How to Can Pinto Beans Without a Pressure Canner? 15 Steps


How to Can Pinto Beans Without a Pressure Canner

There are several types of food preservation methods but canning is said to be the most effective and safest. It is possible to can all kinds of food as long as you know the methods. Pinto beans is one of the most popular foods and people love to eat it. That’s why this article explains how to can pinto beans.

A lot of people believe that it is not possible to can pinto beans without a pressure canner. This is not correct. You can can your pinto beans even if you don’t have a pressure canner. This article explains how to achieve that. But before we explain the canning steps, we’ll tell you a few benefits of canning pinto beans and all other kinds of beans.

After explaining the steps, we’ll also give a few precautionary tips before the conclusion. So, let’s get down to business right away.

Why You Need to Can Pinto Beans?

This first reason why we encourage people to can pinto beans is that it saves cost. Canned beans cost about 1 dollar a pound. When you buy dry beans and can it yourself, it will cost you a lot less. In fact, canning your beans should cost a few pennies for a pint or less.

Canning beans also saves space. When I partially cook my pinto beans, it usually takes almost half of the space in the refrigerator. Canning the beans will free the refrigerator space. After canning your pinto beans, it will only take some space on the shelf in your pantry.

Also, it is believed that home-canned pinto beans tastes a lot better than the one sold in stores. That’s another reason to consider canning your pinto beans at home. In addition, canning extends the shelf life of your beans. When you can the beans properly, it will last for about 1 – 2 years in your pantry.

Finally, canned beans is already partially cooked, so it is easier and faster to cook your canned pinto beans. In other words, canning your pinto beans saves a lot of cooking time.

Having discussed the benefits of canning beans, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of the issue at hand now. Don’t worry, not having a pressure canner does not prevent you from enjoying some canned pinto beans. Let’s walk you through the process now.

How to Can Pinto Beans Without a Pressure Canner?

Step 1 – Soak your pinto beans in water for at least 12 hours. Pour three cups of water for every cup of beans. Ensure that the water covers the beans completely.

Step 2 – After at least 12 hours, remove the beans and drain off the water.

Step 3 – Pour the beans into another fresh water and boil it for about 30 minutes. After that, turn off the stove and leave it for another 15 minutes. This will allow the beans to rise to its maximum size.

Step 4 – Quickly sterilize your jars and their lids.

Step 5 – Fill the jars with the beans. Remember, you’ll still pour water into the jars. So, the jars should be half-filled with the dry beans.

Step 6 – Pour some boiling water into the jars of beans. Don’t forget to leave a space of 1 inch at the top of the jars.

Step 7 – Stir each of the jars of beans after pouring boiling water. This will help to remove the bubbles.

Step 8 – Add half a teaspoon of salt into the jars. This will help to preserve the flavor of the beans. However, adding salt is optional. Some people have claimed that adding salt does not make any difference.

You can try both methods and see which of them tastes better. Stick with the one that tastes better to you. As for us, salted pinto beans gives better taste and flavor.

Step 9 – Seal the jars.

Step 10 – Pour some water into the water bath. Place the sealed jars in it one after the other.

Step 11 – Cover the water bath and turn on the heat.

Step 12 – Boil it for about 75 minutes before you turn off the stove.

Step 13 – Allow the water bath to cool on its own.

Step 14 – You can now remove the jars.

Step 15 – Label and store the jars.

That’s it. You don’t need a pressure canner to can your pinto beans.


We understand that canned pinto beans can last for up to 2 years, but we’ll advise you to can the quantity that you can finish up within a year. That way, you’ll never experience spoiling. Also, make sure you check your jars for cracks and nicks.

Don’t use any cracked jar. After pouring the beans and water into them, it might be a good idea to wipe the brim of your jars before sealing them.

Don’t leave water in your water bath. Drain it immediately after your canning session. You don’t want it to absorb the odor of the water. Even though it is possible to can pinto beans without a pressure canner, we’ll still suggest that you should buy one if you can afford it.

Canning beans with a pressure canner offers better results because it is faster, it builds more pressure, and it retains heat more. Even after canning your beans, you must cook it for at least 30 minutes before eating it.

This is very important. If after canning the beans, you notice a jar with leaks, it is better to consume the beans in that jar as soon as possible. Since it has leaks, it can’t last long like other the beans in the other jars.

Can you can beans without a pressure cooker?

Yea, you can! A water bath canner could help you preserve your beans as well. However, your ultimate desire is what would determine your preference between the two at a point in time.

Pressure canning does a great job of preserving the freshness alongside the beans. In contrast, water bath canning only increases the beans’ acidity to prevent bacterial buildups in the canned food.

Also, if you’ve not gotten the pressure cauldron, the best alternative to keeping the beans’ fresh is by saving them in a pickled container containing vinegar and sealing up the top. Nevertheless, you’re impugned still to use a pressure cooker to do the proper needful.

Can you water bath can pinto beans?

Although some people do it, but it’s not advisable. Why? That’s because it falls among dry beans. Just like other beans, they have low-acidity contents.

Therefore, preserving them with a water bath is not ideal at all, and it will increase the acidity more. Instead of water bathing your pinto beans, you can pickle them by preserving them with vinegar.

If you’ll go by the latter format, then ensure that the pinto beans are dried/drained after cooking them before you store them in your mason jars so that they can be great for another cooking time.

Pinto beans take a long time to become well cooked, and adding salt won’t do much. We advise you to add seasonings, such as Kombu/kelp, to soften the beans and reduce the cooking time.

Adding it during the preparation of the pinto beans won’t affect the saving of the beans in your pantry when done.

What Can I use if I don’t have a pressure canner?

People preferably choose a pressure cooker for cooking pinto beans because instead of the conventional 100 degrees Celsius that your cauldron gives, pressure canner gives 121 degrees Celsius, which makes cooking time faster.

Now, alternative equipment that can stand in place of a pressure cooker is a microwave, crock-pot, and steamer. The heat that these pieces of electronic kitchen equipment generate can prepare the beans for savings in the pantry.

How do you preserve dried pinto beans?

There are several methods of preparing pinto beans. However, let’s provide you with the basic information needed to save pinto beans. Firstly, dried pinto beans want an area that’s air-free, and you’d need a saver that has seals to prevent penetration in any form. Also, prepare the dried pinto beans before storing them in their pounds. You can check the appropriate steps of preserving dried beans below:

  • Check the beans and remove those that have been cut. There is a tendency that those with dented holes have weevils in them.
  • Find a container that has an excellent sealing lid. Clean the inside of the container so that you can put in the dry pinto beans.
  • Seal it up once you’re done and save it in your pantry thereafter, where it is far from sunlight.

Preserving Dried Pinto Beans by Canning with a Pressure Canner:

  • Remove the odd pieces that you can find among the pinto beans.
  • Soak the beans inside a bowl of water that you’ve already added vinegar or lemon juice into. Leave the beans overnight.
  • Drain them after that. You can choose to dry them if you can.
  • Get the jars readily sanitized and haul them all inside the jars, and seal the jar lids up. You can use either pint or quarts jars to do that awesomely.
  • Put them inside the pressure canner that is halfway filled with water. Heat the jars for 15 minutes or so.
  • Lift the ring that’s attached to the respective jars with the lid lifter. Use a towel to receive them and acclimate them.
  • Leave them on the slab for 13hrs or more before checking out their seals. Make sure that the seal is airtight, then save them in your pantries.

Final Word

If you have been following from the beginning, you should understand the reasons why it is necessary to can your pinto beans. Also, you should be able to can your beans without a pressure canner. Most importantly, you should have learned a few precautionary tips. So, what are you waiting for? Try the process today.

June Brandt
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