Can You Freeze Baked Beans? The Surprising Answer You Need To Know!
After serving a potluck or barbecue meal, you might have some leftovers. If you have ever wondered, "Can you freeze baked beans?" you are not alone. I wondered about this too, as I do not like to throw away perfectly good foods.
I also like to cook ahead so that I can just pull food out of the freezer on busy weeknights. Knowing the answer to whether or not you can freeze baked beans is important because you do not want your family to get sick or eat food that tastes terrible.
1- Types And Freezing Methods
Yes, you can freeze baked beans! That's the good news. If you plan on freezing baked beans, though, it is important to do so with the right techniques because if you do not freeze the beans properly, they might not taste good when you thaw and reheat them.
Only Freeze Already Cooked Beans
Do not try to freeze uncooked beans, as they will not cook properly once they are thawed. You should only try to freeze baked beans that have already been cooked. This means that canned baked beans bought at the store are fine and so are beans that you cooked at home on the stove top or in a slow cooker or pressure cooker.
It is important to prepare your baked beans properly so that they freeze well. In the video below, you can learn about how to prepare kidney beans in order to freeze them.
Cool The Beans Before Putting Them Into The Freezer
One of the most important things to keep in mind about freezing baked beans is that they need to be cool before you put them into the freezer.
Hot beans may cause the container to expand and then crack or explode. The shock of cold air to the hot food may also cause the individual beans to burst open, resulting in a yucky mush when you thaw and reheat the food. The Kitchn recommends cooking your beans at the lowest possible temperature.
Once the beans have cooled off to room temperature, they are ready to freeze. You could also place the beans in your refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours to avoid having them split open.
2- Storage Solutions For Freezing Baked Beans
Once the baked beans are cooled to room temperature or colder, you can start packing them into containers that will go into the freezer.
Make sure to only use freezer-safe containers. These containers are made from durable materials that are unlikely to crack under the pressure of rapid temperature changes.
You might wish to choose containers like these, which are BPA-free and can go in the dishwasher or microwave. This pack of 10 containers makes it easy to label the contents of what is inside. The containers stack, which will help you to keep your freezer organized.
Clear Material Container
You might also consider containers like these. The clear material makes it easy for you to see what is inside of the container. With a 16-ounce capacity, these containers will hold enough beans for a meal for four people.
This is also the right container size if you are using the beans in another recipe. Measure out 2-cup portions of the beans and put them into the storage containers.
Be sure to leave some empty space at the top of the container to account for the expansion of the bean broth when the beans freeze.
Leaving some extra room will help to ensure that the containers do not burst and that the lids do not pop off in the freezer.
3 - Labeling Baked Beans For Freezing
Unless you like to play guessing games about what is in that mysterious container in the freezer, you will need to take a few minutes to label each of your containers of baked beans before freezing them.
You can purchase special freezer food labels like theese. These labels give you enough space to write the date and the contents of the container.
Beans can last for up to six months in the freezer, so you will be able to rotate older foods when you freeze another batch of baked beans.
You can also use the labels to guide you with meal planning so that you do not let any of the frozen baked beans go to waste. Use a permanent marker in a dark color to write on the labels.
4- Using Frozen Baked Beans
To use frozen baked beans, let the beans thaw out in the refrigerator or use your microwave's defrost function. Once the beans are thawed, put them into a cooking pot or your slow cooker. Use the lowest possible temperature to slowly reheat the beans.
There are many ways to use baked beans that have been frozen. As noted in this blog post, you can use frozen baked beans in some of your family's favorite recipes, such as homemade chili, Cincinnati chili, chicken and baked potatoes.
You can also enjoy the thawed and reheated baked beans on top of hot dogs, sausage or as a side for a quick lunch or dinner.
If you are concerned about the beans splitting open as they heat, add a dash of salt halfway through the cooking process. The salt helps to stop the beans from bursting open as they get warm.
Try It Today!
Freezing baked beans is a great way to save money and time with meal preparation while reducing food waste. Plus, it's very easy to follow.
- Cool beans to room temperature.
- Pack 2-cup (16-ounce) portions of beans into freezer-safe containers.
- Label the containers with the contents and date.
- Freeze for up to six months.
- Thaw beans and reheat at a low temperature.
You can avoid freezer burn with sturdy containers like these, and you can label the containers for easy storage. If you have questions about freezing baked beans, please leave a comment below.