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Why did my beans go bad?

So the other day, I slow-cooked a bag of dried red beans the way I always do. When they were finished, I let them sit out a few minutes, then put them in a covered bowl and into the refrigerator. Less than 48 hours later, they were smelling funky and I had to throw them out. What would cause them to go bad so quickly? I didn't do anything differently in my preparation or storage. I was pretty peeved about having to toss them out when my beans normally keep for 5-7 days after cooking!


Asked by vicesix at 7:57 AM on Feb. 17, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 37 (89,885 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • some bacteria when it begins to break down proteins will produce a sulfur smell.
    so there is your culprit bacteria. The source however, unknown. Maybe from your water to begin with and then it was able to multiply in the covered pot. Or the beans themselves from whatever food company packaged the beans.
    Or from whatever condiment you added to the beans. may have had a temporary increase in your water supply of Hydrogen Sulfide
    It's a sad day when your beans smell farty before anyone actually gets to produce their own music by eating them.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 9:42 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • If the temperature was too low while you were cooking them, bacteria could have developed, at least that would be my guess. Sorry about your beans!!

    Answer by Scuba at 8:04 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Only idea I have.............Check the temp in your refrigerator . It needs to be below 40 degrees.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:09 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • If it smelled like vinegar it was bacteria. Likely due to covering the beans in the fridge and allowing the bacteria to thrive.
    If it smelled like something dead, it was likely a mold or fungus, that was on the beans from the field they grew in. Nothing you could have done about that, some molds grow well in freezers.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:25 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • farty beans. well that explains it all.
    you mean like a sulfur smell?

    Answer by jewjewbee at 9:35 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Could it be that your sense of smell was just particularly keen that day? Beans always smell once they have been refrigerated, some varieties worse than others.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:22 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Red beans or kidney beans? Kidney beans MUST be boiled or they release a toxin - they can be slow cooked but they MUST be boiled on the stove for about 20 minutes to release that toxin, the crock pot doesn't get boil-y enough to take care of that.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:17 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Okay reading that over I didn't make sense. Boiling gets rid of the toxin. Slow cooking without boiling leaves it in there and can make you very sick.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:18 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • NannyB., it definitely was not just DH and my kids were laughing about how nasty and "farty" the beans smelled; it was the same way other batches have smelled when they've been in there for a week, forgotten. Bad, in other words.

    Jewjewbee, the beans just smelled like they'd turned bad. Not vinegar-ish, just bad and old.

    Comment by vicesix (original poster) at 8:54 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Anon, They were red beans, not kidneys. I followed the instructions on the package directly, which said to boil them for 2-3 minutes, then let them stand 1 hour. Then change the water and slow cook/simmer them for approx. 2 hours until tender. It's the same way I've always cooked them. I usually do a batch of these red beans about once every week or two. I just couldn't figure out why this batch went foul so quickly.

    Comment by vicesix (original poster) at 10:20 AM on Feb. 17, 2011