A Baked beans dish is a simple, versatile recipe – that’s why it’s popular for quick meals and potlucks.
But what if you made too much of the dish and are left with some (or a lot) of leftover baked beans? Can you freeze baked beans so as not to waste food?
The quick answer is yes – you can freeze baked beans, but you have to do it right. This way, the already cooked food will remain fresh and safe for consumption.
This post will provide you with tips and tricks on how to freeze baked beans properly. You can actually prepare this kind of food in advance to prepare for a busy week, too. By following the steps here, thawing and reheating your frozen baked beans will remain healthy, safe, and delicious as well.
Steps to Freezing Baked Beans
Step 1 - Let it Cool
Never (ever) put newly cooked or hot baked beans in the freezer. Although you can freeze baked beans, this should be allowed to cool down first. Ideally, the dish should be at room temperature for it to be considered “freezer safe.”
Your red kidney beans cook and freeze it reuse in your for cooking Via Chef Ricardo Cooking
Here are some of the reasons why hot baked beans shouldn’t be immediately put in the freezer:
- The sudden change in temperature can cause the container to crack. If this happens, your baked beans will no longer be properly sealed.
- The hot beans will get a shock from the cold air and cause them to burst open. Cracked baked beans will become mushy when reheated.
- Putting hot food in the freezer will overwork the unit
- Note: For best results, you can place the containers of baked beans in the refrigerator first (a few hours) before freezing them. This way, there will be no sudden changes of temperature.
Step 2 - Pack and Store Baked Beans Properly
Kitchen Hack: How To Batch Cook And Freeze Via WholeFoodsMarket
Proper freezing of baked beans (video) also involves proper packing and storing. If you don’t do this right, the quality of your frozen food can be affected.
Keep in mind that our main goal for freezing this dish is to keep it as fresh and tasty from the day it was frozen to the day that it’s reheated and eaten.
The proper steps for storing baked beans are as follows:
- Make sure that you’re using freezer-safe containers so that these won’t crack when frozen. The lids should also be airtight to make the frozen food last longer.
- Don’t jam-pack baked beans in a container when freezing them. Keep in mind that frozen foods can expand – the lid can loosen up when this happens.
- Using microwavable containers in freezing cooked food will lessen the hassles of thawing and reheating them. It would be even better if these are dishwasher safe, too.
- Using several stackable containers is more practical than 1 big container. This will allow you to use one portion at a time.
- Clear containers work the best – this will lessen the guessing game when sorting through frozen food in your freezer.
- Note: Freeze baked beans as soon as possible to preserve the dish better. A newly cooked dish of beans can be frozen immediately after allowing it to cool.
- Leftover cooked beans, on the other hand, should be stored as soon as possible (within the same day).
Step 3 - Label Frozen Food Properly
Labeling is good for meal planning as well as in freezing cooked foods. In the case of baked beans, this is particularly important as the dish can still get bad (in time) even when frozen – it will not stay fresh forever.
Keep these things in mind when labeling frozen baked beans:
- Label the container with the type of dish (in this case – baked beans) and the date when it was cooked and frozen.
- If you have frozen baked beans with different dates, make sure that you consume those that were cooked first.
- Use food labels that are freezer safe. Ordinary labels can peel off because of the temperature and environment in the freezer.
- Use a permanent marker when labeling food in the freezer. This will ensure that the writings will not get erased.
Step 4 - Use and Enjoy Frozen Baked Beans
When you want to use your frozen baked beans, you still need to follow certain steps to get the best results.
Remember, you want the dish to have the same texture and taste as the day it was cooked. And this is possible – when you follow the methods of proper thawing and reheating.
You have several options to choose from when thawing and reheating frozen baked beans
- Remove the container from the freezer and transfer it to the refrigerator (you can do this overnight). Reheating the dish will not expose it to sudden changes in temperature because it is no longer frozen solid.
- When microwaving frozen baked beans, choose the defrost function first. When it’s defrosted, you can then reheat it (at the lowest temperature).
- If you’re going to reheat thawed frozen beans in a pot, use the lowest setting on your stove.
- When thawing and reheating frozen baked beans, consume all the portions in one day. It is not advisable to freeze the dish again as the quality is no longer that good.
- Note: Just as hot baked beans shouldn’t be immediately frozen, frozen baked beans shouldn’t be immediately reheated to high temperature. Always remember that sudden changes in temperature can affect the overall quality of the dish.
Step 5 - Recipes Where You Can Use Frozen Baked Beans
Baked beans recipe is a type of dish that’s truly delicious and filling. Of course, you can eat it as is – it’s like a full meal already. But just so you know, your leftover frozen baked beans can also be used in other recipes.
Although you can freeze baked beans for a long time without spoiling, it is still better to use the dish right away. Consider making the following recipes and snacks when you have a lot of frozen baked beans in your freezer:
- Chili – As another delicious and versatile dish, Chili recipes (video) will taste even better with beans. Use some of your frozen baked beans (cooked pinto beans work well for this type of recipe).
Chili 3 Delicious Ways Via The Domestic Geek
- Simply follow the proper thawing and reheating steps– and make your tummy happy.
- Chicken Recipes – Chicken and beans go well together. You can either include fresh beans (like yellow beans and string beans) or serve them with cooked green beans (also known as French beans) and the like.
- As Toppings – Beans make for popular toppings – in dishes and in snacks. Just think Nachos with Salsa and Baked Beans (video).
Nachos with Salsa and Baked Beans by Tarla Dalal Via Tarla Dalal
Benefits of Cooking Dishes with Beans
Beans are delicious and they’re very easy to cook. To appreciate this type of food, even more, it would be good to know its other benefits.
Quick And Tasty Stewed Beans Recipe [For Students & Busy People] - Chris De La Rosa Via caribbeanpot
- Beans are very affordable. Stock up on beans and you can always depend on these when you have the limited budget in food preparation.
- Bean recipes come in many different varieties (video). These can be served as breakfast, lunch, dinner, side dish and snack. If you particularly like baked beans, pinto beans, black beans and garbanzo beans are some of your best options for this type of dish.
- Beans are very nutritious – they are high in phosphorus, calcium, and fiber
- Beans are among the most versatile ingredients. They can be used in all bean recipes, meat recipes, and vegetable recipes as well
- Beans have long life – this holds true for dried beans, canned beans, cooked beans, and frozen beans
Reminders, Tips, and Tricks
As we are on the subject of freezing baked beans, I would like to leave you with some important reminders. These are all applicable to the storing, cooking, freezing, thawing and reheating this type of food.
- Store uncooked beans in a cool, dry place – they have long shelf lives. On the same note, there’s no need to freeze uncooked beans as this will do more harm than good. Freezing uncooked beans will affect their quality and affect the texture of the beans when cooked and reheated.
- An unopened can of beans don’t need to be frozen – they have preservatives to keep them fresh for a long time. They are also sealed pretty good, right? In this case, just make sure that you use them before their expiry dates. To open the can, you will need this can opener.
- Beans can sometimes crack when exposed to heat. One way to avoid this is to add some salt half way through the cooking process
- Frozen baked beans can stay fresh for up to 6 months (if stored and frozen correctly, that is)
- Even if you have properly stored pre-cooked baked beans in the freezer, check the taste, texture, and odor before eating them. If they are no longer good, just throw them away
Freezing Baked Beans is Possible
So, can you freeze baked beans? You sure can – and now, you also know how to do it properly.
Freezing cooked food like baked beans will save you time and money in preparing healthy meals. And of course, freezing leftover food also minimizes wastage.
Also, keep in mind that properly cooked bean dishes will freeze better. In the case of baked beans, make sure that the beans are not overcooked. If the beans are already soft and mushy after the initial cooking, the texture will be even mushier when defrosted and reheated.
If this post has been helpful to you, share it with others – so that they can benefit from it, too. You can also leave your comments below.
For more Food Storing Guide and Food Storage Time In The Fridge, read this article.