One of the great things about beans is how versatile they are. Not only can they work in a variety of dishes and styles, but just about anyone who can turn on a stove can cook with beans. One question we sometimes receive from newer chefs is “Do I need to rinse my beans?” To seasoned veterans of the kitchen, this may seem like a simple beginner question, but being in the business of beans, we know there’s a lot more to it.
In the end, the question of whether or not to drain and rinse your beans boils down (no pun intended) to a few different factors.
What You’re Making
More than any other variable, the dish you want to make should determine whether you drain and rinse your beans or not. The liquid that Randall Beans come in will not only add to the flavor of a dish, but will also give it added moisture. Excess moisture is definitely something you’ll want to avoid if you’re making a salad or all-bean burgers. Many chefs though will keep some or all of the liquid from the jar when making soups, chilis, or certain styles of cuisine such as Mexican, where the “juice” will add a welcome texture and thickness.
Some bean liquids, especially black beans and kidney beans, have a little extra coloration that if you put straight into the pot or pan may cause a slight color change to the recipe. If you want to avoid any discoloration, you may choose to drain and rinse your beans first before adding them too.
What Kind of Bean You’re Using
Of course, the variety of beans you’re cooking with can make an impact on whether or not you should rinse and drain. Because different bean varieties have varying flavors and textures, so too will the liquid surrounding them. When cooking with kidney beans, many chefs will go straight from the jar to the pot, keeping the liquid with the beans to cook together. Great Northern and black beans are usually on the other end of the spectrum, with chefs choosing to drain and rinse the majority of the times they cook with them.
If the reason you’re rinsing and draining is due to health concerns, the type of bean you use will also be a factor. For example, Randall Navy Beans contain more sodium than our kidney beans, so sodium-conscious cooks will almost always choose to rinse and drain those.
In the end, your decision will usually come down to personal preference. One of the most common reasons you may see someone decide to rinse and drain will be to rid the beans of the slightly “metallic” taste that can come from canned goods. One of the great advantages of Randall Beans products is the glass jar – meaning no metallic taste and a freedom to use every part of the product without fear of an unwanted metal taste.
So what’s your procedure when cooking with beans? Are you a tried and true drain and rinser, or do you prefer to keep the liquid for cooking? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear your methods!
Try some of our favorite bean recipes like Cinco De Mayo Roasted Corn and Black-eyed Pea Beans Pico, Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes with Chorizo or Southwest Black Bean & Quinoa Salad for dinner tonight!
Do I need to rinse and drain beans?
While rinsing and draining beans is not necessary, there are a few reasons people choose to do so. Depending on the type of bean you are using, the coloration of the bean liquid may cause a coloration change you don't want for your dish. The bean liquid may contain a small amount extra sodium that you may not want in your recipe as well. Ultimately, the choice to drain or not is mostly personal preference.