How to Store Dried Beans

dried beans in jars
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They're cheap; they're tasty; and they store beautifully. Follow these tips to successfully store dried beans in your pantry or stockpile.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 5 minutes or less

Here's How:

  1. Transfer your dried beans to a food-safe storage container with a tight sealing lid. If you leave them in the bag they came in, they'll dry out faster.
  2. Remove any broken beans or rocks that you notice.
  3. Place the container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.
  1. For best results, use your beans within a year. They'll still be safe to eat after a year, but they dry out over time, and could take longer to soak and cook. If your beans are more than a year old, don't be too quick to toss them. Some studies have found dried beans can be stored for up to 30 years!

Tips:

  • If your beans have been sitting in the pantry for a while, the US Dry Bean Council recommends adding 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the pot for every pound of beans when you cook them. This will help to soften them up.
  • Buy dried beans out of the bulk bins. They'll usually be cheaper than the bagged beans, and you can buy just what you need. 

Not Sure How Many Dried Beans to Keep on Hand?

A heaping half-cup of dried beans is the equivalent of one 15-ounce can of store-bought beans; and one pound of dried beans will yield about six cups of cooked beans (or four cans of beans). Go here for more dried bean math.

Cooking Dried Beans

If you've never cooked dried beans before, it's really easy. Here's what you do. If you're in a hurry, you can use this trick to speed up the cooking process.

I like to cook my dried beans in big batches. Then, I divide them up between pint freezer jars, and store them in the freezer.

This gives me the convenience of store-bought canned beans, without the cost or all the added sodium. Whenever I need a can of beans, I just pull out one of my jars, and thaw it in the microwave (or if I have time, I let it thaw overnight in the fridge.

Ways to Use Dried Beans

Here are a bunch of recipes that call for beans. Use them to add more meatless meals to your dinner rotation, and save big.