Rinse beans, cover with water, and soak for 12 hours.
Rinse well under running water, cover with water again and cook until tender. (I like to soak the beans all day, and then cook them overnight in the slow cooker so they’re ready to can in the morning.)
Drain the cooked beans, reserving the broth.
Fry bacon, and crumble on top of the beans.
Sautée onion in bacon grease.
While onion is sautéeing, pile barbecue sauce, sorghum, ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar into the bean pot until it tastes right. Of course, it won’t taste completely right until you get the onion in there, but you can get close.
Once the onion is translucent, dump the skillet into the beans, grease and all.
Once you’ve got the beans tasting right, start adding some of the bean broth back in until it’s nice and soupy. Don’t worry about goign over board on this, moisture seeps out during the canning process, so you’ll want a lot of it to start with.
Mine look something like this when I’m done with them:
I hope you can kind of tell the soupiness from the picture.
Directions for Canning Baked Beans
Line up clean jars, lids, and rings on your work area.
Place a canning funnel into the first jar.
Fill the jar with beans to about 3/4 of an inch from the top.
Move the funnel to the next jar.
Wipe rim of the first jar with a clean, damp cloth to make sure it’s clean of debri. Place lid and ring ontop, screwing the ring down firmly.
Continue this process until all the beans are in jars.
Next, it’s time to get your canner ready. For me, this entials inspecting the seal, setting the pressure weights in a safe place (i.e. where the kids can’t reach them), inserting the rack, and filling it with two quarts of water. Follow this link for more on how to use a pressure canner.
Place your filled and capped jars in the canner, doing your best to make sure they’re not touching (but not stressing if they do), and heat over medium-high heat.
Once a steady stream of steam begins to escape the pressure valve (which doesn’t yet have the pressure weights covering it), set the timer for ten minutes.
After the ten minutes are up, put the weights on, and heat it up until it reaches ten pounds of pressure, or the weight starts jiggling depending on your canner.
Set the timer for 45-60 minutes (I do 45), and continue monitoring the canner as it jiggles to make sure it doesn’t overheat or lose pressure.
Turn off heat, and let the canner cool.
Let the jars settle for at least 24 hours.
Afte this time, you may test the seal by pressing to see if the “button” is sucked down flat, rinse any stickiness off the jars, and remove the rings for storage.
Voila! you’re done! Now you’re probably thinking “what a long process”, and you’re right, it is! but it seems to me that after you’ve done some canning, it kind of becomes second nature, like washing dishes. I mean, seriously, to stand there and hand wash 45 dishes!? You’ve got to be kidding me, right? But if you’re like me, you do that twice or three times a day and think nothing of it.
In my opinion, it’s well worth the extra time it takes, to have a ready-to-serve meal at my finger tips.