Preparing, cooking, and freezing Dried Beans
(Orlando, FL, USA)
How do you cook and freeze dried beans? They seem to take forever boiling to get soft enough to even cook. Is there a better, quicker way? How do you freeze them, and reheat later?
Hi Emily, great question I’ll try not to answer with a whole essay here ;)
First the quality of the beans matter, and by that I really mean that age plays a big roll. Older dried beans simply take longer to cook and some never seem to get soft. They don’t actually last forever in the pantry.
I usually only buy 3 months worth of dried beans, if you want to buy bulk sizes make sure you can use them all within a year, max.
Pre Soaked Beans
Generally I presoak my beans overnight and have pretty good success with that. It does seem to reduce the cooking time.
You can freeze them just after presoaking and draining. A little bit of water wont hurt so you don’t have to dry them first. I freeze on a sheet pan for an hour or two in a single flat layer than slide them into a freezer container.
I recommend packaging them in meal sized or recipe sized portions. I label the bag with something descriptive like “presoaked black beans, 2 cups” and the date then add it to my freezer inventory. If you want to skip the flash freezing (sheet pan step) just portion them and freeze.
Use a freezer bag or plastic freezer container.
As always, freeze them flat so they thaw fast and can be stacked in the freezer. Put the bags on cookie sheets if you need to.
You can freeze pre cooked beans or bean dishes. Precooked beans can be frozen in meal or recipe sizes like the presoaked beans, just make sure you label it as cooked and note any seasoning you’ve added.
I don’t undercook my beans either because nothing is worse than hard, dry, crunch beans to me.
I often freeze homemade refried beans and hummus. Use an ice cube try for individual servings or freeze flat in a freezer bag. Chili and baked beans freeze well too.
You don’t need to thaw beans before cooking or reheating.