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Can You Freeze Baked Beans? Save Money With These Storage Tips, Steps & More ✅

You’ve come to the right place if you’ve been wondering if you can freeze baked beans. 

Ah, baked beans, the prized side dish of barbecues for generations.

We know a lot about them, but in certain situations, many of us have to ask, “can you freeze baked beans?”

The thing about barbecues and baked beans is that you always prepare enough for an event at least twice the size of the one you’re actually having.

And while leftovers are great, unless you can pawn them off on your guests, you’re going to have to figure out what to do with them.

You don’t want to- gasp- throw away perfectly good food, but there’s no way you’ll ever get to all those leftovers in the few days they’ll stay good in the refrigerator.

That’s when freezing becomes an option.

Freezing leftovers, or even meal-prepping and freezing, has become a popular form of food storage for its practicality and longevity, but if you haven’t done it before, you may be wondering just what exactly you can and can’t freeze.

And if you’ve just finished cleaning up from a barbecue situation similar to the one described above, you’re most likely wondering whether or not you can freeze baked beans.

Well, your wondering days are over.

We’re here to alleviate some of your food storage stress and tell you exactly why freezing baked beans is a great option, how to do it, and how to defrost and reheat them when you’re ready.

Don’t worry—you can thank us later!

Can you freeze baked beans?

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The sweet and short answer to this question is yes

The sauce, the beans, and even any meat that may be in the dish—bacon, pulled pork, ham, or weenies—will all freeze quite well. 

Freezing baked beans is a great option if you have more leftovers than you’ll get to within a few days or if you’re meal prepping.

You can certainly freeze canned baked beans, which we’ll get to in a moment, but freezing baked beans makes the most sense for a leftover dish.

No matter your reason for freezing or the type of baked beans you’re working with, just be sure to follow our guide for freezing them to get the best taste and the most longevity out of your baked beans.

Can you freeze baked beans with bacon?

Thank heavens, yes!

Our favorite kind of baked beans is the kind with bacon; aside from the low cost, we feel that bacon is the best part about baked beans. 

Who’s with us?

So we are happy to report that you can, indeed, freeze baked beans with bacon. 

It would be such a shame to have to toss out such a delicious duo.

Can you freeze canned baked beans?

As we mentioned earlier, you can absolutely freeze canned baked beans.

It goes without saying that canned baked beans have quite a long shelf life, so chances are you won’t need to worry too much about freezing them. 

Every now and then, however, we push the limits of our “non-perishable food items” and may need to extend their proverbial “best by” date. 

We don’t recommend freezing an unopened can of baked beans—like, ever.

Freezing a can of baked beans could cause it to explode or crack, and you’ll also have a pretty hard time opening the can and getting the beans out, let alone trying to heat them up.

It’s best to remove them from the can and place them in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container first; we’ll go over best practices for freezing baked beans (canned and leftover) in the next section.

How to freeze baked beans

As promised, we have a step-by-step guide for freezing baked beans.

We’ve also broken it down into two sections for freezing leftover baked beans and freezing canned baked beans, although aside from letting the beans cool and removing them from the can, there isn’t much difference. 

Oh, and we threw some helpful tips and tricks in there, too. Here’s how to do it: 

Tools needed:

Instructions for freezing leftover baked beans:

  1. Allow the hot beans to cool completely until they reach room temperature.Place the leftover beans in an airtight, freezer-safe container or sealable freezer bag and close securely to avoid freezer burn.
  2. Label the container or bag with the date, so you’ll know how long they’ve been there.
  3. Place the container or bag in the freezer, and you’re all set.

How to freeze canned baked beans

Tools needed:

Instructions for freezing canned baked beans:

  1. Remove the uncooked beans from the can.
  2. Place the leftover beans into an airtight, freezer-safe container or sealable freezer bag and close securely to avoid freezer burn.
  3. Label the container or bag with the date, so you’ll know how long they’ve been there.
  4. Place the container or bag in the freezer, and you’re all set.

Tips and tricks on freezing baked beans

Freezing leftover homemade beans or even baked beans straight from the can seems pretty simple, and it is, but these tips and tricks will help you store your beans more efficiently so that they’ll thaw and reheat to perfection.

Never, ever skip step 1 for leftover baked beans; placing hot beans into a cold temperature will cause them to expand, which could crack or burst the container or bag holding them and ruin not just your beans, but anything nearby in the freezer.

  • Make sure whatever container or bag you’re using to store your beans is clean and totally dry before transferring the beans; you can use a plastic or glass container, glass jars, or plastic freezer bags. 
  • If you have a large amount of baked beans to freeze, you may want to portion them out into smaller quantities in multiple containers or plastic bags so you can reuse them at different times.
  • Do not refreeze baked beans once they have been frozen, thawed, and reheated; this is a one-time process. 
  • Frozen baked beans can be stored for up to six months.

How long will frozen baked beans last?

The tips and tricks above tell us that frozen baked beans can be stored for up to six months.

While that’s the general timeframe, there may be a bit of wiggle room depending on whether your beans are leftovers or canned, and also how particular you are about the taste and quality of your reheated beans.

The rules also differ for leftover frozen baked beans and canned frozen baked beans, and there are also some things to keep in mind about how long your frozen baked beans can be kept after they’ve been thawed.

Leftover frozen baked beans can be stored for up to six months; however, they are best served without any kind of deterioration within three months.

If you chose to freeze canned baked beans without cooking them to extend their shelf life, you should use them within two months.

Keep in mind that you most likely froze them because their “best by” date was coming up, and you don’t want to push it too far. 

Now, once you thaw or defrost baked beans, the matter of how long they will last is a different story.

If you thaw frozen baked beans in the refrigerator, you can store them there for an additional three to four days before reheating or cooking them.

If you choose to defrost frozen baked beans in the microwave or in cold water, you must use them immediately.

In the event that you find yourself questioning whether or not your baked beans are still good after freezing them, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Have they been in the freezer for longer than six months?
  • Have they been thawed in the refrigerator and stored there for longer than four days?
  • Have they been defrosted in the microwave or in water, but then stored instead of cooked right away?
  • Do they have a rancid or foul odor?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your best bet is to toss the beans and avoid food poisoning at all costs.

Ultimately, the goal is for your frozen baked beans to be just as tasty as they were in the first place.

You don’t want to go ruining grandma’s baked beans recipe, so for the best results, we suggest adhering to these guidelines to ensure your taste buds get what they deserve!

How to defrost baked beans

Now that we’ve discussed the best ways to freeze baked beans and the longevity of them once they’re frozen, the burning question on everyone’s mind is how to defrost them.

There are a few different ways to go about this, and you can choose which one is best for you based on how quickly you need your beans.

Keep in mind that these are the safest ways to thaw your baked beans and will help them maintain the best quality.

How to defrost frozen baked beans in the refrigerator

To defrost your frozen beans in the refrigerator, simply move them from the freezer to the refrigerator. Here’s how to do it: 

Tools needed:

      • Frozen baked beans 
      • Paper towel, cloth, airtight container
      • Refrigerator

Instructions for defrosting frozen baked beans in the fridge:

      1. Place the freezer-safe container or bag with the frozen beans on a paper towel, cloth, or in another container. This keeps excess water from running all over the fridge. 
      2. Transfer the sealed container from the freezer to the fridge then defrost overnight for about 24 hours.

Cooking Chew tip: If you don’t need them right away, you can store them in the refrigerator for three or four days until you’re ready to use them, but no more than that.

Once they’re completely thawed, you can reheat them using any of the methods we’ve outlined below.

How to defrost frozen baked beans in the microwave

Defrosting any frozen food in the microwave is admittedly not our favorite method, but it’s the fastest and still works just fine. 

Follow the steps to learn how to defrost your frozen baked beans in the microwave: 

Tools needed:

Instructions for defrosting frozen baked beans in the microwave:

      1. Remove frozen baked beans from the freezer-safe container or bag. 
      2. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. 
      3. Pop the beans in the microwave. 
      4. Defrost them on a medium setting 30 seconds at a time. 
      5. Check the baked beans after each segment until they’re thawed completely.

Pro tip: The key is to defrost without beginning the reheating or cooking process, so you don’t want to get in such a rush that you zap them at a high temperature.

If you heat your frozen baked beans too quickly, the result will be overcooked outer edges but a still-frozen middle, which will ruin your whole dish and nobody wants to ruin perfectly good baked beans.

How to defrost frozen baked beans in the refrigerator

To defrost your frozen beans in the refrigerator, simply move them from the freezer to the refrigerator. Here’s how to do it: 

Tools needed:

      • Frozen baked beans 
      • Paper towel, cloth, airtight container
      • Refrigerator

Instructions for defrosting frozen baked beans in the fridge:

      1. Place the freezer-safe container or bag with the frozen beans on a paper towel, cloth, or in another container. This keeps excess water from running all over the fridge. 
      2. Transfer the sealed container from the freezer to the fridge then defrost overnight for about 24 hours.

Cooking Chew tip: If you don’t need them right away, you can store them in the refrigerator for three or four days until you’re ready to use them, but no more than that.

Once they’re completely thawed, you can reheat them using any of the methods we’ve outlined below.

How to defrost frozen baked beans in the microwave

Defrosting any frozen food in the microwave is admittedly not our favorite method, but it’s the fastest and still works just fine. 

Follow the steps to learn how to defrost your frozen baked beans in the microwave: 

Tools needed:

Instructions for defrosting frozen baked beans in the microwave:

      1. Remove frozen baked beans from the freezer-safe container or bag. 
      2. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl. 
      3. Pop the beans in the microwave. 
      4. Defrost them on a medium setting 30 seconds at a time. 
      5. Check the baked beans after each segment until they’re thawed completely.

Pro tip: The key is to defrost without beginning the reheating or cooking process, so you don’t want to get in such a rush that you zap them at a high temperature.

If you heat your frozen baked beans too quickly, the result will be overcooked outer edges but a still-frozen middle, which will ruin your whole dish and nobody wants to ruin perfectly good baked beans.

How to defrost frozen baked beans in a saucepan

Defrosting frozen baked beans in a saucepan is possibly the most practical option if your plan is to cook and use them right away. 

Here’s how to do it: 

Tools needed:

      • Frozen baked beans
      • Saucepan
      • Burner

Instructions for defrosting frozen baked beans in a saucepan:

      1. Remove frozen baked beans from the freezer-safe container or bag they’ve been stored in. 
      2. Place them in an appropriately-sized saucepan. 
      3. Add a small amount of water into the saucepan. 
      4. Set the burner to low heat to slowly thaw the baked beans.

Pro tip: If you feel you need to add more water as the process goes on, you can always do that- just be careful not to add too much; as they say, you can always add, but you can’t take away.

It’s a good idea not to heat the beans too quickly or on too high of a setting; too much heat during the thawing process will cause bubbling and burning, and you don’t want that kind of mess or smell on your hands.

Once the baked beans are thawed completely through, you can begin cooking or reheating them however you choose.

How to reheat frozen baked beans

Just as there are multiple ways to defrost frozen baked beans, there are also multiple methods of reheating them without butchering any of your baked bean recipes.

Once again, your selection of a reheating method depends on the timeframe in which you’d like to cook the beans, and it just so happens that two of the ways you can reheat your frozen baked beans go right along with the same way they were thawed.

Any of these will be a great way to reheat your frozen beans to enjoy them a second time, and we’ve outlined them all here for you.

Side note: you’ll notice slow cooker is not on this list; while a slow cooker certainly would work, it takes a pretty long time, and no one wants to wait that long for baked beans.

How to reheat frozen baked beans in a saucepan

Since this is where we left off with directions for defrosting, we’ll pick back up here with directions for reheating.

You don’t have to reheat your frozen baked beans in a saucepan just because you defrosted them in one, but moving from one right to the other is, in our opinion, the best way as it makes for good logistics and less cleanup later on. Here’s how to do it: 

Tools needed:

      • Frozen baked beans
      • Saucepan
      • Burner

Instructions for reheating frozen baked beans in a saucepan:

      1. Thaw the frozen baked beans in a saucepan to low heat over burner.
      2. Once the beans have been thawed, turn the heat up a bit, but not too high—medium heat at most.
      3. Cook the beans until heated through. 
      4. When they start to bubble a bit, turn the heat back down and let them simmer for a few minutes before removing the saucepan from the heat.

Pro tip: If you feel the beans are drying out as you reheat them, you can add more water or a combination of water and an additional sauce of your choosing; the important thing is not allowing them to dry out.

As long as you keep your beans moist and heat them thoroughly without overheating them, you’ll be left with a perfectly flavorful batch of beans.

How to reheat frozen baked beans in a microwave

Likewise, reheating frozen baked beans in a microwave is a practical next step after defrosting them there as well. 

Learn how to reheat frozen baked beans in a microwave below: 

Tools needed:

      • Frozen baked beans
      • Microwave
      • Microwave-safe cover, plastic wrap

Instructions for reheating frozen baked beans in your microwave:

      1. Thaw your frozen baked beans on a medium setting in the microwave.
      2. Once completely thawed, place a microwave-safe cover on top of the container or cover it with plastic wrap. 
      3. Start heating them once again one minute at a time. 
      4. Check and stir the baked beans after each minute to see if they’re hot enough.

Always remember, there is no standard reheating time when using a microwave; you just need to monitor them closely—you want hot food, not burnt food.

How to reheat frozen baked beans in the oven?

If you prefer reheating previously frozen dishes in the oven, it’s absolutely possible and very simple.

Tools needed:

      • Frozen baked beans
      • Oven-safe dish
      • Oven

Instructions for reheating frozen baked beans in your oven:

      1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
      2. Place defrosted baked beans in an oven-safe dish.
      3. Place the baking dish in the oven and reheat the beans for about 10 to 15 minutes.

The bottom line

The next time you have an excess of leftover baked beans, there’s no need to worry about how to store them and how long you can keep them.

This guide for frozen baked beans is an all-inclusive inside scoop with everything you need to know about freezing, storing, defrosting, and reheating baked beans.

Baked beans were made to be enjoyed, so keep them as long as you can and enjoy them whenever you like!