Burning food is a nightmare. Rescuing burnt food is a headache. And keeping your attention on your cooking beans long enough to prevent the water from evaporating and the beans from burning isn’t easy. So all in all, you’ve got yourself into a bit of a mess right now and you’ve found yourself desperately wondering how to save burnt beans. Well, dear reader, we have good news!
We’ve found ourselves on the burnt end of beans in the past, and we know exactly how to get out of it. In today’s post then, we’ll tell you how to rescue the beans, salvage your pot, and remove that rancid burnt flavor from your food. Ready to find out more? Then let’s get to it!
Saving The Beans
The first thing we need to do is save those beans! But there is a caveat to that… The really burnt beans at the bottom of the pan? Yep, the gloopy, burnt on, not-going-anywhere-no-matter-how-hard-you-scrape beans: They’re gone. Sorry, but there’s nothing we can do about them. So let’s turn our attention to the ones we can save.
Your first step to rescuing your burnt beans is to get them out of the pot immediately. The longer you leave them in the burnt pan, the more they’ll take on that horrible burnt flavor we’re trying to avoid. So, get a colander and pour the loose beans into it. If you feel like there may be some burnt bits in there, then run the colander of beans under cold water to help wash them off. This will help when you’re adding flavor again later…
Then you’ll need to get a new pot out (the one with the burnt beans can be put to the side for now – we’ll tell you how to deal with that in a moment). Transfer the beans from the colander to the new pan, fill it with water again, and continue the cooking process right from where you left off.
PLEASE NOTE: If you’re planning on salvaging the pot as the beans continue to cook in the new pan – keep an eye on them. We’re good around here, but we’re not miracle workers, and saving burnt beans twice might be a little beyond our expertise!
Salvaging The Pot
OK, the burnt beans are back on track for now, so we can turn our attention to everyone’s least favorite thing on the planet: the burnt pot. Yes, cleaning this isn’t going to be easy, but it’s doable, so stick with us to find out how to salvage your burnt pot. And we’ll tell you how across 4 different stages, because if it isn’t too badly burnt, you might save the pot in stage 1. But if it’s really burnt on, then you’ll need to try all 4 stages until you eventually fix it.
Stage 1: Soaking
- The moment your beans are back on track, fill your burnt pot with hot water and dish soap, and just leave it. Probably wait until after dinner before trying anything else.
- After at least 2 hours, come back to it and try to wash the burnt bits off.
- If it wasn’t too badly burnt, then this might fix the problem.
- Even if it is badly burnt, this will help loosen the burnt bits for stage 2.
Stage 2: Scrubbing
- Now it’s time for elbow grease.
- Get a wire brush (make sure this can be used with your specific pot first) or other hard-hitting scrubber (steel wool is great) and get to work.
- Use hot water, your scrubber, and some more dish soap at this stage to see if you can remove the burnt on bits.
- If, after 5 minutes, you still have some really stubborn burnt bits, then save your arm strength and move to stage 3.
Stage 3: Reheating
- Heat got us into this mess, and heat will get us out.
- Cover the burnt areas with white vinegar, then place on heat.
- Leave to boil.
- Once boiling, wait for 2 minutes.
- Switch off the heat and leave to cool, and then take your wire brush/steel wool/whatever abrasive scrubber you are using, and try to remove the burnt on bits.
- Make sure you use the vinegar to help clean, don’t throw it out and replace with hot water or dish soap. You need the acidic vinegar at this stage to break down the burnt beans.
- If the pot is still burnt, then leave the vinegar in the pot and move on to stage 4. If it’s clean, then remove the vinegar and wash with soap and water to remove the vinegar smell.
Stage 4: Overnighting
- Now it’s time for a little science experiment. If the vinegar alone didn’t remove everything, then add a TINY (and we mean tiny) amount of baking soda into the pot with the vinegar at a time.
- You might need a few tablespoons in total, but just sprinkle in the baking soda a little at a time. Why?
- This will cause a chemical reaction and the mixture will bubble up and foam, so a little at a time will prevent an overflow.
- Once the mixture has stopped foaming and settled down again, simply leave to soak overnight (hence our affectionate term ‘overnighting’)
- The next morning, scrub it again – if this doesn’t salvage the pot, nothing else will. But trust us, it’ll salvage the pot.
Adding The Flavor
We’re nearly at the end of today’s post. We’ve saved the burnt beans, we’ve salvaged the burnt pot, and now all we need to do is pack some flavor into the beans to mask that slightly burnt flavor they’ll have naturally picked up from the pot earlier. But what are the best flavors and herbs to help mask the burnt taste?
- Apple cider vinegar – helps cut through the burnt taste and adds a little sweetness to the beans.
- Cinnamon – if you have a cinnamon stick, throw this into the pot, it’ll really mask the burnt flavor.
- Coffee – 1 teaspoon of ground coffee might be all you need. Coffee is a strong flavor, but used sparingly, it’ll add a nice depth to the beans whilst removing the burnt flavor.
- Coriander – quite a bitter herb, which works with the burnt bitter flavor to make it WAY more palatable.
- Curry powder – sprinkle a tablespoon of curry powder into the beans to coat the burnt smell and flavor.
- Dark Chocolate – sounds odd, but it works. A few squares melted into your beans at the end will remove the flavor and add just a touch of sweetness.
- Garlic – a punchy flavor like garlic will help you out.
- Mint – fresh or dried, it doesn’t matter. Mint is a great flavor for masking unwanted ones.
So there you have it, our one stop shop for fixing burnt beans! Follow this advice, and you’ll still be able to enjoy the beans you spent so long preparing in the first place!