Cooking Disasters: Salvaging Burnt Beans

Just so you know…these are NOT black beans. Ahhh, the smell of burnt on beans that permeates my whole house.  So, so stinky.  I’m the worlds worst at getting sidetracked and letting the water cook out of beans.  Bad, naughty housefrau.

After all that soaking time, and tender loving care I put into my beans, I used to just have to throw the whole pot out and order a pizza.

Luckily, my Mother in Law has passed along a great remedy for burned beans that saves the day.

1. Remove them from the heat and don’t stir them at all.

2.  Dump all the loose beans into a colander or just into another pot.  If they are really bad, I like to rinse them.

3. Set aside the beans that are burnt onto the bottom of your pan.  We shall call these the bad beans.  Do not try to save, rinse or salvage these evil beans.  They reek, and do not deserve to be loved or eaten.

I’ve had to resort to oven cleaner before to get those suckers off, but the focus now is saving dinner, so I’ll just put some water over them and set these out on the carport for now.  Curious animals and humans may investigate at their own risk.

Update!  See this Kitchen Tip for Cleaning Burnt on Food!

4. Luckily, most of the beans in my pot are not affected by their stinky corrupted brethren. Put salvaged good beans back into the pot spice them up a bit to your liking, add more water, and continue cooking if needed.

Most if not all of the stinky burned smell was from the bad burnt beans.  Which are now living on the carport, announcing my shortcomings to the neighbors.

But at least we’re back on track with the original dinner plans.
Many, many thanks to my Mother in Law for this wonderful, meal saving cooking tip!


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  1. Sophie says

    Ha ha “their stinky corrupted brethren” – thank you! You really cheered up my kitchen disaster morning 😀

    You have a new fan here! X

  2. Nola says

    I can only say what I did with my pot of burnt red beans, 1- don’t stir, pour beans into another pot now knows as salvaged beans, put burnt bean pot in sink and add a cup of white vinegar. 2 add 2 caps of white vinegar to salvaged bean pot add 3 stalks of raw celery, don’t cut up you will remove this later, add 1 T of peanut butter, 2t of Dutch cocoa, 1T brown sugar, hum this is working. Not so bad now! Added a few shots of Worschschire sauce, a shot of Jack Daniels, and I had a shot. Really, added some raw rice and 2 cups water put the whole pot the whole stainless steel pot inside a large frying pan then poured enough water to make a double b oiler sort of thing and cooked the whole shebang on the electric burner that I hate. My husband just got home and said, YUM DELICIOUS!!!! So… Hey,,,,, Oh, remove those wilted celery stalks, I think I added a little red wine somewhere along the way… Hubby says, hey you need to write this recipe down…… I had another shot of JD