Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Home Canned Chili Beans - at last!!


For quite some time I've been trying to come up with a recipe for my own "chili beans."  We like them best when I make chili, but until now, I've always had to purchase the beans in cans.  Because of the dangers of BPA that is in the metal can linings, and the fact that I can use organic beans and soak them properly, I am very happy to report that no longer will I need to buy my chili beans at the supermarket!  I had looked, many times, in cook books and on the internet trying to find a recipe, to no avail.  Here is how I do it now.  They are really delicious!

First, make up a batch of the seasoning mix.

SEASONING MIX FOR CHILI BEANS  ~ makes about 1/2 cup of mix (enough for 8 pints of beans)

2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 Tablespoon unrefined sea salt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
4 more teaspoons of the unrefined sea salt to add to the jars.

Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Store in an airtight glass jar.

How to prepare the beans

For 8 pints of home-canned chili beans, you will need 2 pounds of dry kidney beans.

Sort and wash them well.  Drain.  Place in a large glass or stainless container and cover with water, at least half again as deep as the level of the beans.  Add 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

Allow to soak for 24 hours.  Drain.  Rinse.  Cover again, as before.  Allow to soak for another 24 hours.

Drain and rinse.  Cover well with clean water and bring to a boil.  Boil gently for 30 minutes, skimming off the foam that rises to the surface.

When you fill your pint jars for canning, fill them only about 3/4 full of beans and top off with the cooking liquid or boiling water. Leave 1 inch head space at the top.

Add 3 teaspoons of the seasoning mix to each jar and 1/2  teaspoon salt.

Process in a pressure canner for 75 minutes at 11 pounds pressure.

If you are not familiar with canning, please don't be afraid, but do consult an authoritative source on canning.  I recommend this book:  Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

If you are a fan of chili beans, you are going to love these!

34 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this! Have you done it with pintos? If so, do you reduce the soaking and cooking time?

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    1. I have not done it with pinto beans, however, I have canned plain pinto beans and use the same method. I like to soak my beans for 48 hours, but you should so a minimum of 8 hours, and then proceed the same way. Here is a previous post about canning pinto beans:

      http://simplyhomemaking60.blogspot.com/2010/11/saving-beans.html

      You're so welcome!

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  2. I did a bit of pressure canning last year with great results, so this recipe looks very do-able to me! Actually, the only few jars I had that did not seal properly were the pinto beans. Not sure why, but I had several that did not seal...

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  3. I will have to try this sometime. I hate buying them from the store too. I didn't know that soaking them for 48 hours was a good idea. I will have to remember that. I have only done the over night soak.

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  4. I finally found spices that I like for my chili beans too. Its the fiesta brand pinto bean spice. I canned navy, kidney, black and pinto beans the dry bean method. It worked fine but I think I will soak them like you did for a better for you product next time.
    Debbieo

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  5. How did you come up with the spice mix? That's awesome!

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    1. I found it online, not as a chili bean spice, but it sounded about right, so I tried it and love the taste. I tweaked it a little, of course. :)

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  6. Your chili seasoning mix is almost identical to mine!

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  7. Excellent recipe. Canned these this morning and had the leftovers for lunch over rice. 3/4 full after soaking 24 hours, then cooking 1/2 hour removing foam was just right. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. I'm so glad you like it and grateful for the feedback!

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  8. Could the beans and seasoning mix be cooked together and then frozen instead of canned? We're also trying to get away from the nasty things in cans.

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    1. I'm sure it could, and that is a great idea!

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  9. Hi! I am excited to find this recipe. I have been wanting to can my own chili beans. I have the beans but no recipe for seasoning. I do have a question. What does all of the soaking do? Other recipes for dried beans say to put in the jar and fill with water and let soak overnight and then put them in the canner in the morning, in that same water. It sure would be quicker, but Im assuming there's a benefit to doing it your way. Thanks so much!

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    1. Properly soaking beans (or grains, for that matter,) deactivates the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients that interfere with mineral absorption. I highly recommen the e-book,"Everything Beans", by Katie Kimball at www.kitchenstewardship.com

      You see, seeds are protected from sprouting until the conditions are right. Those same properties interfere with digestion as well. You can carefully soak, or even sprout your beans before cooking and they will be much better for you!

      You're welcome. I hope you will enjoy this recipe!

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  10. I am fairly knew to canning. With that said i really want to try your recipe but dont gave a pressure canner. I have only done the hot water baths with great results. Do you think the bath would work for the beans?

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    1. NO. NO. Beans MUST be processed in a pressure canner. However, you could prepare these beans and freeze them to use later!

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  11. Ok. Thats good to know. Thank you for the input. Have a great day.

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  12. Love this thanks! I do pinto beans this way for refried and would love to have some spicy chili beans ready to go.

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  13. So happy to find this! With cooler weather coming quickly, I want to can some of my own chili beans, and I am not one to develop my own recipes. Putting some of these in the canner this morning, along with my Navy Bean and Ham Soup recipe I found the other day. I am dry canning them, though. My beans turn to mush in the canner otherwise.

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  14. Trying your recipe and method this weekend. Question: what is the purpose/benefits of the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar during the pre-soak phase of prep? I have never read this technique before...curious!! Thank you and many blessings.

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    1. Using an acid ingredient, such as lemon juice, vinegar or live whey helps to break down the phytic acid that is in the covering of beans, seeds and grains. Phytic acid interferes with the absorption in your body of minerals, such as calcium and others. Soaking deactivates the phytic acid. Soaking with the addition of the lemon juice helps it to happen more quickly.

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    2. Hi. I was wanting to know instead of using pint size jars if I could use this recipe with quart size jars and would I process for 90 mins instead of the 75?

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  15. Just found your post! I am excited to try these - we are working on our years worth of food storage and were trying to decide if we should just break down and buy the cans from the store. Thank you so much for this awesomely helpful post!

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    1. I hope it works out really well for you! Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  16. I put the spices and dried pinto beans in a crockpot and cooked them for about 8 hours - excellent. I cook all my beans in a crockpot which is really easy. Therefore, no need for me to can beans.

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    1. Since most of the time, it's only me and my husband here, and I buy my beans in bulk, they get too dried out before I can use them sometimes, so doing this is not only convenient, but frugal. I also have to soak my beans really well, or they don't agree with us. By the way, if you cook dried kidney beans in the crockpot, be sure to boil them for a few minutes first. Otherwise, they can be toxic.

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  17. how long can these be stored? Self life? Thanks in advance.

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    1. As long as the seal is intact, they will keep indefinitely, but of course, like anything else they will lose quality over time. I would try to use them within 2 years.

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