Baked beans are one of the most filling and versatile foods you can eat. They are full of fiber, count as a serving of vegetables, and can be eaten with a variety of different foods, from toast and potatoes to hotdogs and eggs!
Whether you serve them at a barbeque, potluck dinner, for traditional English breakfast, or just as a quick and easy meal for one, there is the chance that you may have leftover baked beans that you can’t bear to throw away.
Like all foods, baked beans and also tomato sauce have a limited shelf life, so it is essential to store any leftovers safely, so they would stay succulent and delicious. This guide will let you know how you can store baked beans once you have opened the tin, and how you can tell if they are no longer safe to eat.
Four Ways You Can Store Leftover Baked Beans
In general: To extend the shelf life of baked beans after opening, refrigerate in an airtight food storage container within two hours of opening. Store them up for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
I am going to look at four different storage options below:
- In the tin
- In an airtight container
- In a bowl
- In the freezer
Storing Baked Beans In The Tin
Although it is safe to store baked beans in your refrigerator in their original tin, I wouldn’t recommend doing it. Why is this the case? It’s because metal reacts with acidic foods, causing the metal to impart an unusual taste to the food.
Food tins are made of stainless steel, so this will not make the baked beans unsafe, but it may still impair the flavor when you eat them. I’d only recommend storing your beans this way if you don’t have any other containers available to put them in.
If you do decide to store them in the tin, seal the top of the tin with plastic wrap or beeswax paper and eat the leftovers within a maximum of three days. If you are looking to reheat them later, do not reheat them tin nor place the tin in the microwave as this can be dangerous. Decant the beans into a bowl first.
Some Better Ways To Keep Them From Spoiling
Rather than storing leftover baked beans in the tin, I would recommend doing either of the following.
- Store them in an airtight plastic or glass container in the fridge.
- Store your beans in a ceramic or plastic bowl in the fridge, sealing the top of the bowl with plastic wrap, beeswax food wrap paper or with these universal fitting Tin Can Tops.
If you store your beans in this way, be sure to use your leftover baked beans within 3 to 4 days. Writing the date you stored the beans on the container will help you know when they need to be eaten.
If you are reheating your baked beans, make sure to cook them until they are piping hot.
Yes, You Can Also Freeze Them
If you are not planning to eat leftover baked beans for a while, did you know that you can freeze them instead?
Empty the can into an airtight freezer-safe container or sealable freezer bag as this will prevent freezer burn. Never freeze the can itself as it could crack or explode because of the cold.
Baked beans can stay frozen for up to six months, and when you are ready to eat them, they will have a softer texture that makes them perfect for casseroles, soups, and stews. The great thing about frozen baked beans is that you can cook them straight from frozen or throw them straight into whatever recipe you are making!
Should You Be Worried About Botulism?
Botulism is a rare toxin that can cause health problems in people like double vision and muscle weakness. The bacteria that cause the disease thrives in an oxygen-free environment so can be found in sealed, airtight environments like cans.
If your tin of baked beans has come from a commercial factory, the chances of contracting botulism are extremely rare as factories have incredibly stringent health and safety standards.
If you have home-cooked your beans and have canned them yourself, ensure that you stick to rigorous food hygiene and safety guidelines.
If you have a can that is dented or bulging, then I would advise not eating the contents.
Read Also: 6 Clever Ways To Heat Canned Soup Without The Can – Check It Out!
Is It Safe To Eat Cold Baked Beans?
Baked beans come in the tin already pre-cooked, so it is perfectly safe to eat them cold if you want to!
Cold baked beans are great in a salad (rinse off the excess tomato sauce first) or in a sandwich. If you want to eat them cold straight from the tin, I promise not to tell anyone!
If you want to eat leftover baked beans cold, make sure that they were refrigerated as quickly as possible.
How To Tell If Baked Beans Are Bad Or Spoiled?
If an unopened can of baked beans shows any sign of rust, bulging, punctures, or leakage then it is not safe to eat and should not be opened. If the opened leftover baked beans develop an off-flavor, odor, mold, they should be discarded. If you store an unopened can in a cool, dry place, they can last up to five years.
Make sure that your tin is not dented, bulging, rusted, or leaking as this could indicate that the tin is contaminated and it is best not to even attempt to open it.
If you are storing leftover baked beans in the refrigerator, if they look different, smell different, taste different, or if mold has developed, don’t try to cook them, you need to throw them away.
Remember though that you can’t always taste, smell or see bacteria so if you have stored your leftover beans for longer than the timescales specified above, then you shouldn’t eat them.
Read Also: Is It Safe To Eat Pizza The Next Day? – Check It Out!
I hope that this guide has helped you find out more about how to store your leftover baked beans safely and easily! Whether these are Grandma Brown’s, Heinz, Branston’s, or Bush’s Best, the same storage guidelines still apply.
Read Also: What Happens If You Eat Moldy Bread?