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?

Thank you!
Irene Wellington
New Zealand

Sassy sez:

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 3-5 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.

When you are ready to re-heat your beans, you have two choices.

  1. You can heat the beans along with a little of the bean cooking liquid which adds a nice flavor;


  2. 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).

xo
Sassy



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Rinsing cooked beans
by: Small Footprints

That was really an informative article ... thank you.

I was wondering whether rinsing stored beans would help them to last in the refrigerator?

Thanks so much!


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Storing Cooked Beans
by: Jaime

I have found that when I store cooked beans in the refrigerator they only last about 2 days. I put them in individual baggies, as Sassy suggested, in 1 1/2 cup portions and thaw as I go along. I find that they are ALMOST as convenient as canned beans, but much better for you (because of the sodium) and far cheaper.

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Rinsing beans after cooking...
by: Sassy

Hi Again -- I have stored beans in the fridge both rinsed and not rinsed, and I personally have not noticed that they last longer one way or the other. But storing beans in their cooking liquid helps the beans to stay tender and yummy, whereas without the liquid they can get a bit dried out.

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tip for cooking garbanzo beans
by: Laura

A great tip for cooking garbanzo beans is to soak them 8 - 12 hours, remove from liquid (save it and refrigerate) place the beans on a cookie sheet/pizza pan and freeze. Then remove from freezer, place in bean soak water, and cook as usual. They take only half the time to cook, as the freezing breaks down the bean somewhat. Another tip for any beans, is to use about 1 1/2 inches of kombu seaweed (or a quarter of a dried stick) in the water when cooking the beans. It causes the beans to cook faster and be more tender. When the beans are done, I fish out the seaweed and eatit! Garbanzo beans cook this way, with freezing and kombu, in about a half an hour!

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Garbanzo Beans
by: Anonymous

I find that if I soak my garbanzos for 8 or 9 hours, drain off the soaking water and rinse the beans, then put them back in the pan they were soaked in and cover them with water to about an inch above them and then bring them to a boil, turn down the flame as low as possible, cover the pot and cook for 30 to 40 minutes depending on what degree of doneness you prefer, the beans will be perfect. I don't understand why recipes say it takes up to 3 hours for them to get done.

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I can my own beans
by: Anonymous

I make sodium free cooked beans and can them in a pressure canner. This tool is under $60, and you can also use it to can soups or lots of stuff from the garden that is low-acid, like veggies. You can make a lot all at once this way and conveniently store in your pantry.

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Made a mistake:-/
by: Anonymous

I was in a rush and stored my beans in the freezer while warm
:( I hope they will be Okay.
Thanks for the informative information!:)

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Yes, but...
by: Sassy

They should be okay. :)

But in the future, you will want to cool your beans before putting in the freezer or the moisture can cause freezer burn. What I recommend is cooling completely in the refrigerator (such as overnight) before freezing.

Hope this helps! xo!

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Thanks
by: Carol

Thank you for sharing such important information, Sassy.

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Bean Safety
by: Anonymous

After cooking/soaking, you can set aside the liquid and ice-bath the beans to bring them down before freezing. If your freezer is prone to "freezer burn" then it is probably unable to handle warm-hot items being placed in it. Also, the larger the batch of warm-hot items you're putting in a fridge or freezer will affect the speed at which the temperatures change (i.e. a single jar of beans will freeze quickly, but a dozen jars will take longer to freeze due to the temperature drop associated with putting them all in together.)

Basically, use common sense... if it doesn't make sense to you: get more information or do what DOES make sense to you. *Unless you work in a professional kitchen, then listen to your employer...

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Question
by: Anonymous

I like to save the cooking water from my beans to later use as stock. I just found a jar of the cooking water in my refrigerator that I had forgotten about. It's about 4 to 6 weeks old. How long will that cooking water still be ok to use instead of water to make soup?

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Toss it...
by: Sassy

Four to six weeks old? I would toss it pronto.

Beans and their cooking water are good for about 4-5 days before they really start to go bad.

Unless you freeze. They will do well in the freezer for about 3-4 months.

xo!

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Left the garbanzo beans out to cool overnight (8 hours)
by: Yvonne

I just cooked 3 lbs of garbanzo beans in my crock pot then left them on the kitchen counter overnight to cool which was approx. 8 hours then placed in the refrigerator immediately thereafter. Do I toss them? or are they okay to eat?

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Hate to break it to you...
by: Sassy

Hi Yvonne -

Hmmmmm, I think 8 hours is too long for it to sit out after cooking. Sorry, girlfriend. :(

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Science project
by: Janie

How timely to read this. I made a batch of black eyed peas and got side tracked, therefore I didn't use them all up. Opened the sealed bowl and the peas were actually standing up! OMG the smell was atrocious! The bowl resembled the scene from the movie Alien when they first found the pod eggs. I'll never let that happen again.


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Hilarious!
by: Sassy

Janie! That's crazy! How funny that you were reminded of Alien! ha! Thanks for sharing, and glad we could all help. :)

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Storing beans
by: Lisa

I have the best luck with them when I store them in their cooking liquid - they usually last 3-5 days that way.

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Crazy lazy
by: Anonymous

Hi. I have made a batch of 5 bean and many vegie stew/soup and left it in the fridge 7-10 days.I ate it daily in broth,on a wrap cold,with tomato sauce...loved it never got anything but great body mind feelings and felt healthy and strong and yummy. Now I am worried to continue this "lazy cook once and awhile lifestyle"

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Good job...
by: Sassy

Hi Crazy Lazy! :)

I love what you're doing. That's what we teach here on our website; pre-cooking your beans and using in various meals. JUST PLEASE be sure to eat your cooked beans within 3-5 days. Get a new batch going just before you run out so it's all ready to go.

If you would like to make a lot of stuff ahead of time, then I recommend you vacuum seal it before refrigerating. When you do this, food lasts much longer (for instance, instead of 4-5 days, I would eat my vacuum-sealed food in 12-15 days instead -- and maybe even longer). That's because vacuum sealing removes the oxygen which is what keeps it fresh for a much longer time.

Learn more about vacuum sealing here.

Thanks and keep up the good job over there! :)
Sass

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How to store your beans longer
by: Morgan

"Seasoning cooked beans with salt," and making sure they stay completely under water when storing, "can prolong their shelf life in the refrigerator to about a week", or 7-10 days I have found. "Salt acts as a natural preservative, making food last longer." I would only recommend this if your beans are cooked without animal products, such has a ham hock or chicken broth. I cook mine with only pure water and Celtic sea salt after they have soaked for at least 24 hours and are thoroughly rinsed before cooking. This also decreases the amount of gas they can cause by making them easier to digest by removing the enzyme inhibitors through the extended soaking time and rinsing. To all who read this, be well :)

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goodie
by: Anonymous

Hi guys great to hear from u again. Ty for the reminder ,knowing u are there with healthy advice is wonderful

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Freezing Cooked Dried Beans/Chickpeas
by: Anonymous

I've been freezing beans and chickpeas for years; I prefer cooking, cooling in cooking water by placing pan in cold/iced (your choice) water.
Place one layer of beans/ peas on flat tray/plate and open freeze, for about 30 minutes until just starting to freeze, then transfer to large freezer bag. Any liquid from the beans stays on the tray/plate.
Repeat this; adding beans/peas to same freezer bag until they are all in the one bag. Seal bag.
The beans/peas freeze without sticking together (which happens if frozen in cooking liquid).
Simple shake out what you need out of the freezer bag.
I freeze cooking liquid for stock etc.

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Thank you!
by: Sassy

Love the detailed explanation of how you freeze your ingredients. Thank you so much for sharing -- I'm sure many people will find it helpful. XO

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Question
by: Debbie

If you make your cooked fresh chick peas into hummus, how long will it last in the refrigerator?

Thanks!

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Fantastic Answer
by: Cynthia C

I just wanted to know if I should keep the water when storing or not, but this gave even more very important information. Thanks for saving me! And my beans too!! Now I'm off to put the beans in smaller containers and in the freezer!

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Pressure those cook garbonzos!!!
by: KC_pdx

Hi, non-vegan here.

I love hummus and I make it with garbonzos--in a Fagor pressure cooker.

They cook in about TWELVE minutes after soaking overnight--so excellent.

ONE THING: If you decide to do this, MAKE SURE that your beans which have been soaked overnight and water do not exceed half of the volume of the cooker.

Another thing: after you get the pressure cooker to "pressure," you can turn the heat as low as the pressure indicator will go, as far as letting the indicator fall or sink back down.

Different brands of pressure cooker don't recommend cooking fibrous beans like garbonzos, lentils or split peas.

Garbonzos come out perfect every time with a little care--I say give it a try!

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Pinto Beans
by: MrsMistyReal

I froze pinto beans approximately 4/5 months,in a container.They were cooked in chicken broth,& onions.My question is are they still safe to eat?😊

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Just my opinion but...
by: Sassy

I would say yes. :)

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Freeze them in Water?
by: Endless_Night

Hi,

sorry if i missed this, tried to read all the comments.

Are you freezing them with the water too?
Just about to go get myself a pressure cooker (just turned vegan and i LIVE for Black Beans)

Thanks!!

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Freezing cooked beans in their cooking liquid?
by: Sassy

Hi there -- I imagine you CAN store your beans with their cooking liquid in the freezer. But we, personally, drain them first before we seal them up. I would label and use them within 3 months. :)

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help
by: Anonymous

I recently soaked my beans, but got delayed with cooking them. They sat out at room temp. for two days. Are they safe to cook?

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Cooking beans after a 2-day soak...
by: Sassy

That's really your call (depending on what part of the world you're in, like if you're smack dab in summertime, or whether or not your home is air conditioned, or if it's really hot in your kitchen). If I were to attempt moving forward, I would give them a good rinsing with some boiling water, then drain, then cook.

Next time, if you can't get to them on time, you can drain them and refrigerate for another day before cooking them up. xo!

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Storing cooked beans
by: Jay

My question is, can I store cooked beans in reusable tupperware containers? Is storing in disposable bags a must?

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Using Tupperware to freeze cooked beans
by: Sassy

Hi Jay! The biggest challenge you might run into is freezer burn. What I would recommend instead is to place your (COMPLETELY COOLED) cooked beans in a Ziploc freezer bag and get out as much air as you can before sealing.

In fact, I would cool, then place in the fridge overnight to be sure they're cooled completely before placing in the bag(s) to freeze. In other words, air and moisture are going to be what does your cooked beans in so you want to be careful here.

I also recommend you freeze them in portions that work for you. Be sure to label the beans so you know what date you put them in there. You can stack bags of beans/grains/etc in your freezer in this way. Containers take up a lot of room.

I hope this helps. And if anyone has anything to add to this, please do so we can all learn from each other.

xo!
Sass

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Storage container
by: Anonymous

That makes sense, I just hate throwing things away after one use.

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Soaked beans
by: Anonymous

Hi...
I kept soaked beans (moong) in refrigerator for 13 days, will it be fine to cook and consume, thanks for your reply...

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Personally...
by: Sassy

...I would toss them. ;)

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What????
by: Melissa

I have been leaving my beans in the crock pot and reheating them in the winter. I never even thought about food safety.
I haven't gotten sick and the children are fine but I will think about this from now on. Only 3 to 5 days.
Wow, I could have killed us all.

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So many opinions ??!!
by: Cookie

I have been cooking for 45 years and have always stored all my food in the square sandwich containers with the push down tops that expell the air. Beans,vegetables,soups, stews,meats and gravy,any food. It goes from the cooking pan to the container with clean utinsels its sealed and put in the refrigerator. I never let it sit out.A serving is scooped out and it goes back into the refrigerator before anything else is done.If I need to feed several people I use as many containers as needed.I never lick my fingers,I use paper towels. My food safely lasts up to 10 days for me.Using smaller storage containers keeps food temperature more even,but I have no one else opening and closing my fridge. We use ice and bottled drinks from a cooler. It really seems too keep all my food fresher longer and I don't have any fridge gazing at my house.Keeping hot food hot and spills wiped up and hands clean is my way.I never let vegetables go into my fridge without some salt,but only to suit my taste,it keeps bacteria down.I wash my vegetables in salt water and rinse them,if I have to cook a lot of anything I put them in freezer bags to avoid waste. Sometimes my little container garden is very generous! But this is just my way . I am not saying anyone else try my method but maybe I brought up some good points.I have no little hands around my house.

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Thank you
by: Derek

Thanks for the tip! I've gotten "that most unpleasant aroma" a couple of times now, and was wondering how to do it better. Gotta store it in the water next time!

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Beans cooked and not refrigerated
by: Anna

Oh my! I cooked a bean variety after soaking first with just water. That was two days ago and they are still sitting in the pot. My intention was to make a soup but in the middle of the cooking to soften I got unexpected company. Now I want to proceed with my soup but don’t know if it is safe. Please advise.

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