In the United States, pinto beans are considered one of those popularly used beans, they are very versatile and you can use them in several ways. The beans usually add up quickly when they are cooked and they go a little long way. They are also extremely affordable and that means anyone can buy them.
You will most likely have leftovers whenever you cook pinto beans in batches and you might be wondering whether or not can freeze the leftovers. Pinto beans can be frozen and they can last up to four months inside the freezer.
What we want to check out in this article is to find out all the details concerning how you can freeze your pinto beans. This includes the best options you can use to store your pinto beans. You have to continue reading if you want to have an overview of what you should know.
A Guide to Freezing and Storing Pinto Beans
Usually, pinto beans could come in several manners. You could buy them precooked contained inside a can through which you only need a little work to prepare. You could also buy your beans dried and then cook them. Irrespective of the way you got your pinto beans, you still need options for freezing them. You will not need to freeze canned pinto beans if that is what you bought. Through canning, the beans have been preserved to last very long. If they don’t last long, by the time you open and freeze them, they will last longer.
You must importantly be aware that canned items are not designed for you to freeze them. What we want to check out in this article is to see how we can freeze cooked dried beans and we will also generally check out dried beans. Dried beans are considered to be one of those meals that are most affordable. Dried beans can stay in the pantry for a long time most especially if the package is yet to be opened. Even if it has been opened, it can be sealed back, and then you can continue storing them.
If you want to prepare your dried beans, it takes some time that you will use to soak them and also cook them. You can cook them in large batches and then freeze the extra to use whenever you want to use the beans.
Using Pinto Beans
You are already aware that this meal is a very versatile one and it can be eaten in several ways and can also be added to a variety of dishes. They have a great flavor when eaten alone and they could easily be flavored further. Check below for some of the ways through which you can use pinto beans, you may know some of them and others, you may not:
- Chili con carne
- Season them and use them as side dishes
- Add them to a variety of soups
- Use them inside taco salad
- You can add them to salads
- Add them to burritos
- Refried beans
- Ham and beans
You will realize that there are many options through which pinto beans can be used. You can stretch a bag of dried beans for various meals and other uses depending on what you want to make. One great thing about it is that it is not expensive and that means it will worth it even when you buy a lot of bags at once.
Preparing Pinto Beans
People put out different information about how to prepare pinto beans and most of that information is conflicting. The question most asked is whether or not the pinto beans should be soaked before they are used or if you only need to rinse them before using them. Many of this information depends on the preference of the person involved. Most of the information states that when you properly soak them before you use, you can eliminate most sugars contained in the beans that cause gassiness and some other digestive problems. Some other methods stat that you do not have to soak it and all you have to do is to run the hands through them and rinse the beans inside cold water.
Our belief is that it is preferable when you soak the beans because it will help people away from messing with beans. However, it is up to an individual to select whatever works for them, you might decide not to soak your beans and as a result risk the effect of ignoring it. We are majorly here because of the process of soaking. It is possible to soak a lot at a time and separate the beans into different portions before you freeze them. We are certain that this is a process that works and if you could try to spare some time to get your beans soaked before you prepare, you could save some time at the end of the process.
Check below for some of the insights concerning the process of soaking and even though you don’t need to exactly follow the instructions, you will get the whole idea of the process:
- Sort your beans and remove all debris or broken beans (this is optional)
- Rinse your beans inside the cold water
- Put the beans inside a pot or bowl and proceed to cover them with water, ensure the water is about 2 to 3 inches above your beans
- Allow the beans to soak at room temperature for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight
- Drain the beans and you can then use or cook them.
We have another method of soaking that is quite quick which involves briskly boiling your beans. This is a method you can use if you are rushing.
Freezing Pinto Beans
Our assumption is that you already soaked and cooked the pinto beans from the instructions and process discussed above. Irrespective of if you just soaked the beans or cooked them, this particular process will work perfectly. It is easy to freeze pinto beans but they will not last long inside your freezer as much as they will last longer when left dried. If you’ve already soaked and cooked the beans, the best option for you is to freeze them and use them easily whenever you want to. Check below for the process of freezing:
- According to how you prefer, portion the soaked and cooked beans.
- Separate them accordingly in freezable containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Allow one-inch headspace with the storage device.
- Proceed to add the liquid from the beans that are enough to serve as a cover for the beans.
- Seal the container, label them, and add the date when you are placing them inside the freezer.
- Put them inside the freezer.
- The beans can last up to four months in the freezer and you should use within this period. They can still be good for about six months.
Using Pinto Beans After Freezing
You must already have the understanding that dealing with your pinto beans could be quite simple with the hardest area being the soaking before cooking them. This is how freezing can make sense and can also help you save time. After you have frozen the pinto beans, you have to be aware of how you can use them and this includes the thawing time and the processes involved. There are three options that you can use when you want to use the pinto beans after you have frozen them;
- Leave the frozen beans to defrost inside your fridge for two or three days or overnight and then cook them.
- You can quickly thaw the beans by placing them inside a bowl containing warm water or running the beans under warm water.
- In case the beans you have frozen are not a big chunk, they can be used individually by adding them directly into recipes. Whenever you are preparing a meal that uses beans as its base or when making chili, all you have to do is to warm or heat the beans inside the pot and add the other ingredients as you wish.
The simple steps above show exactly how versatile and simple pinto beans are. The process is very simple to deal with and they are not expensive. This is the best option you can find out there.
Do Beans Take a Long Time to Cook?
It typically takes one to three hours when you want to cook beans through simmering. This particular time frame can be relied on when you are trying to make ham or chili and beans. If you are adding the beans to your baked dish, you can cook them in the timeframe that you are using to cook the dish. Based on what you are using the beans for, cooking time varies.
Do Pinto Beans Go Bad?
Most times, you don’t need to get worried about your dried pinto beans becoming bad if they are stored properly. The major concern is for the cooked variety. You should throw the beans away if the appearance or coloring is odd or if the smell of the beans is just not right. You should also throw away whenever you notice mold developing on it.