Are you the type of person who doesn’t like throwing away leftover food? Then you would likely frown at the thought of putting unconsumed barbeque, no-egg meatloaf, sushi or baked beans in the garbage can after a big party.
Perhaps you can eat the barbeque before going to bed but the baked beans? You’d rather put it in the refrigerator or freezer, right?
But can you freeze baked beans? Isn’t that too much to do?
Can you freeze baked beans?
Well, the short answer to this question is—yes, you can do it. Freezing baked beans is safe. Plus it would let you enjoy a hearty dish a day or so after the party.
However, freezing uncooked beans is a no-no because you won’t be able to cook them properly after thawing them. As such, you can only freeze cooked beans. So the baked beans you brought from the party can be frozen as well as canned baked beans or even those that you cooked in a slow cooker.
Tips on freezing baked beans
But there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when you are to freeze baked beans.
Cool the beans first
It may seem too basic but a lot of people don’t know that they should cool baked beans first before putting it in the freezer.
Putting hot beans in the freezer can cause the container to expand. The possibility of the container exploding or cracking isn’t remote, too.
Moreover, the shock of the cold air to the hot food may also cause the beans to burst open. This makes it likely that you will have a yucky dish when you thaw and reheat the beans.
So let the beans to cool off first before you freeze them. I usually place them in the refrigerator for six hours before transferring them in the freezer.
Use a freezer-safe container
Once the beans have been cooled off, you can put them in a freezer-safe container. It’s a BPA-free food container that can be safely placed in the freezer for a long time. It also has a clear lid so you will be able to identify food stored in this container.
What I also like about this container is that it has a tight lid and thick walls, preventing food from spilling out. It is also stackable. And the price is quite budget-friendly. It’s a good investment that you may want to have.
How to store the beans in the container
Clean the container before you place the beans inside it. Then cover any pieces of meat in the baked beans with sauce before you close the container. The sauce should keep the meat from drying out when you put the baked beans in the freezer.
And when you fill the container with beans, don’t fill it to the brim. There should be enough space or head room at the top of the container, allowing the bean broth to expand when the beans freeze.
And leaving the extra room will also prevent the container from bursting, as well as the lids from popping off in the freezer.
If you don’t have a freezer-safe container, one way to store beans is that - drain and rinse the beans at first. Then put the beans in any plastic storage container and add a drizzle of olive oil before you put it in the freezer. This should be enough to keep the beans in good condition for at least a week.
Label the container
Unless you have an extra sharp memory, I doubt that you will be able to remember when you stored the baked beans in the freezer. Thus I highly recommend that you label the container first before you put it inside the freezer.
Using a marker, write down the date on top of the container. It is safe to eat baked beans up to six months since it was frozen.
Here’s one tip that I can share when preparing baked beans. If you think there will be leftover beans, then cook the beans until they are tender as if you were cooking baked pasta.
Reusing Frozen Baked Beans
There are plenty of ways to reuse frozen baked beans. The most common method I know people do is to thawing the beans and then slowly cooking them in a pot. You can do this but make sure to use the lowest possible temperature.
You can also use the frozen baked beans in other recipes like baked potatoes, or perhaps use it as a side dish for lunch or dinner.
You really don’t have to throw left over baked beans. Freezing it is a better, more practical option as you can re-use the food up to six months.
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