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Nov 28, 2007 04:48 AM

Can Dried Beans Go Bad?

I found a couple of bags of dried beans in my kitchen and they are past the expiration date. I always thought that dried beans last a very long time if kept dry.

Do you think it's safe to use them?

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  1. Perfectly safe; they're probably a bit dry though, so may take longer to cook.

    1. They're safe -- but I would toss them anyway. Sometimes they get so old they won't cook properly. They stay crunchy no matter how long you simmer them for. They're so cheap that I don't think it is worth wasting the other ingredients to take a chance.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rfaill

        I agree this just happened me, they still taste crunchy that's red beans by the way I was going to make chili these beans ARE OLD!!!!!! Think I'm going to throw them out, Do an overnight soak instead of boil and sit for hours on some NEW beans. Thanks for the advice

      2. I'm with rfaill on this one... tho' you could use them as weights when you're blind-baking a pie crust.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Aunt Jenny

          yah, me too. Once cooked old beans for more than 24 hours, and they -never- got tender. Best for blind baking a crust. :)

          1. re: Aunt Jenny

            I'm glad you beat me to that one. Don't throw them out; use them instead of the metal "beans" sold for this purpose. Then put them in the compost.

            1. re: lagatta

              I wouldn't recommend using long cooked but
              semi-ard beans for blind baking.

              I think Morganna is suggesting to never cook old beans -- just use them for blind baking. But who knows ... She replied in the Truman administration.

          2. They're definitely "safe." And it's true that the older thay are, the longer they take to cook. But I've often cooked dried beans that are past expiration date and never once had a problem. I guess it depends on just how long past expiration date, but I think we're talking years here, not months.

            1. UPDATE:
              I ended up soaking them over night and just finished cooking them for a little over 2 hours. I am tasting them now and they are perfectly tender and pretty darn delicious! Who knew expired food could taste so good?

              Thanks, everyone!!

              3 Replies
              1. re: pixelrn

                Then they weren't as old as the ones I tried to cook. Yay for tender beans! :)

                1. re: pixelrn

                  An extra-long soak helps "old" beans quite a bit...like 24 hours, rather than just the standard 12-hr overnight soak. Still, I did once encounter a bag of Thrifty Maid black beans that remained hard in tiny bits despite a long soak, really long cooking, pureeing, and cooking some more.

                  1. re: pixelrn

                    Just one of the reasons that dried beans are so wonderful. Being tasty as h*ll and really fibrous and nutritious are big bonuses.