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Canned baked beans are one of those ultimate convenience foods. But homemade canned baked beans are less expensive, tastier and far more adaptable.

Canned baked beans are one of those ultimate convenience foods.

Open, stick in a spoon and eat. Well, most of us heat it up, but many bachelors will tell you that that is optional.

And they’re cheap. But do you know what’s cheaper?

Homemade canned baked beans.

Canned baked beans are one of those ultimate convenience foods. But homemade canned beans are less expensive, tastier and far more adaptable.

I know! Yes, yes, yes, you can can baked beans at home and save money. All the convenience, custom-designed flavour, and so much savings. The shelf life of your homemade beans is just as long as the commercial tins.

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Hey, if you’re here accidentally and you don’t want to be CANNING your beans, here’s how to make them in the slow cooker. Easy, delicious, and the cooker does most of the work for you.  

Slow Cooked Baked Beans – Gluten-Free, Pork-free

And, oh, yes, in case you’re wondering, you can freeze baked beans – in case you don’t have a pressure canner – a frozen baked bean meal is a great way to have a handy meal for busy nights.

Now let’s return to why you might want to pressure can jars of baked beans at home.

Even if you get the best price at the grocery store on those tins, you’re still not going to make it as inexpensively as if you make your own homemade canned beans!

Dried navy beans are incredibly inexpensive, even less expensive than the jars of precooked beans. And although you certainly can cook them with a quick cook method, it’s not quite as good as the slow cooked method.

Who has the time for that every single time you want some beans? After all, they make a fabulous, inexpensive side dish, as well as eating them as pork and beans.

In addition, if you are living without refrigeration (yes, many people do), what will you do with that huge batch of baked beans?

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Canning Baked Beans at Home – It’s Easy!

These instructions are for making it on the stovetop. Now that I have an Instant Pot, I’ll be updating to show you how pressure cooking makes it even easier to make your baked beans!

Start by placing 6 1/2 cups dried navy beans in water to cover.

This requires a BIG pot. You will need about 3 cups of water per cup of dried beans. Leave them on the counter overnight. This will make a lot of canned baked beans so that you can fill your canner.

Overnight means about twelve hours. We soak beans for a long time to allow the beans to evenly absorb the water. They’ll increase in size.

Don't these canned baked beans look just as good as anything you could buy in a tin?

After soaking, change the water (not necessary, but some say it reduces the gas) and boil the beans until they are soft.

Really soft. Once you add the sauce, they will not soften any more.

Do NOT drain the beans unless you are going to bake them and eat them immediately. In order to can the beans, they need a lot of liquid.

Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons molasses (blackstrap is good!), 3 cups ketchup, 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder, 1 1/2 cups sugar and stir it all in. I like to add a generous teaspoon of onion and garlic powder, too.

I tend to store white sugar and molasses separately because they don’t get hard in storage. You could use 1 cup brown sugar instead.

IF you are making homemade canned baked beans for immediate use, pour enough of the cooking water to just cover the beans, cover with a lid and bake at 325F for at least 3 hours. Check occasionally and add water if it is drying out.

An important note: most directions will tell you to have jars, food and canning pot of water all piping hot. I don’t do that because I find it difficult to keep everything at the same temperature (and I expect most people do), and differences in temperature cause thermal shock. Therefore I usually add room temperature food to room temperature jars and place them in room temperature water. No thermal shock and no jars broken.

To can your beans, fill 18 clean pint jars with the beans. Carefully clean the edges and add lids and rings. Process these in a PRESSURE CANNER for 65 minutes.

I’m going to take a quick aside and tell you to please learn how to can safely.

It is also possible to can plain beans. Just do everything except adding the sauce! It’s fun to take them out of the pressure canner and watch the liquid still bubbling in the jars. Listen for the ping as the lids seal!

You could also put your beans in quart jars, which would leave you with some for dinner. Process quarts for 75 minutes. My pressure canner will hold 7 quart jars or 18 pint jars – if a quart is enough to feed your family dinner, then you now have 7 meals ready to tuck away in your pantry for future meals! Don’t you love food that you can make at home and then store at room temperature without expending extra electricity?

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A Cabin Full of Food 2nd Edition

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Sum it up – what do I NEED to make homemade canned beans?

  1. A safe, modern pressure canner. Two of the most popular ones are Presto 23 quart pressure canner and All American 921 21-1/2-Quart Pressure Cooker/Canner The Presto is the least expensive option and many people use it, but survivalists and preppers might want the consider the All-American, which does not need replacement gaskets every year.
  2. A second canning rack for the Presto (the All-American comes with two)
  3. canning kit with magnetic lid lifter, jar lifter and more
  4. Optionally, but I recommend it, a stainless steel canning funnel
  5. If you have a Presto pressure canner, a three piece weighted regulator because the canner really should come with one but does not. Having an extra sealing Ring on hand is also wise because my experience is that they fail when you have vital canning to do.
  6. Jars. Do not re-use glass jars from jam and other condiments. They are made for single use and are not designed to withstand pressure canning a second time. I mostly use pint jars but you can also use half-pints or quarts. The first jars you buy will come with lids and rings. After that, buy canning lids. The reusable canning lids are more expensive but are worth the price.
  7. Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving: 400 Delicious and Creative Recipes for Today

The initial output is fairly high, but every item in that list will last you for *years*.

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Homemade Canned Baked Beans


  • Author: Marie Beausoleil
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 14 hours
  • Category: Main dish

Description

Canned baked beans are one of those ultimate convenience foods. But homemade canned beans are less expensive, tastier and far more adaptable.


Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups dried navy beans
  • 18-20 cups water
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Place bean in water to cover. This requires a BIG pot. You will need about 3 cups of water per cup of dried beans.
  2. Leave them on the counter overnight – about twelve hours.
  3. After soaking, change the water and boil the beans until they are soft.
  4. Really soft. Once you add the sauce, they will not soften any more.
  5. Do NOT drain the beans unless you are going to bake them and eat them immediately. In order to can the beans, they need a lot of liquid.
  6. Add molasses, ketchup, mustard powder, sugar, onion and garlic, and stir it all in.
  7. IF you are baking them for immediate use, pour enough of the cooking water to just cover the beans, cover with a lid and bake at 325F for at least 3 hours. Check occasionally and add water if it is drying out.
  8. An important note: most directions will tell you to have jars, food and canning pot of water all piping hot. I don’t do that because I find it difficult to keep everything at the same temperature (and I expect most people do), and differences in temperature cause thermal shock. Therefore I usually add room temperature food to room temperature jars and place them in room temperature water. No thermal shock and no jars broken.
  9. To can your beans, fill 18 clean pint jars with the beans.
  10. Carefully clean the edges and add lids and rings. Process these in a PRESSURE CANNER for 65 minutes.
  11. It is also possible to can plain beans. Just do everything except adding the sauce! It’s fun to take them out of the pressure canner and watch the liquid still bubbling in the jars. Listen for the ping as the lids seal!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 18

Just Plain Living

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