Storing Cooked Beans
Hi, could you please advise if it's best to freeze beans cooked in bulk? Or can they be stored in airtight jars in the fridge? If so, do we add the cooking water to the jar?
Hi Irene - Storing beans with the cooking water is personal preference. Personally, I do keep some of the soaking water when storing my beans because it is flavorful.
When you store beans in the refrigerator, they will only last 5 days or so before they start to get yucky -- you will only make the mistake ONCE of storing them too long in the fridge before eating them because they give off a MOST unpleasant aroma if they sit too long.
To store in the freezer, be sure to break them up into batches that make sense (1, 2, or 3 cup batches, depending on the number of people in your household). Then defrost in the refrigerator (takes about 24 hours). We use sealer bags for freezer storage.
By the way, no matter which way you choose to store them, be sure the beans are cooled completely first. Otherwise they can grow unhealthy bacteria in the middle of the container even as the sides cool. Not to mention it could bring the temperature of your fridge or freezer down putting the rest of your food in jeopardy.
When you are ready to re-heat your beans, you have two choices.
- You can heat the beans along with a little of the bean cooking liquid which adds a nice flavor;
- You can drain and rinse the beans and heat with a bit of water or vegetable broth.
Both ways work fine. It is really personal preference. Sometimes you may not want the flavor of the bean cooking liquid, but most times it is welcome.
Regardless, always STORE your cooked beans in the water in which it was cooked, for the reasons mentioned above (keeps the beans moist, nutrition, and yum-factor).