Yet another "should I eat this?": black beans
November 7, 2009 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Should I Eat This? Filter: cooked black beans left in a pot overnight.

Yesterday I was waiting for the pot to cool before putting it in the fridge, then forgot about it, leaving it there (with the cover on) until this morning when I put it in the fridge. There are no meat ingredients.
posted by k. to Food & Drink (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's edible if it passes a visual test in my book. Reheat well.
posted by bravowhiskey at 10:36 AM on November 7, 2009

posted by Zambrano at 10:38 AM on November 7, 2009

I would throw it out. BUT it is probably safe to eat. If you choose to eat, reheat to a boil.
posted by fifilaru at 10:40 AM on November 7, 2009

I guess it depends person to person, but I would do just what you did quite often and always ate the leftovers. I used to make giant pots of vegetarian black bean soup for late dinners, and I would just leave the pot on the stove and re-boil it for lunch the next day before I parceled it and put it in the fridge. Never bothered me.
Now, having worked in a lot of restaurants, I know leaving vegetables in the "danger zone" overnight is a no-no, but I'd say your chances of getting sick from black beans that were at room temp for 8-12 hours are quite slim. Eating mussels under almost any circumstances is more dangerous.
posted by joechip at 10:45 AM on November 7, 2009

Cost/benefit. Beans are what, $0.50/lb?

Cost of throwing them away = 50 cents plus your cooking time.
Benefits of throwing them away = not throwing up.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:46 AM on November 7, 2009

I do this ALL THE TIME. It'll be fine, just make sure you heat it through thoroughly.
posted by jonesor at 10:55 AM on November 7, 2009

I'd eat it. I have eaten it. We make a fair number of veggie bean things, and sometimes the pot gets left out overnight. But we live in a cool climate, so there's that to consider.
posted by rtha at 10:57 AM on November 7, 2009

It's completely fine. I've done this with chili, even.
posted by ignignokt at 10:58 AM on November 7, 2009

Depends on on what else is in the beans, really. Absent any meat or dairy ingredients, I personally would go ahead and eat them as long as they don't look or smell spoiled-- I'd just simmer them for a few extra minutes when I reheated. No idea whether that's wise or safe, it's just what I would do (and have done when I've made similar mistakes in the pas)t. After all, many bean recipes call for an overnight soak, which doesn't seem to turn them into deadly poison or anything.
posted by dersins at 10:59 AM on November 7, 2009

Totally fine. For the record, in rural central america, where most people don't own their own refrigerator, beans are commonly cooked in a pot and stored at room temperature for a couple of days and reheated to eat. It's really no biggie.
posted by emd3737 at 11:11 AM on November 7, 2009 [4 favorites]

I did this last week. I then boiled them for about 2h and everything was fine.
posted by cestmoi15 at 11:16 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Perfectly ok. Just eat it.
posted by special-k at 11:18 AM on November 7, 2009

PS: Boiling not necessary. Just reheat, normally, as you would if this were stored in a fridge overnight.
posted by special-k at 11:20 AM on November 7, 2009

Yes. That's even an official way to make black beans: bring to a boil, leave in the pot overnight, boil again to cook.
posted by salvia at 11:22 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

definitely good to eat. I would bring them up to a boil again to be safe, but for maybe a minute (as opposed to 2h indicated above).
posted by farishta at 11:26 AM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

If it doesn't taste weird, it's probably ok.
posted by watercarrier at 11:31 AM on November 7, 2009

eat them!
posted by pintapicasso at 11:48 AM on November 7, 2009

It's perfectly fine; go ahead and eat it. Reheat to boiling if it makes you feel better.
posted by palliser at 11:51 AM on November 7, 2009

I do this all the time in winter. Cook a pot of stuff, leave it on the stovetop, take some into work in tupperware for lunch, heat some through the following evening. Sometimes it even has bits of meat in! I am not dead yet. Nor have I got sick from this.

It did backfire on me once, when I first moved to a hot country, and the 25+ temperatures in my kitchen made the veggie curry go mouldy before I got to finish it. How hot is it where you are?
posted by handee at 12:06 PM on November 7, 2009

I thought this was how you were SUPPOSED to cook them. I say yes, they're edible.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:40 PM on November 7, 2009

Chow down. If you feel uneasy you can always re-boil them, but it's really not necessary. Our immune systems evolved to handle food that is not sterile and as long as something doesn't look or smell sketchy, it's fine*.

*Does not apply to anaerobic bacteria, which you don't have to worry about in food that's exposed to oxygen (i.e., in a pot on your stovetop). If you're canning your own food, you have to take precautions to kill these buggers dead with extreme prejudice. Commercially canned food also must be prepared properly, so avoid cans that look "off". But food that you boil in a pot full of air is going to get enough of that toxic highly reactive gas called oxygen to kill off the anaerobes. Isn't it badass that we can breathe the stuff?
posted by Quietgal at 12:49 PM on November 7, 2009 [2 favorites]

My mom did that once a week for decades.
No problems.
posted by Iron Rat at 2:10 PM on November 7, 2009

This is not 100% safe, but it is much safer than most "should I eat it" situations. I regularly eat stuff that has been left out in a pot.

Reason being that cooking your food sterilized it, and I assume that you didn't touch it again with any utensils (especially anything that had been in your mouth), it's unlikely that any live bacteria contaminated the food since then.

The most significant food-poisoning threats come from raw meat (parasites or E. Coli), poultry (Salmonella), or anaerobic storage (botulism) due to dented cans or liquids under a layer of oil (e.g. pesto sauce).

If you want to be 100% safe, just reheat the beans to a boil (slowly, so that you don't burn the bottom). The heat definitely will kill all microbes and break down all their toxins.
posted by randomstriker at 3:58 PM on November 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm really careful about things like this, and I'd eat them. Make some black bean chili. Enjoy.
posted by zinfandel at 8:27 PM on November 7, 2009

Of course it is. Beans often improve on keeping, just like wine, Christmas pudding, fruit cake, hung game, cheese, certain ragoûts and lots of other things I'm not thinking of right now.

Pease pudding hot
Pease pudding cold
Pease pudding in the pot
Nine days old.

posted by westerly at 1:31 PM on November 8, 2009 [2 favorites]

Umpteenthing the just eat it advice. I tend to give things a thorough nuking in the microwave if I'm not so sure.
posted by vbfg at 8:14 AM on November 9, 2009

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