Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Today We Are Canning Baked Beans

Many of you know that because of physical limitations, I use a grocery delivery service for my grocery shopping.  The service is geared toward Senior clients and I am very satisfied with it.  The service puts out a yearly catalog of grocery items that I use to put together my twice monthly orders and the catalog is extensive.  The only down side is that prices are not listed, which is understandable since the catalog is published yearly and prices change.  So when I looked over my receipt a few weeks ago and discovered that I had paid $1.38 for an 8 ounce can of baked beans, I decided it was time to can my own.

I have canned pork and beans before, using a method where you measure the dry beans into jars, add the sauce and pressure can.  That method worked, but the beans didn't turn out quite as tender as I would have liked.  So this time I am using Jackie Clay's (Backwoods Home Magazine) recipe.  There is more work involved than the first method, but I think the results will be more to my liking.

Here is the recipe I am using:

2 quarts. dried navy or other smaller beans
1 lb. thickly sliced bacon or salt pork (or ham)
6 large onions, diced
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. dry mustard
1 1/3 cups molasses

Sort beans, rinse, then cover with 6 quarts fresh water; let stand overnight in a cool place. Drain. Cover beans with 6 quarts water in large stockpot. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until skins begin to crack. Drain, reserving liquid. Pour beans into turkey roaster or other very large baking dish. Add bacon, ham, and remaining ingredients and 8 cups reserved liquid. Ladle sauce over beans and bake, covered, at 350 degrees for about 3 hours. Add water or cooking liquid to keep wet enough; you don’t want them dry but watery. Pack hot beans and sauce into hot jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Process pints for 80 minutes and quarts for 95 minutes at 10 pounds pressure.

I don't have any bacon or ham on hand so I will not be adding meat and I am adding fewer onions.   My roaster pan is too small (I am making 1 1/2 times the recipe) so I am using my electric roaster instead of the oven.

I am using some pint jars and some half pint jars.  The half pints are just right for a single serving.  I am using 4 - 16 oz. bags of dry beans.  I haven't done the math on all of the ingredients, but one bag of beans cost less than one 8 oz. can of prepared beans, so I don't think I can go wrong on the price.

The beans are now in the first stage of cooking.  I will do a follow up tomorrow to let you know how it all turns out.

There is nothing wrong with buying prepared pork and beans, but when living on a fixed income, it seems well worth the time and trouble to can my own.  That money will be better spent on items I can't preserve myself.

Keep on prepping.


  1. That is a lot of work. Good for you.

    1. Linda...I'll know for sure tomorrow if the work is worth it when I give the beans a taste test. They sure smell good, though. :)

  2. For me I should eat pork n beans vs baked. The sugar in the brown sugar is hell on my blood glucose. Maybe molasses too. What would a #10 can of pork n beans cost vs all ingredients you need. Can you repackage canned food??

    1. Rob...The only difference between pork and beans and baked beans is the pork. You might be able to find a diabetic friendly recipe for baked beans. I don't know for sure about cost, but considering that I made 1 1/2 times the recipe and I have 8 pints and 8 half pints in the canner right now, with more left to jar up, I don't see how a person could buy cans of beans any cheaper unless you found one of those super discount type of outlet stores.

      There are some canned foods that I have re-canned: ketchup, mustard, pickles, fruit juice, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, cheese sauce. I doubt beans would work well - might get mushy.

  3. Vicki, I hope all went well with your canning and tasting of the baked beans. It sounded like work but that's what it takes to get anything worthwhile accomplished. I was able to do a grocery "haul" and spend time in the garden this week. I can't believe the weekend is already here. I do find I can't take much in the way of fake or real news, so I have more time to work at preparing for whatever nastiness is ahead.
    You take care and continue to prepare, CWfromIA

    1. Hi, CW...The beans turned out well - 8 pints and 19 half pints. And they taste good, which is a plus. I meant to do a follow up post but just got busy with other things and haven't yet. That's the only excuse I've got, so I'll go with that. :)

      Good for you on the 'haul.' Mine will be delivered Thursday next week and it is a doozy. Think beef stew in a jar. And as long as I am at it, I have some chicken breast coming for chicken stew in a jar. I will do a post on that later. Hope I have enough quart jars left, but I guess I can manage with pints if I have to. I am seriously out of space to store it all, even sending a case of beans home with Duane today, but like you, I firmly believe we are going to need it all. I watched some videos about the Great Depression the other evening, and so many, particularly those in the Dust Bowl states, found food to be scarce. Not gonna happen here!

      I usually start my day with a couple cups of coffee and various news websites. I avoid the fake news as the constant Trump bashing is getting really old. I am absolutely astounded at the amount of crap going on around us. I may have to do a bit of a rant one of these days. But until then, checking items off my 'need to get' list gives me the satisfaction of knowing my family has a better chance of surviving than most. I know yours does, too!