Many people wonder how long baked beans will last in the fridge. While it is true that you can make a whole week’s worth of baked beans in advance and refrigerate them, there’s a limit to how long these beans will stay safe to eat.
In this article, I’ll help you understand baked beans better so that you’ll know the proper way to store this dish. Of course, this means that you should learn what baked beans are about, if baked beans are in the vegetable group, if you should freeze baked beans, etc.
To prevent food poisoning, you should know the exact amount of time you can store your baked beans, and this post is here to help you do just that! Keep reading to avoid missing any essential information about storing and consuming refrigerated baked beans.
Table of Contents
- The Expected Shelf Life Of Baked Beans
- How To Properly Store Baked Beans
- Tips On Defrosting Your Frozen Baked Beans
- The Best Method To Reheat Baked Beans
- Signs Of Spoiled Baked Beans To Beware Of
- Must-Try Baked Beans Brands
- Perfect Side Dishes For Your Baked Beans
- Stay Away From Spoiled Beans
In general, the shelf life of baked beans depends mostly on whether they have been opened or not.
|Baked beans||On the counter||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Unopened canned baked beans||Not necessary||Not necessary|
|Opened canned baked beans||2 hours (1 hour at over 90°F)||3-4 days||3-6 months (best quality)|
|Leftover canned baked beans||2 hours (1 hour at over 90°F)||3-4 days||3-6 months (best quality)|
|Homemade baked beans||2 hours (1 hour at over 90°F)||3-4 days||3-6 months (best quality)|
An unopened can of baked beans can retain its best quality for at least 1 years and up to 3 years, provided that you store it properly. Most canned beans come with a “best-by” date, which indicates peak quality, not food safety.
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After the above time, the beans are still likely safe to eat but will lose some of their flavors and nutrition. A good balance between longevity and quality is about 3-6 months past the “best-before” dates.
Once opened, canned baked beans should always be stored in the refrigerator. The same thing goes for homemade and leftover baked beans. Generally, you can safely refrigerate your baked beans for 3-4 days.
If you’re wondering whether you can freeze baked beans, then the short answer is yes. If you plan to keep your leftover beans for longer than 4-5 days, freezing is a much safer choice than refrigerating.
Frozen baked beans can retain their best quality for 3-6 months with the proper freezing method.
Now that you’ve known the shelf life of baked beans, time to learn how to effectively store them in order to maximize their longevity.
Unopened baked beans can be safely stored at room temperature. Just make sure that you keep the beans in a cool, dark place and far from heat sources. For example, you can store your canned baked beans in a kitchen cupboard or a cabinet in the pantry.
As mentioned above, it’s best that you refrigerate opened or leftover baked beans. If your beans are still hot, you should wait for them to cool down to room temperature before refrigerating.
However, don’t let the beans sit at room temperature for too long, as doing so will expose them to bacterial growth. More specifically, avoid keeping baked beans at the temperature between 40°F and 140°F for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour at over 90°F) (1).
You can speed up the cooling process by dividing the beans into smaller containers. If you accidentally leave your beans out for a bit longer than 2 hours, say 2 hours and 15 minutes, don’t panic since they’re most likely still good to refrigerate.
That said, you should dispose of any baked beans that have been kept at room temperature overnight.
When the beans have cooled down, transfer them into an air-sealed food container and store them in the fridge. If you’re storing leftover beans after a meal, remember to use a clean spoon to scoop the beans.
With homemade baked beans, you know exactly which ingredients you use. Therefore, you can rest assured if the baked beans are safe for gluten-free diets. Additionally, proper storage will help prolong its shelf life in the fridge, so don’t miss these useful tips.
Another useful method for storing canned beans in a refrigerator.
Freeze Baked Beans For Long-Term Storage
Freezing baked beans is a very straightforward process and can help you keep the beans in good condition for 3-6 months. Here’s a simple, 4-step instruction to freeze baked beans.
Similar to the refrigerating method, you should wait for the beans to cool down before freezing. Remember not to let them sit at room temperature for too long; you can use the tips above to speed up the cooling process.
If you’re storing a couple of meals worth of beans, it’s best that you divide them into small freezer bags or containers. Trust me; it’ll be much easier for you to thaw and enjoy the beans in the future.
Don’t forget to leave some headroom in the containers/bags as your baked beans will increase volume when frozen.
Try your best to remove the air from the bags before freezing. If you’re using a container, make sure that you have closed the lid securely. You can also take some time to label the containers if you’re storing a large batch.
Well, do I have to say more. Simply place everything into the freezer.
An important step before you can enjoy frozen baked beans is thawing. There are 3 ways to effectively defrost your baked beans.
This is the simplest way to thaw frozen baked beans. All you have to do is transfer your beans from the freezer to the fridge the night before. That said, this method is quite time-consuming and might take more than 8 hours in some cases.
When you’re running short on time, the microwave is the better option as it’ll only take you a few minutes to completely defrost frozen beans.
Make sure to select the defrost mode if your microwave has one. Place the frozen beans on a sizeable defrosting tray, wait for the beans to melt a bit, then microwave them at 30-second intervals. Remember to flip your baked beans frequently so that they can thaw more evenly.
When the beans start to dry out, add a little water to them. You should cook or reheat your beans right after thawing.
The third method of defrosting baked beans is to simmer them on a stovetop at low heat until completely thawed. You can pour the beans in either a non-stick skillet or a saucepan.
Remember to stir the beans frequently to prevent them from burning and add more water if needed. You should also cook them immediately after.
If you accidentally defrost more beans than you can eat, you can freeze them again. Here are some notes on how to safely refreeze baked beans:
- You can refreeze baked beans that were defrosted in the fridge by transferring them back to the freezer, provided that the beans stayed refrigerated the whole time.
- If you defrost your beans using any other method, you have to cook them through first before refreezing.
When it’s time to enjoy your refrigerated baked beans, you should always reheat them first (unless cold beans are your thing). You can use either a microwave, an oven, or a stovetop to warm up baked beans.
The microwave method is the quickest way to reheat baked beans. All you need to do is place your beans in a microwave-safe container covered with plastic wrap or paper towel, then heat the container in 60-second intervals.
Every 1 minute, stir and check if the beans have warmed up to your liking. Repeat until they are evenly heated.
Learn how to utilize your microwave for cooking canned baked beans.
If time isn’t your concern, you can reheat baked beans in the oven as doing so will yield the best result. Check to see if aluminum foil can be put in ovens if you happen to cover your baked beans with foil to make sure no hazards happen.
Set your oven to 360°F.
Place your baked beans in an oven-safe container/dish and cover it with a layer of aluminum foil.
Let the beans sit in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350°F. After that time, check to see if they are fully heated. If not, bake them for a few more minutes.
Take the beans out of the oven, wait a few minutes for them to cool, and enjoy!
Reheating baked beans using a stove strikes a great balance between time efficiency and quality. You won’t have to wait for half an hour like the oven method, and your beans will be completely heated through.
Preheat your pan/skillet over medium heat for a few seconds, then add some oil or non-stick spray. Not sure whether to choose a sauté pan or a skillet? In this case, you can go for either, both sauté pans and skillets can do the job well!
Add the baked beans and stir well for a couple of minutes. Careful not to burn your beans.
Cut the heat and transfer your beans from the pan to a dish. Wait for the beans to cool down, then enjoy.
No matter how careful you store them, baked beans don’t last forever. When you see the following signs, it’s time to say goodbye to your beans.
A fully-sealed can of baked beans will usually last for a long time. However, if a can is damaged or swollen, which means that it won’t be able to protect the beans from outside factors, you should get rid of that can.
You should also check for indications of leakage or rust and dispose of any can with those signs.
Leftover baked beans won’t last as long as unopened beans, meaning you have to be more aware of their spoilage signs. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to spot a bowl of spoiled baked beans. Here are all the signs that you need to look out for.
Mold (or any weird organic growth) on the surface of the beans or around the container’s neck is a clear indication of out-of-date beans.
If you’ve stored the beans for a few days longer than the recommended time, it’s likely that mold will begin to grow. When you see mold, you know what to do.
While baked beans have a very pleasant smell, spoiled baked beans do not. If the beans reek of a weird smell, they should be thrown away.
Only do a taste test if the beans don’t have any of the above signs. If they taste fine, congratulations, you can safely enjoy your beans. Otherwise, you’d be better off with a new can of baked beans.
There are numerous baked bean brands on the market; unfortunately, not all are great. In this section, let’s go through some of the most well-loved canned baked beans that you can buy.
B&M original flavor baked beans are considered one of the best pre-packaged baked beans brands by many. The beans are tender and have a unique flavor that combines molasses, pork, and various spices.
365 Everyday Value’s organic baked beans are a great choice if you’re looking for a healthy can of baked beans. The product is 100% organic, vegan, and is non-GMO certified. Plus, the beans taste absolutely delicious!
Imported for the United Kingdom, Heinz baked beans are known to have a balanced sweet-savory flavor and creamy texture. Some people might find these beans a bit watery. However, there are plenty of ways to thicken baked beans that will easily fix this problem.
All in all, Heinz is the go-to brand for your English breakfast.
You can recreate the taste of Heinz baked beans right at home!
If you’re tired of eating beans as they are, don’t worry since there are seemingly countless dishes that you can pair with baked beans to make them even tastier.
Honey baked ham is a perfect dish to enjoy with your families on Easter, Christmas, or any holiday. Juicy and moist on the inside yet mouth-wateringly charred and crispy on the outside, not to mention the sticky and sweet honey glaze, this dish is literally irresistible.
Macaroni salad is a delicious dish that’s great for making ahead of time as it’ll taste the best when refrigerated overnight. Just imagine a plate full of creamy and tangy macaroni salad, sweet-savory baked beans, and some freshly-grilled meat makes me hungry.
Baked beans and grilled cheese sandwich make for an out-of-this-world lunchtime combo. Creamy cheese and tender beans as grilled cheese companion food, what else can one ask for?
If you have a smoker, then smoking is a great way to elevate your already tasty baked beans. Different smokers’ temperature requires varied time to smoke baked beans. No matter how long it takes, the process is well worth it in the end.
To ensure that all your doubts about refrigerating baked beans are resolved, don’t skip these commonly asked questions.
Everyone wants their baked beans to last for a long time. Unfortunately, unless you freeze your beans, you should consume them within 4 days. When the beans have shown signs of spoilage, there’s only one thing to do: throw them away.
Remember, your well-being is worth way more than a can of baked beans! If you find this article helpful, you can show it some love by pressing the like button and sharing it with your friends. Have something you want to ask? Feel free to do so in the comment section!
- Leftovers and Food Safety.
- Safe Method: Reheating [online]. Homepage | Food Standards Agency.