How to Store Dry Beans

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Foods like beans should be stored as dry as possible.
Foods like beans should be stored as dry as possible. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

In addition to wheat and rice, dry beans are one of the staples of longterm food storage. Most dry bean types, including kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans and black beans, store well and can be kept for upwards of 30 years when packaged properly. These steps will help you store dry beans for the long term.

Things You'll Need

  • Storage containers (food-grade plastic buckets with gasketed lids, foil pouches, canning jars with lids)
  • Dry ice (if buckets are used)
  • Impulse pouch sealer (if foil pouches are used)
  • Oxygen absorber packets

Prepare storage containers. Make sure all inner surfaces are clean and dry. If you are using canning jars or foil pouches, place one oxygen absorbing packet into each container. If using plastic buckets, place one ounce of dry ice per gallon capacity in the bottom of the bucket.

Fill containers with beans. Fill foil pouches to 80% of volume. Fill jars to 95% volume. Fill buckets to within one inch of the top (on top of the dry ice).

Seal containers. For foil pouches, use an impulse heat sealer. Make sure the seal is tight. A second seal can be applied if desired. For jars, make sure the gasket on the lid is in good condition. Close the jar tightly. For plastic buckets, place the lid on top but do not completely close it until the dry ice has dissipated (sublimed). When the bottom of the bucket begins to feel warmer, place the lid on tightly. If it begins to bulge after a few minutes, open slightly to release the pressure.

Store containers. All food storage should be placed in a cool, dark and dry location, preferably off the floor and away from rodents. Rubbermaid or similar totes are excellent for storing foil pouches.

Tips & Warnings

  • Oxygen absorber packets should be kept in a sealed container until they are ready to be used. Only remove as many as you will use in 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Use caution when storing plastic buckets. Do not stack them more than three high as the weight can damage the lower containers.

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