rehydrated fully prior to canning. Here are the beans, washed, rinsed, sorted out and put to soak the night before:
There is an option in the instructions for “quick soak”, but I prefer the overnight soak. It gives me a fully rehydrated bean and is much easier on my digestive system than beans put up using the quick soak method.
I wash the jars and rinse, carefully checking the integrity of my jars for pressure canning. I have a collection of antique canning jars that are still in my rotation that are pristine, so they get a special amount of “pampering”.
Then placed in the canner with water in the bottom of the jars and the canner with the heat set on low and a splash of vinegar it added to the pot to combat my hard water. I let my jars simmer in the canner like this, waiting to be filled.
Once beans are ready, I lift out a single jar, place the jar funnel on top and start to fill. Beans are lightly ladled into the jar to within one inch of the top of the jar. Beans are not packed down at all.
The boil water is added to fill in the “gaps”. This is also placed to an inch headspace clearance. Jar is debubbled and lightly spun back and forth on the work surface with my hand to make sure all the voids are filled and air pockets are released.
Jar is then placed back in it’s spot in the canner. I pick up another jar, pour out the water back into the canner and continue until my bean pot is empty. I ended up with 6 pints from a 2 pound bag, with a little left over to cook for dinner. The empty jars will stay in the spot to fill the void and make sure that my jars don’t tip over in the pressure canning process.
My canner is an All-American, which means that it has the wing nut bolts to secure the lid, and both a dial and weighted gauge to check progress. I attach the lid and crank ‘er up! Now we’re cooking with gas!
Once the pressure starts to build, a fine mist of steam starts pouring out to the vent at the top. When I notice it starting, I start my timer for 10 min to allow the canner to properly build even pressure in the chamber. Once the timer goes off, I plop the weight on the vent pipe. I put the weight on the 10 lb hole.
The canner stays silent for about 15 to 20 min, then the weight starts a “shimmy”, telling me it’s up to pressure. I check the gauge and indeed I’m at 11 lbs. The 10 lb weight does the shimmy when it gets over the 10 lb mark, releasing the pressure slightly so that it stays around the 10 lb mark. This little “dance” keeps my canner at the right pressure for the duration of the processing.
And let the canner do it’s thing. Once the time is up, I cut off the gas and let the canner start cooling down naturally. Once the dial gauge registers at 0, I wait another 15 minutes and then slowly remove the weight.
(TIP– Always let your canner cool down naturally! Speeding up this step for the sake of brevity will result in siphoning the fluid out of your jars and could warp your canner.)
(ANOTHER TIP– I learned this year from Debbie. Even though the gauge may read at 0, there’s always a slight amount of pressure on the weight after the canner has completed it’s run. Use a towel and lightly push up against the weight, letting to pressure vent off very lightly and saves on siphoning, too.)
Releasing the wingnuts, I slowly opened the canner, being sure to swing the lid open away from me. The contents in the jars were still boiling, so I let them sit a few more minutes before lifting out of the pot and onto my butcher block. Please note that I have EXTREMELY hard water where I live. The white powdery stuff on my jars is from that. Sometimes the vinegar splash works for me, other times it doesn’t. The hazards of country living. 😉
Because these are “old school” Tattlers, I tightened the bands immediately after processing. I then let the jars sit undisturbed for 18 hours before I removed the bands and checked the seals. (EDIT–I’ve been informed that the manufacturers recommend tightening the newer easy seal lids, as well. Thanks for the heads up, Dee!) Every seal was solid and passed the seal test (jar could be picked up by the seal and it stays firmly intact). I washed the jars, labeled and placed in my pantry rotation. I had very little, if any, siphoning. The only jars with fluid levels slightly below the 1 inch fill line were my newer golden harvest jar and the Kerr jar on the left. These will be first in my pantry rotation. My antique jars held up beautifully, as always. 🙂