How to Pressure Can Crowder and Blackeyed Peas

A crowder pea is any variety of cowpea bearing pods with closely spaced (crowded) seed (peas). Last year, we grew Top-Pick Crowder Peas and saved some seeds and planted them this year.

We love crowder peas. They are our favorite, but we also planted blackeyed peas as well. Both are in the cowpea family. This method below will work for any variety of crowder pea, blackeyed pea, purple hull peas, etc.

Ingredients

  • Peas
  • Salt (Optional)
  • Bacon (Optional)
  • Water

 

Equipment

  • Large Pot
  • Canning Jars
  • Canning Lids and Rings
  • Jar Grabber
  • Magnetic Lid Lifter
  • Jar Funnel
  • Spoon/Ladle
  • Pressure Canner

 

Pick, Shell, Dry (Optional), Wash, and Soak (Optional)

As both our peas came in little spurts, we would pick and shell them and dry them. Notice we do not rinse or wash the peas as we are drying them. This will be done later when used. Once completely dried we would just put them in a container until we had more to add to them. You can keep your dried peas this way away from moisture and soak and cook your peas as you want them. However, like cooking pintos cooking dried peas take a long time and out of convenience it is so nice to have them canned and ready when you need them.

 

Once we had collected enough peas to can a batch we were ready. Because they had been dried first, carefully sort through them and rinse them before soaking to rehydrate them. We had a large pot of crowder peas and a smaller pot of blackeyed peas in water soaking over night. If working with dry peas they should be washed and then soaked for a minimum of 8 hours to “swell”. That’s what I’ve always heard it called. “Swelled” is when the peas have fully rehydrated which makes them plump or “swell” back up. If you have enough fresh peas that have not been dried then you can simply wash your peas checking for any bad ones and skip the soaking process.

 

Prepare Canner

Prepare pressure canner with the correct amount of water for your canner model and turn on heat medium-high. I fill mine with 3 inches of water.

 

Cook Peas for Hot Packing

Because beans and peas swell as they cook I prefer hot packing. In a large pot bring your peas to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
Boiling Crowder Peas
Boiling Crowder Peas

Prepare Jars and Lids

While peas are coming to boil, wash jars, rings, and lids. Heat lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Boiling excessively may damage the seal on the lids. Set rings aside until needed.
Heating Lids
 Heating Lids

Hot Pack

Turn heat off of boiling peas. Pack peas into jars half full. Cut slices of bacon into 1/4 slice pieces. Place 2 pieces of cut bacon into quart jars and 1 piece of cut bacon into pint jars. This is optional, but we love the flavor it gives the peas.

Bacon Added to Blackeyed Peas for Flavor

Continue filling jars with peas leaving 1 inch of headspace. Do not press or shake peas down as they may swell when canned. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to quart jars and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to pint jars. This is optional for flavor and not required to preserve the peas.

Salt Added to Blackeyed Peas for Flavor

Fill with water from cooked peas to 1 inch headspace. Double check headspace and remove or add water as needed. Wipe rims clean, center hot lids on jar, tighten rings until fingertip tight. Do not over tighten. It is OK to combine different types of peas or foods and can at the same time as long as the process time is the same. We processed 5 quarts and 2 pints of crowder peas and 1 quart and 1 pint of blackeyed peas. It might take us forever to get enough blackeyed peas to can all by themselves and it be worth our while.

Pressure Can

Low acid foods (like peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, and meats) must be preserved in a pressure canner. Place jars into preheated pressure canner using jar grabber. Quart and pint jars can be combined in a single canning session. However, if you are using a tall pressure canner and are filling with a second layer of jars make sure your first layer are all of the same size (except maybe the center ones). Securely place the lid on the pressure canner. Turn heat to high and allow canner to vent for 10 minutes. Apply 10 pounds of pressure. Once 10 pounds of pressure have been reached process for 35 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to maintain 10 pounds of pressure.

Removal

When the time is up turn the heat off and wait for dial/gauge to register 0 pounds of pressure. Do not attempt to rush this process or remove the weight early. Once it has reached 0 pounds of pressure remove the weight and canner lid. Remove the jars with a jar grabber and set on a towel to cool. It does not take long to start hearing the pops of the centers sealing. What a gratifying sound! After 24 hours check all lids for a proper seal. Properly sealed lids will not flex up and down when pressed in the center.

5 Quarts and 2 Pints of Crowder Peas and 1 Quart and 1 Pint of Blackeyed Peas

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