Learn how to can chili (meat and beans) using safe pressure canning guidelines. Recipe yields 8 qts. of old-fashioned chili, for long term storage.Learn how to can chili (meat and beans) using safe pressure canning guidelines. Recipe yields 8 qts. of old-fashioned chili, for long term storage.
Last summer I canned a variety of foods to stock our pantry with, in order to have plenty for Fall and Winter.  I canned vegetables from our garden, fruit picked at local farms, as well as homemade soups and stews.  One project I tackled was learning how to can chili (using my recipe) for long term storage.

I’m glad I did, because we were able to have jars of Mom’s Old-Fashioned Chili in our pantry to eat whenever we wanted through the long Winter!  Homemade chili must be canned using a pressure canner, so I slightly adapted my recipe so it conformed to safe canning guidelines and the results were wonderful! Currently I only have ONE jar left from all the quarts of chili I canned last summer, so I feel the need to “can” some more coming on!

Some people feel like you should add cooked beans AFTER you open the jars so the beans don’t get soggy, but I have not found this to be the case. I add the beans and can them at the same time, with no problem.

Scroll down For a Printable Recipe Card At The Bottom Of the Page

Making Canned Chili

This recipe as written makes about 8 quarts of chili. The process is fairly simple.  At the same time I was cooking the chili, I was preparing the pressure canner, with 3″ of simmering water. I did this according to the pressure canner’s manufacturer instructions. The jars and lids were also prepped following USDA canning guidelines.

Ground beef, diced onions and a large diced green pepper were cooked in a large pan until done. Grease was drained from pan and discarded.  Meat mixture was then transferred to a very large stockpot.

Ground beef, onions, and bell pepper are cooked in pan.

Adding LOTS Of Flavor!

To the meat mixture, add canned diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chili beans, pinto beans, and black beans.  I also added water and the spices (oregano, cumin, salt, chili powder, cayenne powder, paprika, salt, and Worcestershire sauce).

The chili was cooked on medium-high until it was boiling. At this point, give it a taste, and adjust salt, if necessary, to suit your preference.

Lots of spices, beans, and tomatoes are added to the chili.

How To Can Chili

Prepared (clean and hot) canning jars were filled with the hot chili, leaving a 1″ headspace in each jar.  Air bubbles were removed, and the jar rims were wiped completely clean with a wet dishcloth to ensure a good seal.

I centered flat lids on top and screwed down the rings until they were fingertip tight.  Quart jars were processed at 10# pressure for 90 minutes. If using pint sized jars, process at 10# pressure for 75 minutes.

Quart jars are processed at 10 pounds of pressure.

Once cooking time was completed, I followed manufacturer instructions for letting the pressure drop to zero naturally, then followed instructions for safely removing the vent and lid. PLEASE follow your own pressure canners manufacturer instructions!

Once I removed the HOT jars of chili, I placed them onto a dish towel on the counter (don’t place them directly on countertop because temperature variations could lead to cracking the jars), and let them sit undisturbed overnight.

Once they had completely cooled, I checked to make sure each jar was properly sealed, wiped down the jars, put a label on each one, and into our pantry they went!

Jars cool down after processing. Now you know how to can chili!

I’ve canned chili several times since then, and have had great results. It has been wonderful to have my homemade chili waiting to be opened and used in our pantry, for a good hot bowl of soup or a chili cheese dog with the hubby!

Hope you will consider trying this recipe. PLEASE be sure to follow all recommended safe canning methods to ensure your success!

Looking For More PRESSURE CANNING Recipes?

You can find all of my canning recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. A few pressure canning recipes you might be interested in include:

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Recipe adapted from: http://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/moms-old-fashioned-chili/

4.34 from 3 votes
How To Can Chili
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 50 mins

Learn how to can chili (meat and beans) using safe pressure canning guidelines. Recipe yields 8 qts. of old-fashioned chili, for long term storage.

Category: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: how to can chili
Servings: 8 quarts
Calories Per Serving: 1014 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions , diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper , diced
  • 56 ounces canned diced tomatoes (including juice)
  • 31 ounces canned kidney beans, drained
  • 31 ounces canned chili beans (including liquid)
  • 31 ounces canned black beans, drained
  • 15.5 ounces canned pinto beans, drained
  • Water (use 3½ large 28 ounce cans of water - use empty diced tomato cans)
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 4-5 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • Tablespoons garlic powder
  • teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 8 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 5 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Additional salt to taste (if necessary)
  1. While cooking chili, prepare your pressure canner, with 3" of simmering water. Prep jars and lids according to safe USDA canning guidelines.
  2. Brown ground beef, diced onions and diced green pepper in a large pan until fully cooked. Drain grease and discard. Transfer meat mixture to a very large stockpot.
  3. Add canned diced tomatoes, kidney beans, chili beans, pinto beans, and black beans to meat mixture. Stir. Add water,spices and Worcestershire sauce. Stir all ingredients well to combine. Cook chili on medium-high until it begins boiling. Give it a taste, and adjust salt, if necessary.
  4. Fill prepared (clean & hot) canning jars with hot chili, leaving a 1" headspace in each jar. Remove air bubbles with utensil, and adjust headspace, if necessary. Wipe jar rims clean with a wet dishcloth, to ensure a good seal. Center flat lids on top and screw down rings until fingertip tight. Process quart jars at 10# pressure for 90 minutes. If using pint jars, process at 10# pressure for 75 minutes.
  5. Once processing time is completed, let pressure drop to zero naturally, then follow instructions for safely removing vent and lid. PLEASE follow your pressure canners manufacturer instructions!
  6. Remove HOT jars of chili, place onto a dish towel on counter (don't place jars directly on counter as temperature variations could lead to cracking the jars). Let jars sit and cool undisturbed overnight. Once completely cooled, check to ensure each jar is properly sealed, wipe down jars, label each one, and store in pantry!
Recipe Notes

The chili thickens a little as it is processed. Once you open a jar, you may want to add just a little bit of water to the chili before heating, to thin it out. Caloric calculation is for 1 quart jar of chili.

Nutrition Facts
How To Can Chili
Amount Per Serving (1 quart jar of chili)
Calories 1014 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Fat 38g58%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 120mg40%
Sodium 2743mg119%
Potassium 2981mg85%
Carbohydrates 108g36%
Fiber 34g142%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 63g126%
Vitamin A 3380IU68%
Vitamin C 51.6mg63%
Calcium 316mg32%
Iron 18.5mg103%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Learn how to can chili (meat and beans) using safe pressure canning guidelines. Recipe yields 8 qts. of old-fashioned chili, for long term storage.























How To Can Chili

58 Comments on How To Can Chili

  1. 4 stars
    I like the recipe for making chili, but not for canning. I however have never used canned beans while canning due to the beans get over cooked and mushy. I normally quick soak my dried beans separately the same way I do to can just beans. I brown the ground beef some then I make a chili meat sauce. I then dump in the pot my quick soaked beans and I heat it up for about 10 minutes then I fill my jars. I let my beans finish cooking during the pressure canner process. Ground Beef needs to be precooked, but if you use chicken, or pork don’t cook it and use a raw pack method with the beans so not to overcook the meat.

  2. I canned homemade chili tonight, #10 pressure for 90 minutes. I thought i had removed all air bubbles from all the jars. After removing jars from pressure canner, noticed a whole bunch of air bubbles….. ooooo no i made 10 pounds of chili, what should i do? Is this safe? Should i recan and put back in pressure canner? Why did so many air bubbles show in the end result?

  3. Your recipe is almost like mine except I use venison instead of hamburger. Would it be safe to substitute venison in place of beef?

  4. 5 stars
    This was my first-time canning, and it was a failure! I thought I followed the directions, but obviously, something went wrong. All of the jars cooked over so none of the lids sealed. It’s an old pressure cooker, so I wonder if the gauge may be wrong?
    Any ideas?

    • Hi, Todd… my sincere apologies for the late response. Your comment got lost in a sea of comments. Possibly the gauge or seal on your canner is compromised, however, this incident may occur if the jars are slightly overfilled. The contents have nowhere to go but OUT. That would be my top idea. Hope you have better luck on the next try.

  5. Hi wondering my recipe calls for Campbell’s tomato soup can I use it and tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes. Not a family favorite. Also no bell pepper. Thanks for help.

  6. I pressure canned chili a couple yrs ago. I just use my regular recipe, can it in qts at 11# pressure/90 min. Since my family likes it thicker, when I serve it, I stir in a can of refried beans. The only thing I don’t like about it is when hamburger is already browned and chopped prior to canning, the meat disintegrates, but the flavor is great! It really stretches ground beef! I do the same to make veg beef and stew(using different ingredients of course!)

  7. How large is your “very large stock pot?” I don’t want to get started only to find the stock pot I’m using isn’t large enough.

  8. I’m so glad I found this! Your recipe is very close to mine and I just got a pressure canner to can the extra chili. So excited to try this. 🙂

  9. This is in reply to Noemi. I have canned chili once, using my own recipe. I found two things out. 1. It was dry after pressure canning it. I have to add some type of liquid when I reheat, so having more liquid in the exile when you originally can it is better. 2. There was very little spice left after canning it. I have to add more spice when reheating it. I think I will add double the spice the next time I make it to can.
    Other than that, I love the fact that I can use my own recipe to can chili and have a quick meal ready when I forget to take meat out, or only have 15 minutes to get a meal on the table.

  10. This recipe calls for 3 1/2 cans (28 1/2 ozs cans) of water. That’s 3 quarts of water! Is that right?

    • No. 3 quarts of water = 96 ounces. By using three and a half cans as indicated in the recipe, the total amount would be 85.5 ounces of water.

  11. Hi! I have a chilli recipe that calls for ground beef, 3 large cans of diced tomatoes, and then I omit the peppers, and instead add 2 stalks of celery, 2-3 white potatoes, 1-2 sweet potato, 2 carrots, and sometimes butternut squash. And then of course the spices. All fully cooked. The recipe does not have beans in it. Would I process this recipe the same way? My 4 year old LOVES it and I want to can a bunch for winter 🙂 thank you!!

  12. If I use tomatoes out of garden do I need to add lemon juice. If so, I would guess 2 T to a quart.

    Also, if I use tomatoes I’ve already canned with lemon juice I wouldn’t need to change anything, right?

  13. Hi I have canned chili base before without putting in the meat or beans so that who I give it to can choose what they want to use. So in this case I never pressure cooked it. I just did hot water bath for 40 min. Is this ok?

  14. Hi ma’am, I’m allergic to tomatoes, so I’ve always had to substitute tomatoes with tomato sauce. Will that be a problem, oh and I used dry beans too.

  15. Hi. I just canned 7 qts of chili. I added 2 and a half qts of water in my pressure can er as directed and processed for 90 minutes. Here is my problem. The canner ran out of water with a half hour to go. My jars did not seal and chili ran over and burned in the bottom of the canner. Did I screw the tops on to tight? I cooked at 10 pounds pressure, my rims were clean ,I just don’t know why this happened.. i used tomato paste in my recipe does this.make a difference?j

    • It depends on your canner mine is a presto, and you have to put 3 Quarts of water, I’m wondering if you didn’t start with enough water to begin with and you have to have a inch head space in your jars.

    • Different size pressure canners depending upon the quart’s need different amounts of water. Normally the issue is that your weight is venting too much. I have a Presto without a gauge and you have to really watch the movement of weight or you will run out of water for a 90 minute span. My All American Canner 32 quart has never had a issue even though it takes longer to build pressure.

  16. I’m not sure what “chili ” beans are.I always have heard of using red kidney beans in chili,but never heard of chili beans before.Can I use any canned bean mixture as long as the amount of beans stay the same as your recipe?Thanks for the great canning recipe.

    • Hi, Max. Chili beans are sold in most grocery stores (in the U.S.) in the same section where you would find kidney beans. They are wonderful to add to the chili (slightly spiced), but yes you can add the beans you enjoy in the same amount called for. Have a good day.

  17. I really am interested how to adjust your own recipe to save canning from the ball canning site. I have my own recipe I want to adjust, so that I am sure to be save. Can you tell me what you have to do to adjust those recipes in general?

    • Hi, Noemi. I would suggest searching online for an article or podcast that can more efficiently explain the various techniques that can be used for this. I suggest searching for how to convert home recipes for canning. There is a lot of helpful information out there which will explain it better than I could.

  18. I am wondering about the safety of adding a little tomato paste to the chili before canning it in quart jars at 10# pressure for 90 minutes. I like the texture a little tomato paste gives to my chili.

  19. Could you use one can of chili with no beans and a can o chopped green chilies drained instead of green pepper? Thank you.

    • Hi, Jason… thank you for taking the time to write. “Most” canning recipes suggest/recommend eating the canned items within 6 months to a year, for peak flavor, color, etc. We usually eat our canned chili up within a years time. I have, on occasion, opened a leftover jar (the kind that hang out in the back of the pantry) after about a year and a half, and it still tasted wonderful! If you make it, I hope you enjoy the chili. We sure do! Have a great day.

  20. Thank you for your info on canning chili. I love chili but my husband does not so I will give it a try and hopefully will have success.

  21. Hi! I would like to make a change to this recipe and I wonder if you think this can be done safely. In the place of one of the 28oz cans of tomatoes, I would like to use 2 or 3 10 oz cans of tomatoes with diced chilies. I would omit the bell pepper in the recipe since the chili’s are already represented. Would this work you think?

    • Hi, Lisa! Thanks for writing! Yes, I believe this will be perfectly fine. Just make sure to use the same amount of canned tomatoes (3, 10 oz. cans will be fine). The taste of the chili will only be very slightly altered, but as long as you follow safe canning guidelines, this should be wonderful. Have a great day.

  22. If everything in chili is fully cooked.. why would you have to pressure can the chili…. I’m new to canning this is why I’m asking … thank you

    • Hi, Angi. Thank you for writing. The best way I can answer your question properly comes directly from a Ball Canning book: “Unlike fruits and pickled foods, low-acid foods (vegetables, meat, poultry, seafood and recipes using these ingredients), require greater heat exposure to destroy harmful toxic producing bacterial spores… The only practical and recommended method today is to process low-acid foods using a pressure canner, which (at or below 1,000 feet above sea level elevates temperatures to 240° F.” (from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, published in 2006 by Jarden Corp., page 379). For safe long-term storage, the entire soup (yes, even though it is “cooked or heated on stove top) must be canned at this extra-high temperature (in a pressure canner) for a set amount of time . Hope that makes sense. Have a good day!

    • Hello, Heidi! Thanks for writing. Typically it is said that canned foods (like this chili) are best, if stored for up to a year. However, other people say as long as the jar stays correctly sealed, it can keep for years. I typically try to use my canned goods up within a year of canning them, BUT, I have on occasion found jars of home-canned chili or other soups in the back of our pantry that were about two years old, and they tasted just as good as when it was canned. For peak flavor and color, I would recommend using it within a year, but it is your decision. Hope you have a great day!

  23. I just canned chili for the first time today. I used a recipe similar to yours with meat and beans with a few differences giving it a Cajun flair.
    I used quart jars and the canning instructions from the Ball Hearty Chili-Pressure Canning recipe. I was told that I can’t do either of those things. That I have to use pint jars.
    I don’t want the food to spoil. Can you please help me?

    • Good morning, Kara! Thanks for taking the time to write. The Ball Canning book (Complete Book of Home Preserving) I used to refer to the correct time for canning chili in quart sized jars confirms that it is 75 minutes for pint jars and 90 minutes processing time for quart jars. Not sure of the advice you were given, but the recipe works just perfectly for quart jars at 90 minutes at 10 pounds pressure! Have canned chili (and other beef-based soups) for years without problems (in quart sized jars!). Have a great day, and enjoy your chili.

    • Good morning, Melissa! Yes, that is the reason. I also verified that would be okay by double checking my recipe against a Ball Canning book recipe that also used canned tomatoes, to make sure it would be safe. No problem! Thank you for taking time to write. Hope you have a great day.

    • Good morning, Jody! Sorry for my late response to your e-mail. I have been on vacation out of the country for two weeks. Fortunately, I have never had a jar that didn’t seal, but according to all recommended safety guidelines, if it doesn’t seal, refrigerate it, and use soon. Jams should last a little more than a week, but it is best to use canned soups, meats, within a week. I have read of some people trying to re-can the un-sealed ones, but cannot recommend it, as I have never tried that before.

      • Good morning! In my experience jars don’t seal because there is food debris between the rim of the jar and the lid, from reusing lids (usually multiple times), or using very old lids such as those inherited from your grandmother.

        If a jar doesn’t seal you can indeed reprocess. You should be sure everything is clean and use a new lid.

        USDA guidance (which is the foundation for the Ball book) at https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html is very clear that you should only use lids once. I usually use mine twice; I strike a line with a Sharpie across the lid after the first use and a second line to make an ‘X’ after the second. I use ‘X’ lids for things in the fridge like salad dressings that just need a top and not a seal. THIS IS COUNTER TO PROFESSIONAL GUIDANCE.

        Reprocessing is acceptable under USDA guidelines.

        • Thanks for the tips, Dave! I agree! Thank you also for taking time to write and share that knowledge with my readers. Hope you have a great day.

  24. Hi JB. I am just getting started in this canning thing. I’ve done some white potatoes,(That are just great) and some Boston style baked beans and weenies that turned out fantastic. I am going to try your chili next. But I wonder, could I use dry beans and quick soak or soak over night instead of canned beans. Thank you very much for this recipe. I know I’m going to love it.

    • Good morning! Thank you for writing! I bet you will love canning. Once I started learning how, it was full steam ahead. Truthfully I have always used canned beans to make homemade canned chili (and I’ve canned so many jars of it!). If you wanted to try it starting with dried beans, then I would recommend cooking them (in a covered pot) on a low boil for about 30 minutes AFTER they have soaked, before adding the rest of the ingredients, and placing the chili in jars. This is what I do when I can dried beans BEFORE I pressure can them, and they come out perfect every single time. I wish you much success in your canning adventures. Have a fantastic day!

      • Thank you very much. The beans I made, I cleaned and rinsed then boiled for one hour then let sit for another thirty minutes in the same water. not totally cooked but break apart in your fingers. The canning process dose the rest. Thanks again.

    • Good morning. I canned 21 qts yesterday using dry beans. I soaked over night and while browning meat, I cooked them. I added to pot and used my stewed tomatoes (canned last summer from my garden) as well as my salsa that included cilantro I grow. Put everything in 25 at stock pot simmer for about 3 hrs before jarring up. Always have great success.

  25. Hello-
    I have a question, do the canned beans (since they are already fully cooked) tend to turn to “mush” after processing or do they maintain there texture? Thank you

    • Good morning, Misty! Thanks for writing. That is a GREAT question. The sauce WILL thicken as it is processed, but for the most part, the beans are left intact. Even when I make this chili to eat the same day, and cook it for hours (using canned beans), the beans retain their shape, etc. Hope you will give it a try! Have a GREAT weekend.

  26. What changes did you have to make for this recipe to be canned? I looked at the original, but other than the amounts, I didn’t see much difference.

    • Good morning, Gail. Thank you for taking the time to write. I started off by verifying that the amounts of ingredients used were in correct proportion to previously published versions of canned chili recipes using my Ball canning guides, and other published resources. Once I had verified that this recipe in these amounts could be canned “safely”, the only variation worth noting is the time to cook my standard chili recipe versus the time to process safely the jars of canned chili, according to current canning guidelines. Have a great day!

    • Hi, Lenora! I use canned beans. If you scroll to the bottom of the post you can see the amounts, types of beans etc. in the printable recipe card. Hope you have a wonderful day.

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