How to Freeze String Beans
Freezing string beans is fairly easy to do, but there is a little preparation work to do upfront. This is to blanch the beans first because if you try and freeze them raw, they may spoil in the freezer and not end up tasting quite as good.
Luckily, once you get the blanching process worked out, it’s easy to do, and you can freeze lots of vegetables that would usually spoil in the freezer the same way:
- Prepare Beans
Trim and cut out your beans. You can cut them into smaller pieces to make them easier to use later. As you trim the beans, throw out any beans that show any signs of damage or spoiling. You only want to freeze the best quality string beans as this will ensure the best results.
Wash the beans in cool water and let them drain.
- Prepare for Blanching
Next, you need to prepare for blanching. You need a saucepan of boiling water, a way to drain the beans and some ice water. To make the ice water, you can either put a bowl of water in the fridge to cool or pop some ice cubes into a bowl of water. The amount of water you need will depend on how many beans. You need approximately a gallon of water per pound of beans.
- Boil Water
Pop the saucepan of water on to boil and make sure your ice water and equipment are nearby because you will need to move fairly quickly once the beans are boiling.
- Boil Beans
When the water is boiling, put the string beans into the water and bring them back to the boil for about two to four minutes.
Once the time is up, you need to take the string beans out of the boiling water and plunge them immediately into the ice water and leave until they are cooled. This halts the cooking process and makes sure your beans are only par-cooked and not completely cooked.
Drain the beans from the water and allow them to dry.
Next, you need to grab a baking sheet or flat freezer-safe dish. Put some parchment paper onto it, and then pour the string beans onto it. Make sure there is only a single layer of beans, and then put this into the freezer for about an hour.
- Bag Up
Once the string beans are frozen, you can take them out of the freezer and transfer them into a freezer bag. Doing this extra step of freezing on a baking tray first allows you to be able to take out a portion of the string beans at a time and avoid them freezing together in a big clump.
Label the bag with the date and contents and pop the bag into the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing String Beans
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing string beans to have the best results:
- Keep Them Airtight – When you are freezing your string beans, you want to keep them as airtight as possible so squeeze out the air before you pop the freezer bag into the freezer.
- Consider Use – When cutting your beans, make sure you think about how you plan to use them. If you like to use them in smaller pieces for soups and stews, then cut them up this way before freezing. If you prefer to keep your string beans whole for stir fry and side dishes, then do this. It makes it much easier to deal with when you grab them out of the freezer, especially as you might be able to cook your string beans from frozen.
- The Fresher, The Better – If you plan on freezing beans, try to freeze them as soon as you pick them. The fresher they are, when you freeze, the fresher they will taste when you thaw them out and cook them.
How Long Can You Freeze String Beans?
String beans keep safely in the freezer for a fairly long time. Great news for ensuring you always have access to delicious green beans. You can freeze them for up to eight months before they need to be used.
You Can Freeze String Beans for up to 8 Months
How Do You Defrost String Beans?
When it comes to cooking your string beans, you might be able to cook them from frozen. Just pop them into your recipe and cook them as you normally would. This works for stir fry, soups, stews, or even steaming your strong beans for a side dish!
If you do need to defrost the beans, then the best way to do this is to pop them into a bowl and put them into the fridge to thaw them out slowly overnight. This can make the beans a little mushy, so you might prefer to use them right from frozen.
Can You Refreeze String Beans?
We would not recommend that you refreeze string beans. Unfortunately, they may become too degraded to be tasty, and it isn’t worth the risk to your food or your health.
Do String Beans Freeze Well?
As long as you follow the method outlined in this article, then yes, string beans do freeze very well. If you notice any change at all, it will be minimal and is most likely to be a change in texture rather than taste. They are still delicious whether you eat them frozen or fresh.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing string beans or beans in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Runner Beans?
You can freeze runner beans. The process for freezing runner beans is the same as the method for freezing string beans. As always, it is vitally important to blanch runner beans before freezing to ensure they freeze well whilst retaining their texture and nutrients.
How Do You Freeze Green Beans?
In this article, you could simply replace the phrase string beans with green beans as all the same rules apply. Green beans can be frozen and, like string beans, must be blanched beforehand to ensure they retain their texture, colour and flavour.