Canned black beans liquid

Simple question, that I don’t know an answer for.

I did some reading about black beans because I enjoy eating them. On one site I read that unlike other beans, black beans can’t be cooked down until they fall apart and must be pureed first and then cooked for soup.

As a bigger fan of canned black beans than dry I had always noticed that the “water” that black beans come in appears to be made of black beans as well and before finding out otherwise thought maybe I could cook this and have black bean soup.

I have since found that there is allot of debate over what to do with “bean water” both what you soak dry beans in and what you do with the surrounding liquid in the canned black beans. The higher percentage of opinions tilt towards rinsing the beans off well and not using either liquid.

Still I’m curious why canned black beans are canned with a liquid consisting also of black beans?

I’m guessing the beans used in the packing liquid are there to help retain color. Have you noticed how some of the bean skins are more a smoky purple color. Color must leach out. Same way that black olives are packed in a black brine, which gets blackened from using iron sulfate. Still and all, drain ALL canned beans. Why, you cry? Helps to remove some of the unfortunate flatulence-producing compounds. The same way that soaking dried beans, then refreshing them with clear water, and then again using fresh water to cook them, helps to keep the gas level down. Can’t be TOO careful, now can we? Hey, if you happen to have an epazote patch in your herb garden…

Since this is about food and cooking, let’s move it to Cafe Society.

General Questions Moderator

I make my chili with canned black beans, liquid and all. I think it adds more flavor, farting be damned.

My black beans are canned in water and salt. The carbohydrates and some of the color from the beans in the can leech into the water, coloring and thickening it. The same thing happens if you soak dried black beans in water. I think that’s all it is. It doesn’t look or act like pureed black beans or anything. And you’d have to buy a lot of cans to get enough of the goop to make a soup out of it.

I sometimes drain and rinse black beans, sometimes use the goop and all. It doesn’t have any added sugar, so it doesn’t change the flavor of the dish like some canned bean liquid does. Basically, if I don’t mind the little bit of cloudy color, like in a soup, I use the whole can. If I want pretty clean beans, like for my corn and black bean salad, I rinse the beans and discard the can liquid.

Kidney beans kinda have the same thing going on too. But black or kidney or garbanzo, all my canned beans are drained, rinsed in the can, drained again maybe one more rinse and then used for cooking. I don’t know why but I find the liquid gross.

Kidney beans are often packed with sugar in addition to salt. I have no idea why. Those I always rinse, with one exception: Weight Watchers Taco Soup calls for the liquid and all, and the sweetness from the sugar is factored into the flavor profile of the soup (and the nutritional data and calorie count.)

That is the point of it though I think. Much of the oligosaccharide content (which contributes to gas production) of the beans leach into the fluid. Draining and rinsing them allegedly reduces the fart and gas pain potential. No cite available.

I’ve never noticed any difference in gaseous emissions, regardless of how they’re prepared.

Rinsing beans is not necessary, and the liquid is good for thickening in certain applications.

Pfft and next you’ll be telling me it’s pointless to rinse your ice cubes before putting your beverage in. :rolleyes:

But seriously WhyNot, I love that soup. I haven’t made it in a long time…I should.

I use black beans more than any other type of bean. I much prefer using dried beans when cooking and typically only use canned beans when time is an issue. I almost always rinse canned black beans but it’s because I want to limit my sodium intake and that definitely helps. Other than that, I would agree, use the liquid.

As for gas, yes changing the water used to soak dried beans will reduce the chance of gas. So will rinsing canned beans. However, the best way to reduce your chances of gas from eating beans is to eat them on a regular basis. Your colon will get used to digesting the sugars in beans that cause gas if you eat them often. Plus, beans are delicious and good for you!

I read the thread title as “Canned black bears liquid”.

Ooo, that stuff is nasty.

Most canned beans I use the liquid(sometimes only half if I know that particular concoction has drifted toward the thick and cement like in the past).

But definitely not Garbanzos. Possibly because I only eat those in cold or room temperature foods. I love the beans but have to carefully rinse off every drop of garbanzo slime.


I make a pasta dish that uses garbanzos and the liquid is the only thickener for the sauce. However, when I’m using them in a salad, they get rinsed and re-rinsed, then dried.


I got nuthin.