In this post, I’ll be sharing my personal experiences and tips for dehydrating beans in an oven or dehydrator or air-drying them.
How to Dry Beans at Home
Which beans are best for drying?
There are many different types of beans that can be dried and stored for long-term use.
Some of the most common types of beans that are suitable for drying include:
- Black beans: These small, glossy beans have a rich, earthy flavor.
- Great Northern beans: These medium-sized beans have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
- Kidney beans: These large, kidney-shaped beans have a rich, slightly sweet flavor.
- Lentils: These small, disk-shaped beans have a nutty, earthy flavor.
- Navy beans: These small, white beans have a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
- Pinto beans: These medium-sized beans have a soft, slightly sweet flavor.
- Soybeans: These large, oval-shaped beans have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.
Overall, any type of bean can be dried and stored for long-term use.
SEE ALSO: How to dehydrate green beans
When to harvest beans for drying
To harvest beans for drying, you should wait until the beans are fully mature and the pods are dry and papery. This typically occurs when the beans have reached their full size and the pods are yellow or brown in color. You can check the beans by gently squeezing the pods; if they feel dry and papery, they are ready to be harvested.
How to harvest beans for drying
To harvest the beans, use a sharp pair of scissors or a knife to cut the pods from the plant. You can also gently twist the pods off the plant, but be careful not to damage the plant. Once the pods are harvested, you can remove the beans from the pods by gently splitting the pods open and removing the beans.
Preparing beans for drying
Once you have harvested the pods, you can remove the beans by gently splitting the pods open and removing the beans.
After the beans have been removed from the pods, sort and clean them. To do this, spread the beans out on a clean surface and remove any debris, such as bits of pod or other debris.
Remove any beans that are discolored or damaged.
Air drying beans
To dry the beans, you can either spread them out in a single layer on a screen or tray in a well-ventilated area, or you can hang the pods in bunches in a dry, well-ventilated area.
It will take several days to a week for the beans to fully dry, depending on the humidity and temperature of the drying area.
Drying beans in the oven
If you do choose to dry beans in an oven:
- you will need to preheat the oven to its lowest setting (usually around 150-200°F),
- place the beans in a single layer on a baking sheet,
- you will need to leave the oven door slightly open to allow moisture to escape, and you will need to rotate the baking sheet and stir the beans every 30-60 minutes to ensure that they dry evenly.
It will take between 8 – 12 hours for the beans to fully dry in the oven, depending on the type of beans you are drying. The bigger the beans, the longer the drying time.
Drying beans in a dehydrator
Using a food dehydrator is a more efficient and effective method for drying beans compared to using an oven.
To dry beans in a food dehydrator:
- place the beans in a single layer on the trays of your food dehydrator,
- You will need to set the temperature of the dehydrator to around 140-150°F,
- and you will need to leave the beans in the dehydrator for 8 – 12 hours, depending on the beans you are dehydrating,
- remove them from the dehydrator when they are fully dry and brittle.
How to Store Dried Beans Long Term
To store dried beans long-term, you will need to keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Dried beans will last for several months to a year if stored properly, but they may lose some of their flavor and nutritional value over time.
Here are a few tips for storing dried beans long term:
- Choose a container that is airtight and moisture-proof. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids or plastic containers with airtight seals are good options.
- Make sure the beans are completely dry before storing them. Any moisture left in the beans can cause them to spoil or become moldy.
- Store the beans in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and heat. A pantry or cupboard is a good place to store dried beans.
- If you live in a humid area, you may want to store the beans in the refrigerator or freezer to help preserve their freshness.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your dried beans stay fresh and retain their flavor and nutritional value for as long as possible.