Sometimes, you just get the craving for baked beans and you have to whip some up. But if you’re just one person, the whole can may be a bit much to get through. Or maybe you made a big batch for your family and there are leftovers.
Either way, you may be wondering if baked beans can be frozen, or whether doing so will reduce their quality.
The short answer is yes, they can absolutely be frozen. Freezing baked beans is a great way to keep them after the can has been opened.
However, there are a few points to note about how to go about it before you throw them in the freezer.
How To Freeze Baked Beans
First of all, it’s important to remember to always let your beans cool down on the countertop before freezing, if you have just cooked up a batch. Cooling them down in the freezer will cause the beans to expand, which can make them explode or even lead to a cracked container.
Once cooled, put your baked beans in a freezer-safe, sealable container or freezer bag. If you are freezing a lot of baked beans, you might want to portion them out into a few smaller containers, because you should not refreeze beans after thawing.
If your baked beans have meat in them, cover the pieces with the baked beans sauce so that the meat doesn’t dry out.
Even if cooled, the beans will expand slightly in the freezer, so make sure there is a little space left in the container. However, if you are using a freezer bag, remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing.
Now you’re good to go, although we recommend labeling your baked beans with the date of freezing before putting them into the freezer. That way you know when to eat them by.
How Long Do Baked Beans Last In The Freezer?
You can safely eat your baked beans up to 6 months after putting them in the freezer. After a few months, the taste may be slightly altered, but they should still be safe to eat.
How To Defrost Baked Beans
The more baked beans you have, the longer they will take to thaw, but it’s always a slow process.
The method that takes the most time, but the least effort is simply to put them in the fridge overnight. Smaller amounts might not take that long, but if you’re defrosting a large container, you’ll need at least eight hours.
A quicker way to thaw the beans is simply to put them in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. However, they require a fair amount of attention. Use the defrost option and microwave in 30 second increments, turning the beans over or stirring in between.
You can also defrost baked beans on the stovetop, which is great if you want to eat them straight away. Keep the plate on a low heat, and flip and stir continuously.
With both the microwave and stovetop method, the beans may need some extra water if they dry out while heating. With these methods, you should also cook and eat them immediately after thawing.
Once thawed, reheat your baked beans in the microwave or on the stovetop. You can simply keep going from when you were defrosting them, but it’s safe to switch to the normal setting on the microwave and turn your stove’s heat up a little once they are thawed. Just remember to stir often.
When Should I Freeze My Baked Beans?
You should freeze your baked beans if you have opened a can and don’t want to finish them within a few days.
An opened container of baked beans will last approximately 3-5 days in the refrigerator. If they came in a jar, you can simply close the jar and put it in the fridge. However, if they are canned, you should transfer them to a sealed container, as the can does not seal, and it can give the beans a horribly metallic taste.
Do not put an unopened can of baked beans in the freezer. Canned foods are designed to last a very long time, so they do not need to be frozen. Moreover, freezing baked beans in a can may cause the can to explode.
If your baked beans are entirely homemade, they will probably have an even shorter shelf-life as they will not contain any preservatives. Therefore, you should freeze them if you don’t intend to eat them within a couple of days.
Are These Baked Beans Still Good?
Even canned baked beans can spoil, particularly if the can is damaged. Before even opening it, check for dents, rust, and signs of leakage. If the can looks intact, you can open it.
Whether you are using beans straight from the can, from the refrigerator, or from the freezer, check for mold before using them.
Even if they are not moldy, they may have started to go bad. Check for an off odor before tasting a few beans. If they smell or taste funny, chuck them out.
An old can of baked beans is likely to still be safe to eat as long as the can is sealed and undamaged. However, the quality can deteriorate, so they may not taste quite as fresh as ones you have just bought from the store.
The Summary On Freezing Baked Beans
- You can freeze baked beans in a sealed container or freezer bag.
- Let them cool before freezing, leave some space in the container but remove all air if using a freezer bag.
- Thaw baked beans in the fridge overnight, or in the microwave or stovetop, but keep it low and slow.
- Frozen baked beans will stay good for up to 6 months.
As long as you follow correct procedure, freezing your baked beans is simple and effective. So next time you get that craving, you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll be able to finish them all or not.