Are you curious about how to properly store fresh green beans? We have some great tips on how to keep your green beans fresh.
Having fresh green beans for a meal starts at the moment of purchase. You have to be super careful to pick out the best green beans before you even leave the store.
The most important notes on keeping green beans fresh are to plan ahead and make sure you can cook them within 7 days. Then pick out bright green ones at the grocery store that snap easily. Then store them in the high humidity drawer of your refrigerator.
1. Plan ahead
Fresh green beans will last about 7 days in the fridge. This is why we highly recommend that you have a plan for your green beans before you buy them.
It is so tempting to be in the fresh produce section, see those beautiful perfect-looking green beans, and think to yourself “Surely, I can use these.”
This has happened in my life far more times than I care to admit. I actually JUST did this with an asparagus bunch. The ending of that story was quite sad.
2. Pick the best green beans at the store.
If the green beans are on their way out, they sure won’t last long once you get them home. So be sure to pick the freshest green beans that you can find.
A quick tip on picking fresh green beans is to do a visual inspection and only get the ones that are bright green and have no brown spots. Also, snap one of them and if they bend instead of snapping don’t buy them.
3. Store them properly in the fridge.
Don’t wash your fresh green beans until you are ready to use them. Store them in the crisper drawer in your fridge. Don’t store them on your countertop or in the pantry.
How to store fresh green beans in the fridge
Fresh green beans can last up to 7 days in the fridge if they are stored properly. Just follow these simple steps.
- Do not wash the green beans until you are ready to use them. (While this isn’t technically a step it is critical to know.)
- Place the beans in a plastic bag.
- Add a dry paper towel to the bag.
- Place the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
- Turn the drawer humidity to high.
How to pick out fresh green beans
This is your simple checklist for picking out the best green beans at the grocery store. You only want to buy green beans that are bright green, smooth, without brown spots, and crisp.
- Pick bright green beans. The brighter the better.
- Inspect the beans to make sure they don’t have any brown spots.
- Feel the beans to make sure that they are smooth.
- Snap a pea. They should easily snap. If they bend don’t buy them.
When to throw away green beans
If your green beans have brown spots on them you likely need to throw them away. If there are only a few spots here and there you can cut the green beans and throw away the pieces with the spots.
If your green beans are slimy you should let them go.
If the seeds appear to be popping out of the green beans this means that they are past their prime and you should throw them out.
While we know that green beans will last about 7 days in the refrigerator, I recommend that you check on them every 3 days. If they are starting to look a bit less bright or you get the sense that they will turn soon you should either go ahead and cook them or freeze them.
We have a detailed guide on how to freeze green beans with or without blanching them. Freezing them doesn’t have to take long at all. Blanching the green beans will preserve the flavor a bit better but it does take more time.
My advice is to skip the blanching green beans step if you are short on time because a slight loss of flavor is better than completely losing a bunch of green beans.
By the way, if you are thinking to yourself that you will never remember use Siri, Alexa, or Google to remind you. Ever since we put an Amazon Echo device in our kitchen, I have been using it for all sorts of reminders like this. It is insanely helpful.