How to Can Chili Beans

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  • 2 lbs dry pinto or red beans
  • 2 onions (optional)
  • 1T olive oil
  • 2 28oz cans petite diced tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 15oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth (I like to use Better Than Bouillon’s Roasted Beef Base)
  • 1/3 cup chili seasoning or 3 Tablespoons chili powder, 2 Tablespoons cumin, and 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Soak beans overnight (or longer)
  2. Drain and rinse well. Get your hands in there and “massage” beans to get any residue off them
  3. Boil or pressure cook beans with 3-4 bay leaves, a Tablespoons of salt, and water
  4. While beans are cooking, chip and sauté onion in olive oil
  5. Drain cooked beans and pour back into the pot, then and add sautéd onions, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, chili seasoning, and at least 1 tablespoon of salt
  6. Stir mixture together and heat through
  7. Add pepper and more salt to taste if needed.

To Can:

  1. Pour 2 quarts of water in the bottom of clean pressure canner
  2. Add rack. This is important! You want some water between the bottom of the canner and the jars.
  3. Place canner over medium heat
  4. While canner is heating, sterilize your jars by putting them through a dishwasher cycle, bringing them to a boil in a water bath, or heating them in a 250º oven
  5. Also sterilize your rings and lids in hot water
  6. When canner, chili, and jars are all hot, you may proceed to the next step
  7. Pack chili into jars leaving about 1/2 inch head space, and using a canning funnel to keep rims of jars clean
  8. Fit jars with lids and rings, making sure jar rims are clean (wipe with a clean cloth if any chili spills on them)
  9. Place in prepared pressure canner, and fit with lid
  10. Make sure the jiggler is not on your canner or that the steam valve is open
  11. Heat canner over medium-high heat until steam begins to escape
  12. Once steam is coming out vigorously, set timer for ten minutes
  13. After the ten minutes, fit canner lid with jiggler set at 10lbs of pressure
  14. Bring to pressure and start timer for 90 minutes
  15. Monitor heat and jiggling to make sure the pressure gets neither too high or too low
  16. Once the 90 minutes is over, remove canner from heat and let naturally cool ideally until jars are completely cool, but if you need to get a second batch going (if you’re doubling the batch or canning something else),
  17. Set a towel on a cupboard near the canner
  18. Remove jars from canner onto the towel after it has depressurized using a bath towel to protect the jar from drafts as you move it from canner. (you will also want to make sure the towel is situated in such a way that it protects you from an exploding jar – it’s very rare, but it can happen!)
  19. Move hot jars the shortest distance possible to minimize their exposure to cold drafts and potential breakage
  20. Cover jars with a third towel to protect against drafts as they continue to cool

Your canned chili beans are now ready to store and be put to work!