Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Canned Great Northern Beans

For my first time canning Great Northern beans, I used the National Center for Home Food Preservation Website recipe again, with the following tweaks:
1) To make 7 quarts, I used 3.25 pounds of dried beans.  This was the perfect amount.
2) I soaked for 20 hours - this was oversoaked for these smaller beans.
3) The jars were 2/3 full of beans.
4) Mostly I didn't use much of the cooking liquid, but just poured in fresh boiled water to top off the jars.
5) 1/2 tsp sea salt in each jar.
6) I was quite conscientious about wiping the rims of the jars
7) I tightened rings pretty tight before processing and retightened them as soon as I took them out of the canner, which I removed from the heat as soon as the processing time was done.  This resulted in no seal failures.

While cooking there seemed to be more frothing.  I think I prefer the quick soak method for helping to get some of this frothing over with before the water gets changed.  The only problems with this batch was that there was some bean sludge in the liquid once done and the beans seemed a bit overdone, but the family didn't mind.  Overall it was very successful.

So next time, I think I'd do a quick soak (boil, then let rest for 1 hr) method and then go right into the 30 minutes boiling, then canning.  This result in less total soak/cooking which might give firmer beans.

Good grief - I still have 65.75 pounds of beans to can or use.  I might try grinding some into flour as well.

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