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15 Year Old Dry Beans

KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Vegetables

So last week I decided to pressure can some really really old dry beans. I processed both pintos and great northern. These are both beans that are so old that no amount of time in soaking and cooking was successful in softening them. What I discovered is that pressure canning them was a great idea. They turned out soft, perfectly cooked and delicious. Not only that -- the whole process was also really very easy. Yippie!!!!!


  • toreytorey Posts: 2,349 admin

    @KimWilson Could you give instructions, please? I have never canned dried beans before.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    @KimWilson the only time I have ever used a pressure cooker was on the decades old dried beans we have. I have some really nice chickpeas that I got from an Indian Market that really only responded to the pressure cooker. I've never thought to can them, though; space issues are a thing in my life.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    @torey Hopefully you either know how to use a pressure canner or can learn from a reputable source. To bottle the beans, triple wash the dried beans. Put 1/2 cup per pint or 1 cup per quart into sterilized jars. Add 1/2 tsp salt to pints or 1 tsp salt to quarts if desired. Fill with water leaving 1" head-space and process according canning book directions. Other things can be added if desired because beans take as long to process as meat does. This means you could add pieces of bacon, onions, and spices. There are you tube videos on the process as well as recipe ideas.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,349 admin

    @KimWilson Thanks for the instructions. I have been pressure canning for years. Just never did dried beans. But this is very good to know for old beans!

  • naomi.kohlmeiernaomi.kohlmeier Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    Pressure canned dried beans are so much better than anything in the store! @KimWilson glad that worked out well for you!

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    @KimWilson Thank you for the tip. We also have some very old dried beans and have seen the failure of soakig and stove top cooking. We have several pressure cookers, so I will give it a try.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    @tomandcara You are very welcome. Hope your beans work out as well as mine did.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    @torey You are welcome


    Here is a vid that might be interesting and helpful....

  • tomandcaratomandcara Colorado front range- Denver MetroPosts: 691 ✭✭✭✭

    @COWLOVINGIRL Nice video. It should be very helpful for anyone wanting to know more about canning old dried beans.

  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 240 ✭✭✭

    @COWLOVINGIRL  Thanks for the video.

    @COWLOVINGIRL@KimWilson Thanks for the first hand report. I have some old beans and I'm glad to know that they are not a lost cause.

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 724 admin

    I've never canned beans, but I've cooked them in an Instant Pot, and have found that works really well. I don't think any of the beans I've cooked that way have been 15 years old, though, although I imagine it would still work for straight-up cooking (not canning, as that's not supposed to be safe in an electric pressure cooker). I know that's a bit of a departure from this conversation, but it might be a cooking option for those who have older beans that aren't responding well to regular cooking methods....


    You're welcome Melissa Swartz

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭

    Has anyone pressure canned "shelly* beans?

    I'm probably going to freeze my shellies this year (no pressure canner and glass top stove) but I'm thinking ahead to the day I may have a pressure canner and a burner that can handle it.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    i have that same canner as the lady in the video! (giggle)

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 211 ✭✭✭

    Gotta love Jill.

  • dottile46dottile46 Posts: 402 ✭✭✭

    Thank you @KimWilson. May try canning some beans. I love beans but rarely have time to make a pot the way I like them and I don't have an Insta-Pot.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    I had a large bag of beans that I wasn't too excited about because I thought they were just pinto beans. My husband and I just opened them up to find a 7 bean mix. Woo hoo! What a treat! I will have to bottle some up this week.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    So all varieties of beans are not created equal. I have been canning several different verities of beans to see which we like the very best. Results to follow.

  • SherryASherryA Posts: 291 ✭✭✭

    That's good to know! Thanks.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 381 ✭✭✭

    @KimWilson They're not equal in productivity either. I grew Vermont Cranberry beans side by side with Jacob's Cattle, and while both produced, the Vermont Cranberry plants were larger, more likely to germinate, and produced more pods per square foot of growing area.

    I froze most of the Vermont Cranberry beans as shellies, and dried most of the Jacob's Cattle.

    Region and climate matter, too. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that a variety with "Vermont" in the name does really well here in Vermont...

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    So I noticed a couple of things. 1. "Good Mother Stollard" ? beans that were basically a round bean rather than an oblong, turned out really well. 2. All of the beans expand differently. This has to be watched and observed. I had beans that expanded so much that the jars may have broken in processing if I had not opened those jars and removed some beans prior to processing. I have the the beans taste great and I love this method of using old dried beans. I made some barbequed beans yesterday that turned out fantastic!

  • KimMullenKimMullen Posts: 38 ✭✭✭

    @KimWilson That is a great idea! I have several types of older dried beans I will be canning over the winter.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 197 ✭✭✭

    New notes on canning dry beans: Today I noticed that something unexpected. Some large beans (like scarlet runner beans) did not swell as much as other varieties. I do not know what to suggest to those who are canning different varieties of beans. In my case, I wash them, sort them, and measure them into the jars full of hot water prior to adding the salt. If, after an hour or two, the beans seem to be swelling too much, I take some out before adding the desired salt. If anyone has had some significant experience with canning different varieties of beans, I would really like some advice. Today some of the really small beans swelled in the jars a lot more than some of the larger varieties. I had an opposite experience the last time I canned with different varieties than I used today.

  • nksunshine27nksunshine27 IdahoPosts: 320 ✭✭✭

    if you have old beans you can add baking soda to the cooking and that will soften them up

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