7 Quarts of Pinto Beans

Finished these 7 quarts just in time! Thunderstorms came rolling in and left us in the dark!

I love pinto beans. But, if they aren’t seasoned properly they are the equivalent to eating a brown paper bag.  I have spent the better part of the winter digging around for pinto bean recipes that I liked and found a couple that were really good.  My only problem is that when I am ready for some beans, they take FOREVER to cook!   One afternoon, while cooking up a batch of beans, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to just open a jar of beans like I do my tomatoes?”

So, I began researching canning pinto beans.  There are tons of websites out there with plain ol’  put the beans in a jar and can them. No spices.  No flavor.  Then I found a Facebook post by Just Recipes for Home Canned Pinto Beans!  Sweet!  I read through the recipe a couple of times and then modified it to my liking.  The link above is the original recipe.

The local Save A Lot had dry pinto beans this week.  4 lbs for $4.49 where our other grocery store has them regularly 4 lbs for $7.59.  4 lbs of pinto beans canned equals about 7 quarts.

Below is my modified Home Canned Pinto Beans


  • 4 lbs Pinto Beans
  • 2 tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1  tsp ginger

The night before canning:  Rinse the beans and remove all the gravel & bad beans. Add beans to roasting pan and cover with water.  Add 2 Tbs. baking soda and 1 tsp Ginger , this helps to release the gas.  Stir well to dissolve the baking soda. Soak overnight.



  • 2 Smoked ham hocks
  • 1/2 jar Beef base
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Salt to taste base may be enough  – I don’t normally add salt. the hocks and beef base usually add enough.
  • 1 tbsp pepper or to taste
  • 1.5 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1.5 tsp ginger

Drain and rinse the beans a couple of times to remove the baking soda & ginger. Add beans to a stockpot,  fill with water and add the remaining ingredients.

Cook for approx.  45 minutes until beans are half way done. They will finish cooking in the pressure cooker.

While your beans are cooking, sterilize jars and rings in the dishwasher.
Place clean lids in a small bowl & set a pan of water to boil for the lids.

Pour boiling water over lids in the bowl.

Remove the ham hocks and place aside.  These do not go in the jars.

Using a large funnel for wide mouth jars, ladle mostly beans into the hot jars.  Once the jars are filled with beans, top off with remaining liquid.  Leave 1 inch of head space in the jars. Remove air bubbles from jar with plastic spatula.

Wipe down the mouth of the jar to remove any food or liquid on the rim.  Place lid and screw on the rings. Only tighten to hand tight.  You don’t need brute force here.

Place jars in pressure canner.  Add water as your manual states for your canner.  At this point you want to follow your manual for recommended loading procedures and how much pressure to use.  Here in St. Louis with our altitude of 450′ we use 10 lbs of pressure and my 12qt Mirro-Matic Pressure Canner holds 7 quart jars plus 2 quarts of water added to the canner for processing.

Process pints 75 minutes, quarts 90 minutes. SET A TIMER!

When processing time is complete, turn off the heat and remove the canner from the heat.  Allow the canner to cool completely on it’s own.

DANGER! Do NOT open the lid or run under cold water to cool it down faster. My manual says it takes about 45 minutes for pressure to dissipate.  END DANGER!

Go eat a sandwich, check your email, wash your dirty canning equipment.  Just chill, Honey Bunny.

Place a clean towel on the counter.  This is where your jars are going to rest for 24 hours.  Once everything is cool, carefully remove the rocker from the vent with a fork.  Remove the lid and wait 10 minutes before removing the hot jars.

Remove the jars, one at a time, and wipe off with a clean dishcloth.  Place the clean jar on the towel. In an hour or two you should hear a few pings starting as the jars start to cool.  Let the jars sit for 24 hours.

The Next Day: Remove rings to prevent rusting and possible contamination of your food. Check  the seal to make sure it is completely sealed.  Label each jar with contents and date canned. Writing it on the lid with a sharpie is fine.  You’re going to throw the lid away when you open it and who wants to scrub sticky labels off the jars?  That’s just more work.  Store in a cool dark place.

If jars did not seal, you have two options: Eat them for dinner or process again using a new lid. If you choose to process again, do so within 24 hours.

Now… those pesky smoked ham hocks.  What do I do with those?  Right now, I just re-bagged them for the freezer and later I’ll throw them in a soup stock flavor.


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