Pinto Beans - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at - 324636

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Pinto Beans 
Mar. 30, 2014 5:39 pm 
Updated: Apr. 9, 2014 9:56 pm
I began canning  my own "baked beans" some time ago, and got to wondering one afternoon if I could can my own refrieds...  I spent some time researching this thought, and ran into many warnings, that "most often" jars of refrieds explode in the pressure canner.  After some diligent searching, I came up with the idea to cook the beans, leaving them intact, and canning them in the cooking liquid.  This way, the liquid can flow/bubble within the jars, and maintain a more even temperature (reducing the risk of 'sploding jars which I'm sure would scare me to death!)

As I'm preparing to do some more canning of beans before the temp soars into triple digits, I thought (well, Lela suggested in a round about sort of way,) that I share my method... so here goes!

Prep the beans per instructions on the bag.  Add plenty of water to cover the beans, and soak 12-18 hours.  Drain the beans, and toss into a cooking pot, cover with water, boil for at least 30 minutes.  Drain again, reserving the cooking liquid.
Fill your sterilized jars (I use pint jars for this,) with the cooked (but unmashed) beans, leaving 1" headspace.  Add cooking liquid, to 1" from the lip of the jar.  Using a knife, or small spatula, give a stir to dislodge any air bubbles, and adjust the level of the liquid, if needed.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth or papertowel, put on the lids, and screw bands until finger tight (jars may be REALLY hot, so I keep a hot pad handy. 
Place the jars into the pressure canner (water baths don't work for this food) and add water as directed by the pressure canner instructions.

The pressure canner usually needs to vent before you place the pressure regulator over the vent pipe, my recipe calls for 10 mins of constant steam venting, then place the regulator on and wait for the pressure to rise to 11 lbs.  Once you're there, begin timing, and process the jars for 65 mins. at 11 lbs.

All recipes I've read then tell you to remove the canner from heat, and allow the pressure to drop completely before you attempt to open the lid (or it will go KABOOM, I guess...)   Remove the jars with tongs or jar lifter, place on a heat resistant surface (I use a bath sheet folded many times to protect the counter top) and allow to cool completely.

Now, I've made two batches of these over time, and, "knock on wood" haven't had any issues with the product spoiling in the cupboard and making me or anyone else sick.

From here, when I open a jar, melt some lard (yes, I said LARD!) in a skillet, dump in the beans, cooking and mashing them as I go.  This is also when I season the beans with whatever I feel like adding to them such as salt, cumin....  Anyway, Voila ~ home canned refried beans! 

So, there you have it friends, Crazycook's at it again!  Oh, and that reminds me, I saw on tv at doc's office an interview with some dr guy about eating healthy, and he made a comment that has stuck with me.  He simply said, "Eat real food."  These refried beans don't have any of the stuff the canned ones do, you know what I mean... those words you need a degree in chemistry just to pronounce!  I also recently learned that dry pink beans are most commonly used to make chili... guess the kidney beans I've added my entire cooking life has been a bit off...  I must be just a bit crazy, after all!

Be well!
Mar. 31, 2014 9:52 am
I am with you on using lard when making refried beans. If you don't use lard, it is actually stewed and mashed beans, which can also be quite good, but different. Thanks for sharing your method!
Apr. 1, 2014 5:40 am
I freeze most everything these days but this does look like a good method.
Apr. 2, 2014 5:19 am
Hi Stevie, I am amazed you put up refried beans. Outstanding. I haven't canned anything by myself. I used to help my Mother-in-Law can pickles. I was the sous-chef. I helped with the cleaning of the cucumbers and packing the jars. I would like to take a class this summer. Living at high altitude there are some alterations to canning.
Apr. 4, 2014 6:11 am
I never thought to can my own beans but I so agree the fewer preservatives you have in your food the better. I need to write this down and try this later. Like several months from now. It's starting to get nice here so time to get outside for me!
Apr. 6, 2014 7:44 pm
My Aunt taught me to can my own pinto beans from dried ones bssically this way 40 years ago. Except we just soak the beans, then drain them, fill jars and cover with boiling water. Then csn them. They turn out great! I feel better not eating out of cans since there is evidence the lining is not healthy in cans. Since I read the Michael Pollen books I try to eat real food too. He also says not to eat it if yiur great grandmother woukd not know the ingredients and to eat mostly plants. All great advice!
Apr. 9, 2014 9:31 pm
Doc, there are times when canola oil works best, or corn oil (wasn't there a big "todoo" recently about corn oil?) There are also times that lard is the only way to go, to get the flavor you're looking for!
Apr. 9, 2014 9:35 pm
mauigirl, I used to have a chest freezer, but as we were entertaining often, and I bought a "new" frige, I let the freezer go and kept the two refrigerators. Freezer space can become "dear" at times, so I can when I'm able.
Apr. 9, 2014 9:42 pm
Lela, seems to me that altitude can change the results of many cooking methods... When I decided to delve into home canning, I bought a canner with implements, a canning cookbook, and searched the net for advice. It's been 4 yrs now, and I've yet to give anyone food poisening! I don't remember mom ever canning, but my aunt did every year, and placed all of the jars in a utility room off her kithen - many jars containing all sorts of home grown veg's etc proudly displayed for anyone who gave a hoot. A word of advice from a novice... before you buy a water bath, check pros/cons and think about a pressure canner.
Apr. 9, 2014 9:48 pm
Cat, I'm SURE that you're out there digging the dirt and planting seeds, or seedling plants! Alas, my petunias are almost all dead as it's been hot enough here that I can't keep enough water on them to sustain them! If you'd like a bit more info (as in quantities etc) let me know, I'll email you the directions that I modified. My email is (Put Cat Hill in the subject line please, or I'll not open the email.)
Apr. 9, 2014 9:56 pm
jjLoves, I'm not a health nut, but I do think (using common sense) that the fewer chemicals we eat the better. Sounds like your aunt's recipe is very similar to mine, but I never thougt to simply soak the beans and then can them, but I'm not a "pro" canner either! I rely on my two canning cookbooks for advice...
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Stevie crazycook

Home Town
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

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Quilting, Gardening, Music

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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