How long can you leave beans out before they go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you leave beans out before they go bad?”, and what is the shelf-life of beans?

How long can you leave beans out before they go bad?

Cooked beans should not be kept for more than 2 hours at temperatures between 40℉-140℉. This temperature range is called the ‘danger zone’ by the USDA because bacteria divide exponentially at this range. If the temperature is above 90℉, cooked beans go bad after an hour. 

How long do canned black beans last in the fridge?

An open can of black beans that have been continuously refrigerated after draining will last 3-4 days in the fridge. 

An unopened can of black beans does not need to be refrigerated. It has a shelf-life of 3-5 years If kept in a cool, dark, and dry place away from direct heat sources.

The expiration dates of Beans 

Unopened In the pantry In the fridge In the freezer 
Past Printed Date Past Printed DatePast Printed Date
Dried beans Indefinite 
Canned beans 1 year
Fresh Green Beans 1-2 days 7-10 daysCook first 
Dried lentils Indefinite 
Opened In the pantry In the fridge In the freezer 
Canned beans 5 days 
Cooked beans 5 days 1 year 
Beans sprouts 1 day 3-4 days 
Hummus 4-5 days 

How long do baked beans last in the fridge?

Baked beans will only stay good for 3-4 days in the fridge If stored in an air-tight container. Though not recommended, baked beans can last up to 5 or even 6 days. 

However, If any spoilage sign appears even after a single day of storage, you must discard the beans. The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of canned and baked beans.

Check out How to know if beans are spoiled.

Counter Fridge 
Canned baked beans (unopened)Best-by + 3 – 6 months
Canned baked beans (opened)3-4 days 
Baked beans (leftovers)3-4 days 

Store-bought or homemade, leftover baked beans will last only 3-4 days in the fridge. The same applies to an opened can of baked beans. 

An unopened can of baked beans has a shelf-life of 1-3 years. If stored correctly, it can be used 3 or even 6 months past the printed date. 

How long can baked beans sit out?

Ideally, baked beans must not sit at the counter for more than 2 hours and 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F (32°C). 

Baked beans sitting out overnight should be immediately discarded without any ifs and buts. It is recommended to quick-cool your homemade baked beans after cooking. Store the baked beans within 2 hours of cooking to avoid spoilage.

How long do cooked pinto beans?

Cooked pinto beans last 3-5 days in the fridge. While cooked pinto beans have a pretty much indefinite shelf-life in the freezer, they are best consumed within 8 months of freezing.

How to cook pinto beans?

  1. Pinto beans must be soaked overnight or at least 6 hours before cooking. Soaking the beans will prevent the flatulence or the ‘bean gas’ that occurs due to the indigestible sugars present in their seed coat. Soaking loosens this coat so it is easily removed. 
  1. Rinse and drain the soaked pinto beans. Transfer them to a pot. Fill the pot with water 1 inch higher than the beans. 
  1. Add the salt, garlic, pepper, onion powder, or any of your favorite spices at this point. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  1. Then reduce the heat and let the beans simmer for about 2 hours or until they are completely soft. Keep the lid slightly ajar to let some of the steam escape.
  1. When cooked thoroughly, transfer the beans to a bowl and let cool completely. Storing hot beans will trap the steam inside the container which will lead to bacteria growth and spoilage.
  1. Divide the beans into portions. Fill the container or freezer bags with the bean portions. Label the container if you want before popping it in the fridge or freezer.

How long do dry beans last?

Dry beans kept in a cool, dark and dry place in the pantry will last indefinitely if it is stored properly. It is recommended to use dry beans within 2-3 years of drying. 

After 2-3 years, the quality starts to degrade and the nutritional value of the beans reduces. In 5 years, the important vitamins will be lost.  Despite the nutritional loss, the beans remain safe for consumption beyond 5 years.


In this article, we answered the question “How long can you leave beans out before they go bad?”, and what is the shelf-life of beans?


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