Baked beans make a healthy and delicious side dish, and you can also use them as a quick snack. If you cooked baked beans for a crowd and have a ton of leftovers or can’t finish the can of baked beans you just opened, consider storing them in the freezer.
You can freeze baked beans to prolong their shelf life. Storing baked beans in the freezer will keep them fresh for up to six months. If you’re planning to eat the leftover baked beans within three to four days, then you can store them in your refrigerator.
In this article, I’ll explain the best way to freeze baked beans. I’ll also discuss how to thaw and reheat them, along with some important freezing tips that you need to know.
How to Freeze Baked Beans
Freezing baked beans is a quick and easy process, and you can complete it using the steps listed below:
- Let leftover beans cool to room temperature if they’re still hot. Consider placing them on a plate instead of keeping them in the pot or saucepan to accelerate the cooling process. It’s important because the cooldown phase mustn’t last longer than an hour.
- If you think you won’t be able to finish your leftover baked beans in a single sitting, consider dividing them into meal-size amounts. It’ll allow you to defrost and reheat baked beans in the future that are just enough for a single meal.
- Once you have divided the baked beans into portions, start adding each portion to a separate freezer bag or container. If you use a solid container, make sure that you leave some headspace (about half an inch). That’s because the beans will increase their volume as they freeze.
- Make sure that all the freezer bags or containers are airtight. If you’re using bags, make certain that you squeeze them to remove as much of the excess air as possible before sealing them up. It’ll minimize the risk of freezer burn.
- Mark the bags or containers with the current date and store them in the freezer for up to six months.
Tips For Freezing Baked Beans
- Never place hot beans in the freezer because they’ll expand and burst open. As a result, they’ll become mushy when thawed.
- The cooldown process shouldn’t last longer than an hour. That’s because it’ll allow more bacteria to multiply and decrease the quality of food.
- The longer baked beans stay in the freezer, the more their quality and taste will deteriorate. While frozen baked beans will be edible for up to six months, I recommend you use them within three months for maximum freshness.
- If you use an airtight container to freeze baked beans, make sure they’re completely dry before filling them up. Moisture can also affect the taste quality.
- You can freeze canned baked beans the same way you freeze homemade baked beans. However, the canned ones will stay fresh for up to six months.
- To achieve the best results, I recommend you freeze your baked beans the same day you cook them or open the can.
How to Defrost Baked Beans
When you’re ready to use your frozen baked beans, you’ll need to thaw them. The best way to thaw baked beans is to place them in the refrigerator overnight (or six to eight hours).
Many people skip the thawing process, but you should avoid doing so. That’s because frozen beans become mushy and watery when you reheat them without defrosting them first.
But if you don’t have enough time to defrost your beans, consider adding a pinch of salt to them before heating. It’ll make them less watery and mushy.
How to Reheat Thawed Baked Beans?
There are multiple ways to reheat baked beans. The first and the quickest one is to use your microwave. Just place them in the microwave and heat them for about a minute at low to medium temperature settings. High-temperature settings can burn the outer layer of beans.
The best way, however, to reheat thawed beans is to use a saucepan. Use medium to high-temperature settings and keep oil or water on hand. You might need to add a tablespoon of one of these ingredients to prevent burning.
You can also reheat beans in your preheated oven (to 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Add thawed beans to a heatproof and oven-friendly container and heat them for 10 to 12 minutes. You might need to adjust the heating duration a bit depending on the food’s volume and container’s dimensions.
For example, you’ll need to reduce the heating duration by a couple of minutes if you’re heating a single meal-size portion in a shallow container.
Can You Refreeze Baked Beans?
Technically, you can refreeze baked beans, but you should avoid doing it. That’s because it’ll decrease their quality and flavor. Additionally, you should only refreeze baked beans that you have thawed properly in the refrigerator.
If you thawed them at room temperature or used your microwave for the same purpose, you must not refreeze them. It’s also important to note that baked beans that stay at room temperature for more than two hours are not safe for refreezing as well.
Do Frozen Baked Beans Get Mushy?
If you freeze your baked beans properly, they won’t get mushy. However, you’ll end up with mushy beans if you place them in the freezer when they’re hot. That’s why it’s important to let them cool down before freezing them.
Can I Freeze Canned Baked Beans after Opening?
Yes, you can freeze canned baked beans of all brands after opening. You just need to make sure that you use a dry airtight container to store them in the freezer. The canned baked beans will stay fresh for up to six months.
Can You Freeze Baked Beans – Final Words
Homemade and canned baked beans freeze well if you use the right approach to store them. Otherwise, they will get mushy and won’t offer an enjoyable taste.
Make sure that you follow each step carefully and keep the tips shared above in mind while freezing baked beans to achieve the best results.