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How to Fix Undercooked Baked Beans – Dinner Saved!

How to Fix Undercooked Baked Beans – Dinner Saved!

Is there anything as disappointing as cooking and caring for baked beans all day long- just to have them come out undercooked and hard as a rock?

The truth is, it can be hard to tell exactly how long to cook beans- a lot depends on the type of bean, the freshness of the bean, and the cooking method.

Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks to save your beans when you realize they are not quite done.

How to Fix Undercooked Baked Beans?

Soften undercooked baked beans with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per pound of beans. Cover the beans with a bit more water and bring to a boil for a couple of minutes- depending on how hard your beans are. You may also soften undercooked beans by draining and rinsing the beans- yes, your sauce will be sacrificed- and cooking the beans again for an additional hour or until they reach desired doneness. Speed up the process of cooking beans and ensure softer beans by soaking the beans beforehand.

Are your baked beans undercooked? Keep reading to find out how to fix them!

Soften Undercooked Beans

If you find that your baked beans are still hard after cooking, there are some things you can do to help with softening beans.

Some approaches may sound extreme- but if you want to salvage your baked beans, here is what you can do!

  • Add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda per pound of beans, ideally. If the beans are quite hard, you may want to add a bit more baking soda. The soda is what helps break-down the firmness of the bean. Continue to cook the beans for a bit to aid in softening.
  • Try resoftening your baked beans by continuing to cook the beans on the stovetop. Add water to cover the beans and sauce, and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
  • You can also drain and rinse the beans and try cooking them again for a couple hours. This involves rinsing the sauce, adding fresh water and salt, and re-baking the beans.

Test the doneness with a fork before removing your baked beans from the oven. Enjoy!

Soak Beans First

One way to help your beans along and ensure that they are not hard when cooked is to soak the beans first.

This typically involves soaking the beans in plain water, and in some instances, bringing them to a gentle boil before preparing them for the cooking process.

Some culinary experts suggest that you soak the beans in a large pot, allowing six cups of water per pound or two cups of dried beans.

Boil for two minutes and then remove from the heat and allow to sit in the water for another hour- no more than two.

You can use some of this soaking liquid when cooking the beans later.

After soaking, you can add your normal ingredients to the beans and prepare them to be baked in the oven.

Depending on your recipe, this might include sugar, molasses, salt, and/or pork.

Be careful that you do not add the molasses too early in the cooking process, as it is said that the acidity can toughen the baked beans, too.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Fix Undercooked Baked Beans

What should you do if you eat undercooked beans?

If you experience symptoms of food poisoning, seek medical attention. In some rare cases, those eating undercooked beans may experience nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Why are my beans still hard after cooking?

Typically, the reason why beans remain hard after cooking is due to their freshness- they could be old.

Is it safe to eat uncooked beans?

In some cases, consuming undercooked beans can cause symptoms of food poisoning, like vomiting and diarrhea. If you experience signs of food poisoning from undercooked beans- or other food- seek medical attention.

Is eating baked beans bad for you?

Beans, themselves, are low in fat and high in protein but it is the additives that can be bad for you. For instance, baked beans can be high in sugar and fat due to the added molasses, brown sugar, and pork that are often added to the beans.

How long should beans be soaked before cooking?

Soak one-part beans to three-parts water for a good six hours prior to cooking. Others suggest that you put the beans and water in a pot, bring them to a boil, remove from the heat and let stand in the water for two hours to soak.

Should beans soak in the fridge or on the counter?

Prevent the beans from fermenting overnight during soaking by keeping them in a cool place, like your refrigerator, ideally.

What are the best beans to eat for weight loss?

For weight loss and weight management, go with beans like garbanzo, kidney, navy, pinto, and black beans. These legumes are high in protein and fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full longer.

Do beans really make you have gas?

Beans contain a sugar known as oligosaccharide that causes gas due to the body’s inability to break it down.


Are your beans a bit undercooked? That’s too bad, but there are some things that you can do.

Use these tips for resolving your undercooked bean situation- and for cooking lots of different kinds of beans in the future!

Remember that old or stale beans will take longer to soften, so do yourself a favor and work with fresh beans.