REFRIGERATE IT: No
AT FRESHEST: Can last indefinitely, but after 1 year may need slightly longer cooking times
OPTIMAL STORAGE: Store in airtight containers in a cool, dark, dry place. Do not wash until just before use.
FREEZING: Not recommended.
USE IT UP/REVIVAL: If the lengthy preparation time is the reason that bag of beans is hanging around in your pantry, you might like to know that pressure cooking vastly decreases the time to cook beans. Beans soaked for as little as 1 hour will cook in 3 to 14 minutes, depending on their variety, size, and age, using a pressure cooker.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, beans can be partially cooked in the microwave to decrease conventional cooking time.
Be careful to fully cook red kidney beans, as they can be toxic when undercooked, and do not cook them in a slow cooker unless boiled for at least 10 minutes beforehand.
Do not add salt, lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes, chili sauce, ketchup, molasses, or wine until after the beans are fully cooked, as they can prevent beans from becoming tender.
Brown foam in a pot of cooking beans is protein from the beans, not dirt. If you don’t like this, simply skim it off or add a bit of butter or oil to the water to prevent foaming.