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Mar 5, 2007 08:15 AM

saving beans?

I have a few bags of dried beans and I want to cook a bunch now and save them for later. I have done this before, just by using a little plastic box and putting them in the fridge, which worked a little okay but I'm hoping that there is a better way. Or, is it a bad idea to save them at all and I should just cook a little bit or switch to buying canned?

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  1. Don't buy canned. Fresh are so much better. You can control the texture and salt (if any).

    Don't know how you are using the beans, but if they are part of a dish like a soup or stew you could freeze the beans if you can't use them immediately.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      Dried beans aren't fresh. Though I prefer to cook my own dry beans, IMO canned beans are a great convenience item. Canned have a fine, uniform texture and when rinsed hardly ever are too salty. On the other hand, dry beans if too old are a nightmare to cook properly, so whatever you do, don't let dry beans sit around indefinitely.

    2. i always cook the whole bag, portion it into ziplocs and freeze. it works fine.

      1. I freeze beans now and then - it works wonderfully, though it does affect the texture slightly - makes them softer and more prone to disintegrate, in my experience. Now - if you like your beans very soft and falling apart, this might be a bonus!

        You can also freeze beans after soaking (if you soak beans - I don't usually) -- they keep almost forever, and cook up very quickly out of the freezer, because of the aforementioned texture affects.

        2 Replies
        1. re: AnnaEA

          How do you cook them, if you don't soak them?

          1. re: MVL

            I just pick them over for stones, rinse them off, and put them in the water. A pinch or so of salt, usually some sage and olive oil, and let them simmer very gently until they are done - usually about 45 minutes to an hour. I got the method (roughly) from Russ Parson's "How to Read a French Fry" and John Thorne's "Pot on the Fire" -- Russ provided the basic technique, and Thorne the sage/olive oil inspiration.

        2. Freeze them, but don't refrigerate them. My experience with cooked beans is that they last about a week or less in the fridge, and then they start to ferment, and GOOD LORD, what a stench. Phew.