How to Can Pinto Beans and Ham – A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Canning pinto beans and ham is a great way to preserve this protein-packed combo for enjoyment all year long. With a few simple steps and ingredients, even beginner home canners can safely jar up this versatile staple.

In this complete guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to can perfect pinto beans and ham every time.

Why Can Pinto Beans and Ham?

Canned pinto beans and ham make a quick nutritious addition to soups, stews salads, rice bowls and more. Preparing them yourself allows you to control the ingredients and quality. Other benefits include

  • Cost savings – Home canning is much cheaper than buying canned goods at the grocery store. Canning your own pint jars of pinto beans and ham can save you up to 75% off store prices.

  • No preservatives – Store-bought canned goods often contain preservatives, salt and other additives. Canning your own allows you to avoid unwanted ingredients.

  • Long shelf life – Properly canned pinto beans and ham keep for up to a year, letting you build a stockpile in your pantry.

  • Custom flavors – Tailor the seasonings to suit your taste by adding spices, herbs, onion, garlic and more.

  • Control over texture – Make the beans as soft or firm as you prefer by adjusting cook times.

Ingredients Needed

Canning pinto beans and ham requires just a few simple ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock or ham bone
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Canning jars, lids and bands (pint or quart size)

Seasonings (pick 1-2):

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano

Acids for canning safety:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice OR
  • 4 tablespoons vinegar (5% acidity)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps for safely canned pinto beans and ham every time.

1. Soak the beans

Rinse the dried beans and pick out any debris. Place them in a large bowl and cover with several inches of cool water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight. This rehydrates the beans for even cooking.

Drain and rinse the soaked beans.

2. Prepare the jars and lids

Wash pint or quart sized canning jars in hot, soapy water. Rinse well and sanitize by boiling for 10 minutes or baking at 225°F for 15 minutes. Keep jars hot until ready to fill.

Place jar lids in a small saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes to soften the sealing compound. Leave in hot water until ready to use.

3. Cook the beans

Add the drained beans, ham hock, water and any seasonings to a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1-2 hours. Stir occasionally, adding more water if needed to keep beans submerged.

When done, the beans should be very soft, mellow and creamy inside.

4. Prep the ham

Once the beans are tender, transfer the ham hock to a cutting board. Remove any skin, fat or cartilage. Chop, shred or dice the meat into bite-sized pieces.

5. Fill the jars

Using a slotted spoon, evenly divide the cooked beans among the sterilized jars. Top each with 1-2 tablespoons of the diced ham.

Ladle the hot cooking liquid over the beans and ham, leaving 1-inch of headspace at the top. Release any air bubbles by sliding a chopstick around the insides.

6. Add the acid

To each jar, add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1 tablespoon vinegar. The acid helps ensure safe acidity for canning.

Wipe the jar rims clean using a damp cloth. Attach the lids and bands and tighten to “finger-tip tight.”

7. Process the jars

Carefully place the filled jars on the rack in a canning pot or water bath canner. Make sure jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water.

Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling rapidly, start timing. Process pint jars for 75 minutes or quart jars for 90 minutes.

8. Cool and store

Turn off heat and use jar lifters to carefully transfer jars to a towel-lined countertop. Leave undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

Check seals by pressing on the center of each lid. It should not flex up and down. Wipe off any sticky residue and label jars with contents and date.

Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Refrigerate after opening.

Tips for Delicious Beans

Follow these tips for flavorful, tender canned pinto beans every time:

  • Sort through dried beans to remove any debris before soaking.

  • Change the soaking water once or twice to maximize rehydration.

  • Add salt towards the end to prevent tough bean skins. 1 tsp per pound of dried beans is a good rule of thumb.

  • Stir beans occasionally while cooking to prevent scorching on the bottom.

  • Simmer beans gently once tender to develop creaminess.

  • Swap different smoked meats like turkey wings or sausage for the ham.

  • Play with different seasonings like cumin, chili powder, cayenne, thyme and peppercorn.

  • For creamier beans, mash some against the side of the pot midway through cooking.

  • Add fresh herbs right before serving for brightness. Cilantro, parsley or green onion work well.

Storing and Reheating

Follow proper canning methods carefully to prevent spoilage. If any jars fail to seal or leak, refrigerate and use within 3-5 days.

To enjoy your homemade canned pinto beans and ham:

  • Check that the seal is still intact before opening.

  • Store jars in a cool, dark place like a pantry or cupboard.

  • Use within 1 year for best quality. Always boil for 10-15 minutes before eating if storing longer than that.

  • Refrigerate after opening and use within 3-5 days.

  • Reheat gently in a saucepan, slow cooker or microwave. Add extra seasonings if desired.

Canning your own pinto beans and ham is simple, budget-friendly and rewarding. Just follow the steps for safely processed jars you’ll enjoy for months to come. Adjust cook times, seasonings and ingredients to suit your taste. Soon you’ll have a homemade pantry staple ready for tacos, soups, dips and more!

Cooking & Canning Pinto Beans & Ham! ⁂ Great for Pantry and SO Delicious!!


Can cooked pinto beans be canned?

Cover beans soaked by either method with fresh water and boil 30 minutes. Add my spice mix above to each cleaned pint jar. Fill jars 3/4 full with beans and add cooking water to 1-inch headspace. Pressure Can Pints 75 Minutes / Quarts 90 Minutes.

How to can pinto beans without a pressure canner?

It’s possible to safely home can beans, without a pressure canner. The beans are packed in a jar, a solution of boiling water, salt, and vinegar is added to each jar and rings and lids are placed. The jars, then, go into a water bath and must be held at a rolling boil for a specific amount of time.

Do you have to boil beans before canning?

The Ball Blue Book recommends boiling the beans for 30 minutes before placing into jars. However, this makes the beans a little on the mushy side. Many folks (including myself) have had good luck with simply soaking the beans overnight, rinsing, and then placing them straight into the jars.

How to pressure can beans with meat?

I put 3 inches of water in my Mirro 22 quart Pressure Canner and start getting it hot while I prepare the beans in the jars. In each quart jar you’ll put 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 cups of soaked beans and a chunk of cured meat if using. This much salt seasons the beans well.

How do you make pinto beans & ham?

Pinto Beans and Ham is an easy, economical way to make a big pot full of tasty, filling, pinto beans and shredded leftover ham, flavored with onion and garlic! Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks! Rinse the pinto beans in a strainer. Place beans into a large stockpot. Cover completely with water. Add ham bone (or chopped ham).

Are pinto beans healthy?

Pinto beans are extremely nutritious. They are primarily composed of carbohydrates, protein and fiber. In particular, they boast plenty of thiamine, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Antioxidants such as polyphenols and flavonoids are present in pinto beans which protect the cells against damage free radicles. Kaempferol present in pinto beans may provide anticancer benefits.

What is pinto beans & ham?

Pinto Beans and Ham (cheap and filling) / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Pinto Beans and Ham is an easy, economical way to make a big pot full of tasty, filling, pinto beans and leftover ham, flavored with onion and garlic! Well, here’s my first post in 2015. Nothing fancy or glamorous, but this meal is sure inexpensive, FILLING, and delicious!

Can you make pinto beans from a jar?

Home-canned pinto beans are delicious and wonderful to have on hand. When you can them yourself at home, you can make them without all the added salt that commercially-canned pinto beans have. It’s nice to have jars of different sizes available so you can open just the size you need.

Leave a Comment