Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Cooking with Chef Jo: Baked Beans Two Ways to Can

I bought jars from Walmart early one winter. When I went to pick them up, the lady asked me what did I have to can in the winter? I told her about my method of water bath canning tomato sauce in winter and my yearly supply of dry beans. She replied, "I never thought of that. It makes sense."

I use my water bath canner on my wood stove (heater). When cooking things like soups, stews, beans, or sauces for canning why not use the wood stove and make it do double duty?  But, I find it too difficult (or lack the patience) one-handed to control the fire to pressure can on it. In a pinch, it can be done though.

Today, I'm canning baked beans two ways. I'm down to 6 jars. Eek! One is a raw packed, no soak, bean dish. This one is from an episode on our YouTube channel (this is the written recipe to go along with the video) and the other is a soaked bean and Mel's favorite recipe for molasses beans. I personally like both.

Jo's Baked Beans
10 1/2 pints
What you'll need
2 lbs navy beans
3 onions, chopped about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 cup carrots, grated
1 smoked turkey wing
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp black pepper
                             1 cup of molasses
                            2 cups brown sugar*
                            2 qts vegetable juice (V-8)
                            2 TBS oil

* Notes- We make our own brown sugar 3 cups white sugar to 2 TBS molasses

Putting it together
  • Wash and pick through beans.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil until hot.
  • Add turkey wing, onions, carrots, garlic, salt, cloves, dry mustard, and pepper.
  • Saute until the onions are partially cooked. They will be softened, but not translucent.
  • Add vegetable juice, brown sugar, and molasses. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Make sure your brown sugar is dissolved.
  • Pull out the turkey wing and chop the meat.
  • In your clean into hot jars scoop 1/2 cup of dry beans for pints (1/4 cup for half pints or 1 cup for qts). The jars do not have to be sterilized, but your do not want to add hot liquid into cold jars.
  • Add a few pieces of turkey to each jar.
  • Ladle the hot liquid over the beans and turkey.
  • 1" head space.
  • Put on the lid and ring.
  • Can 65 minutes for pints 75 minutes for quarts based on your altitude.
 These beans have very little liquid as true baked beans do not. The beans are firm but done.

Mel's Molasses Beans
Makes 10 1/2 pint jars

What you'll need
2 lbs small white beans
2 cups molasses
1 cup brown sugar
4 TBS dry mustard
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp allspice
3 tsp salt
                                                 1 qt water
                                                 1 qt Heinz ketchup*
                                                 5 slices of bacon, cut each slice in 1" pieces
                                                 1 cup onions, finely diced
                                                 1 TBS oil

* Notes- Do not substitute another brand. It will not taste the same.

Putting it together
  • Wash and pick through beans.
  • Soak beans overnight in water and baking soda
  • The next morning drain the beans
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil, and add bacon and onions.
  • Stirring cook for 2 minutes. Bacon and onions will not be fully cooked. Remove from pan.
  • Stir in water, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, allspice and salt. Bring to a boil while stirring, and remove from heat.
  • Ladle 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid into each jar.
  • Spoon 1 TBS of bacon and onion mix into each jar. 
  • Add 2/3 cup of beans into each jar.
  • Top off each jar with enough liquid to cover the beans and leave 1" head space.
  • Wipe rims, lid and ring each jar and place in a hot pressure canner.
  • Process 65 minutes for half pints and pints, and 75 minutes for quarts.
This recipe produces a runnier type beans similar to store bought canned beans.

There you have it baked beans two ways. Enjoy!

People often ask me why I can my own beans. I'll can black beans, kidney beans, black eyed peas etc. a year's worth during the winter months. Why do I do it? I mean I could get them for about $0.98 or cheaper at the store, right? First of all, I organically grow a lot of my dried beans and vegetables, and most from heirloom seeds. Second, I know where my food comes from and how it's grown. Third, I know there are no flavor, color, nor preservatives/chemicals additives in what I can at home.

Fourth, I know who touched and prepared my food. Whether or not they were sick, or washed their hands. As a previous food service worker, I can't even count the times when there has been cross contamination violations. Workers touch their face, rub their noses, touch their clothes, reach into this our that bins with the same gloves on. As a chef, I personally went through, at a minimum, 2 boxes of gloves (industrial sized boxes of 1K gloves) a week. I actually pulled myself off the serving/prep line because I developed a rash on my hands from washing them so many times, even though I was wearing gloves!

I just don't trust other people when they are out of my sight. They do enough within my line of sight to make me cringe. I'm the type of person restaurants and food production factories hate to see coming because I'll call them on it. Getting down off my soap box now. Thank you for reading and try the recipes. Your taste buds will thank you.

Y'all have a blessed day!
Chef Jo


  1. I started canning dry beans . . .last year(??) The year before(??) I can't recall, but I really enjoy the convenience. Still experimenting with recipes, so I'll be sure to try these.

    1. Leigh, Only last year?! Oh you poor dear. Yes, definitely give them a try.

  2. I think your reasons for canning your own beans are very sound. I feel the same way, you just never know what or who has touched your food when you buy it from the store, eek. That's one of the reasons Alex and I stopped going to restaurants too, we got sick a few times and it really turned us off.
    Oh I wish I could eat beans! I LOVE baked beans. Alex can handle them a little bit, but we both have issues digesting them. When I was a kid, no problem. I had baked beans with toast nearly every morning!

  3. Oh Rain, I'm so sorry about you and Alex not being able to eat beans. It's one of my favorite go tos for a high fiber kick.


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