Canning Shellout Beans


Home canned shell out beans (Horticultural variety)

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Canning shellout beans is easy. Shelling out the beans...not so much. It's not hard work, it just takes some time. In late summer, our shellout beans start coming on, and are usually finished within a couple of weeks.


I try to space the plantings out by a couple of weeks so they don't ALL have to be picked at one time, but for some reason they all seem to catch up with each other and still come on nearly all at once.


Frozen Horticultural Beans


The good thing about fresh shellout beans is that you don't have to can them right away. Pick them, shell them out, rinse them off, put them in big freezer bags, and freeze them until you're ready.

We don't usually can ours until late fall or early winter when all the other canning is done.

When canning time comes, just thaw and rinse your beans in warm water,and can them as if they were fresh from the garden



My favorite variety of shellout bean is called "Horticultural". This is an heirloom variety, so you can keep seeds from one year to the next. They look a lot like Pintos, except they are pink and white calico instead of brown and white. Of course they turn drab brown when you cook them...

My grandmother used to grow them every year in her garden. Their flavor was always soooo good! Seeds are getting harder and harder to find, but they're still out there.


Thawed beans ready to can


These procedures work for every type of fresh shellout bean I've tried - Lima or butter bean varieties, pintos, black turtle, as well as horticultural. I even let some green beans mature a few years back, shelled and canned them. You'd be surprised how good those were.


Supplies for Canning Shellout Beans

Old reliable - this canner is about 80 years old and still in service.

-Pressure Canner
-Canning Salt
-Large stock pot
-Small sauce pan
-Canning jars
-Canning lids and rings
-Jar Lifter
-Magnetic lid wand
-Canning funnel
-Measuring spoons
-A couple of old towels or rags


Preparation for Canning Shellout Beans

-Rinse the beans & remove any bad ones.

-Wash canning jars, lids, and rings, rinse and dry.

-Prepare a couple of extra jars, in case you need them.

-Prepare the small sauce pan with about 2" of water.

-Fill stock pot with water and bring it to a boil.

-Put about 3 inches of water in the pressure canner
(follow the instruction manual of your canner if instructions are different than mine)

-Place the canner on stove, and begin bringing the water to a boil.

-By the time the jars are filled, the canner should be boiling.


Filling and Closing the Jars


-Bring the small sauce pan to a boil and remove from the heat.

-Place the dome lids in the pan.

-Fill each jar with beans leaving about 1 inch of headspace.


Fill jars with beans leaving 1 inch headspace


-Add 1/2 teaspoon canning salt to each pint or 1 teaspoon per quart.


Add 1/2 tsp canning salt to each pint


-Add enough boiling water to cover the beans and leave 3/4 inch headspace.


Add boiling water to beans, leaving 3/4 inch headspace


-Wipe the rims of each jar with a wet dish cloth or paper towel.

-Assemble the lids and rings and apply to filled jars.

-Tighten the lids to hand tight.


Hand tightening ring to jar.


Canning Shellout Beans


Follow the specific instruction in the manual for your canner, but essentially you have to do the following:

-Place jars in the canner and lock down the lid.


Place filled jars in canner evenly spaced and not touching.


-Vent canner for 7 to 10 minutes

-Process at 10 PSI - pints for 40 minutes and quarts for 50 minutes.

-When done allow pressure to drop off naturally.

-Remove jars and place on old towel or scrap rags on your counter to cool.


Use canning tongs to remove hot jars from canner


Your jars should begin sealing within a few minutes, but wait until they have cooled to room temperature to be sure.

Any jars that do not seal will have to be either eaten right away (within 24 hours) or refrigerated and eaten with in a week or two. Jars that don't seal are fairly uncommon if you follow instructions, but it does happen occasionally.

When the odd one doesn't seal, just think of it as a quality check of your work!


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Related Links:

Growing Beans

Pressure Canning Basics

Canning Safety

Glass Canning Jars

Canning Green Beans

Canning Dried Beans