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Beans have traditionally been a mainstay in people’s meals all throughout the globe. They’re plant-based, healthful, quick to prepare, delicious, and packed with nutrients!

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Bean-based recipes are becoming more popular as vegan diets become more mainstream.

They are not only delicious and nutritious, but also highly diversified. Beans come in a variety of forms, sizes, and tastes, so there is a bean for everyone! Baked beans, kidney beans, black beans, and green beans all have their advantages and are great sources of fiber and protein.

While beans are a plant, the many types mean they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. People normally consume fresh or canned beans, however dried beans are one of the cheapest and simplest forms of beans to get.

While canned beans are easier to prepare and cook, dried beans are not far behind, requiring just a little soaking. But, once wet, it might be difficult to know how to keep them if you do not intend to utilize them all.

I’ll teach you not just how to keep your soaked beans so you may enjoy them for as long as possible in this post. But I’ll also teach you how to identify when your beans are no longer edible!

How to Store Soaked Beans

When storing soaked, uncooked beans, you may do it with or without the soaking water. Keeping them in the soaking water will help them live longer and will take somewhat less time in the process.

If you utilized a rapid soaking procedure, you must ensure that the beans have completely cooled to room temperature before storing them. If this is not done, the warmth may serve as a fantastic breeding environment for germs, making your beans dangerous to cook.

Storing Beans without the Soaking Water

After your beans have been soaked, if you want to keep them without the soaking water, just drain the water from the beans and completely dry them.

After dried, place them in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator. These beans will keep for around 4 to 5 days if properly kept. If you want to retain them for a longer period of time, place them in an airtight container in the freezer. They’ll only be there for a few months.

If you want to freeze them, put them in an airtight container. Instead, a frozen bag with all of the air pushed out may be used.

If you want to freeze your beans, it is much simpler to boil them before freezing. This implies that they are ready to eat as soon as you remove them from the freezer. When added to a dish, you don’t have to worry about them undercooking. Just ensure that they have recently defrosted.

The drying of the beans is a critical stage. This protects the beans from becoming mushy and maintains them divided rather than producing a single chunk of bean mush. You may alternatively set them in the sealed container on a paper towel. This ensures that any extra water or drink is absorbed.

Instead, you may cook the beans after they’ve been soaked. This implies that they are ready to consume anytime you want. Cooking them all at once eliminates the need to cook them in separate batches. They may also be stored together after cooked.

If you want, I will describe how to keep cooked beans later in this post.

Storing Beans with the Soaking Water

Instead, to save the trouble of draining the beans, soak them first and then store them in the water.

If you decide to do this, you must replace the water every 12 hours. This prevents germs from growing in the water, which will become rather unclean over time.

A splash of vinegar may also be added to the water. This helps to inhibit the growth of germs while having no discernible effect on the taste of the beans.

If you want to soak your beans for more than 24 hours, make sure they are in an airtight container. It should also be kept in the fridge. Storing your beans at room temperature, especially in the summer, encourages microbial growth. These will not only convert the beans limp and strange in texture, but will also give them a poor flavor.

Beans that get too heated will begin to ferment and may sprout, as previously stated. While fermented beans are not completely hazardous to consume, they can have an unpleasant taste. If the flavor is unexpected, it might spoil your dinner.

Cool temperatures are essential for avoiding fermentation. Your beans will be able to soak for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator, as compared to 24 to 48 hours on the counter.

When you’re ready to cook your beans, just drain them and add them to your recipe.

If you need to use the beans quickly, this approach is ideal. The water aids in the preservation of their taste. But, keeping them without water is much more convenient if you want to utilize the beans later since it allows you to freeze them.

Why Discard the Soaking Water?

Virtually all soaking recipes and guidelines will instruct you to discard the soaking water and boil the beans in fresh water. This seems strange since you would expect the soaking water to include some of the tastes of the beans, and yet many people still use it while cooking.

Fresh water, on the other hand, may aid to shorten the cooking time. It will heat up more quickly and distribute heat more evenly.

Also, using fresh water to boil your beans will make them more digestible. Beans contain specific sugars that might induce constipation. Since the soaking water contains these sugars, they are transported into our meals.

These indigestible sugars are normally released during the soaking period, so when you dispose of the soaking water, you also dispose of these sugars.

While many people argue against it, it makes more sense to be safe than sorry if you have already taken the effort to soak the beans, thus I would always use fresh water when cooking my soaked beans.

How Long Should I Soak Beans For?

Soaking beans before cooking minimizes the cooking time of the beans and allows them to be used in a variety of cuisines rather than only those that need a lengthy cooking period.

Soak your beans for 8 to 12 hours at the very least. This implies they will soften enough to allow for rapid cooking.

Anything less than 8 hours means your beans will need much more cooking time when added to dishes.

Anything longer than 12 hours may result in mushy beans. This is due to the fact that they will absorb too much water, causing them to lose taste.

Despite this, many individuals soak their beans for far longer periods of time. As previously stated, you may soak beans for up to 48 hours at room temperature and up to 4 days in a refrigerator.

Since beans come in so many various types, each batch of beans will be unique, even if they are the same sort of bean. This is vital to remember, and you should always check your beans before cooking them to ensure they haven’t gone bad.

How to Tell if My Soaked Beans Have Gone Bad

When your beans start to go bad, you can tell. In rare circumstances, the fermentation process will result in sprouting as well as the discharge of a foul odor. If you’re worried, just rinse your beans and smell them; you’ll know right away whether they’re rotten.

They will not only smell horrible, but they will also seem slimier. The look may be a helpful signal, although occasionally beans can sprout while soaking, which does not imply they are bad. Sprouting beans do not smell or taste terrible and are safe to consume. Sprouted beans are also far more digestible than unsprouted beans, which might be a benefit if you don’t mind their look!

If you are concerned, just check for a slimy texture and a foul odor.

While fermented beans are safe to consume, they will spoil your meals since the terrible smell and flavor will permeate the rest of the dish. As a result, it is strongly advised to avoid them.

Lastly, if the soaking water has begun to froth, this is a sign of not just fermented but also rotting beans. You should toss them away at this time.

How to Store Cooked Beans

As previously stated in the text, cooking certain beans before storing them may be more convenient. This is especially true when it comes to freezing them.

You may cook your beans in their sauce and then keep them in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for a few days, requiring just reheating. This will certainly be determined by the remainder of the meal.

Similarly, if you create a large quantity of anything and don’t plan on eating it all in one week, you may freeze the leftovers and enjoy them later. Cooked beans are much simpler to reheat than raw beans.

This is because boiling frozen beans is a lengthy process, and just because they seem defrosted does not imply they are fully cooked, and they may wind up being undercooked and hard in your dishes.

Storing Soaked Beans – Final Thoughts

Preserving your soaked beans is entirely dependent on how and when you want to utilize them.

If you want to utilize your soaked beans within a few days, refrigerate them either in their water or drained. If you don’t have time to replace the water every 12 hours, just take the soaked beans out of the water. Dry them well before storing them in a jar.

Alternately, you may freeze your soaked beans (without the water) and they will keep for a few months. If you want to use them a few months later, it is best to cook them before freezing them so that they are ready to go!

To utilize your beans more quickly, soak them at room temperature, but don’t leave them for too long!

If your beans go bad, they will have a terrible odor and a slimy texture; at this point, discard them!

Thus, if you want to start utilizing dried beans, be sure to follow these easy procedures for keeping them after you’ve let them soak, and you’ll be able to enjoy them for up to a few months!

If you’re interested, we also have an article on keeping raw chicken.


Is it OK to soak beans for two days?

If refrigerated and the water is changed every 12 hours, you may soak beans for up to 4 days. Anything more than 12 hours may cause the beans to get mushy, and if the water is not changed, the beans may begin to ferment, so keep a watch on them.

How long can you soak beans before they spoil?

Soaking beans for 8 to 12 hours is the recommended length of time. If the beans are refrigerated, they may be soaked for many days.

Do you have to cook soaked beans right away?

No. Soaked beans may be stored in the refrigerator with or without water. Instead, you may drain them and freeze them for a few months.


How do you store soaked beans long term?

Fill an airtight jar halfway with beans.

If you wish to keep dry beans for more than a month, place them in an airtight container, such as a mylar bag or a glass jar. Store the beans in a cold, dark, and dry location. In the container, they should survive three years.

Should beans be soaked in the fridge or on the counter?

Salt the soaking water well; it should have a lovely salty flavor. Then set aside for at least four and up to eight hours at room temperature. If you soak the beans for more than eight hours, put them in the refrigerator to avoid fermentation. Soak the beans for no more than 24 hours.

How do you preserve already soaked beans?

To keep soaked beans, take them from the water and completely dry them. After dried, keep them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The beans will keep for about 4-5 days. You may freeze them if you want to store them for a longer period of time.

How long can soaked beans stay in the fridge?

I often have more soaked beans than I want to cook right away, so after an 8-12 hour soak, I store them covered with water in a sealed container (e.g. Tupperware) in the refrigerator for up to a week.

How do you store beans for 10 years?

Beans may be preserved for ten years or more if they are stored in food quality packaging, sealed buckets, reduced oxygen packaging, or heavier plastic (Mylar) bags.

What is the longest you can soak beans?

Soaking beans for more than 12 hours is not recommended.

Others argue that beans should only be soaked for 4 hours, although the maximum time is 12 hours. If you soak the beans for more than 12 hours, they will lose both their unique taste and texture.

Can I put beans in fridge after soaking?

Soaking beans in cold water slows the rehydration process and reduces fermentation, keeping your beans fresh and useable for many days.

Is it okay to soak beans overnight on the counter?

Covering the beans with a few inches of water and putting them on the counter or in the refrigerator overnight is the overnight soak. The quick-soaking method includes boiling the dry beans for a few minutes in a stockpot full of fresh water, then soaking them in the hot water for an hour to soften.

How long can you soak beans before they spoil?

They may develop hazardous germs if allowed to soak for an extended period of time. Even though they are still safe to consume, soaking beans for an extended period of time might reduce their nutritious value. As a result, soak beans for no more than 12-24 hours at room temperature or 2 days in the fridge.

Do you have to use beans immediately after soaking?

This question has a simple answer: no. You do not need to soak dry beans overnight. In a moment, we’ll get to what you can do instead, but first, a word about why we soak beans. Soaking beans in the refrigerator overnight substantially reduces the amount of time they need to cook.

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