Do You Drain Beans For Chili? Should You Or Not?

do you drain beans for chili
  • Save
Do You Drain Beans For Chili?

Preparing a huge pot of chili is the dream of everyone who is into beans and savory recipes. For preparing chili, many people opt for canned beans, but it’s hard to decide if you should drain the beans or just them with water to the pot. Honestly, it is a tough decision to make, especially if you are following some recipe and it’s not allowing you to follow your instinct. So, if you are confused as well, we have some information that can help!

Do You Drain Beans For Chili?

In short, there is no rule of thumb for using beans in the chili because it all comes down to personal preferences. This is because some people like to drain the water to reduce the starchy content and excessive salt from the chili while some people like to add liquid as it helps attain a thicker texture of the chili, and it will be tastier as well. According to the studies, draining the beans for chili will reduce the salt content by 36%, which is pretty great. In addition, if you drain and rinse as well, it will remove at least 41% of the salt.

Having said that, if you are following a certain diet and it doesn’t allow you to consume more salt or sodium, it is better to drain the beans, and it’s suggested that you rinse them as well before adding the beans to the chili (you can use a sieve for draining and rinsing). On the other hand, if you don’t need to worry about the sodium intake, you can simply add the beans to the pot without draining out the water. However, if you choose not to drain the beans, you have to watch the seasoning, bouillon cube, and salt content in the chili because canned beans have these ingredients already.

Another factor is the price. This is because if people have to use canned beans for salads, one is likely to purchase the cheaper options, but for chili, many people opt for the expensive beans. So, if you don’t want to waste your money, it’s best to purchase the canned beans with a little salt and zero preservatives to ensure you don’t have to drain the water. The liquid content of the canned beans has water, calcium chloride, and salt – calcium chloride is needed to ensure the beans don’t lose their structure or become mushy when you add them to chili.

In addition, since chili has a thick texture, the liquid has starch which thickens the chili and makes the overall texture denser. So, contrary to usual belief, adding the canned bean water to the chili won’t make it watery but will actually thicken it. Even more, the color pigment of the beans seeps into the liquid, so when you add it to the chili, it adds a rich and appealing color to the chili, so it’s another reason not to drain the beans.

On the other hand, if you have canned beans with tomato sauce, it’s obvious that they will have tomato sauce, sugar, and salt. In addition, it is likely to have garlic powder, mustard, dried onions, and vinegar, which means there are various flavors there. So, if you are making chili, remember that these additional ingredients will change the flavor of your chili. Having said that, if your canned beans have tomato sauce, it’s best to drain and rinse the beans because you don’t want to overpower or ruin the flavor of chili.

Draining & Rinsing The Canned Beans – The Right Steps

If you have decided that draining and rinsing the canned beans is the right decision for your chili recipe, you need to follow the correct steps to ensure no flavors are imparted to the recipe.

To begin with, you have to open the bean cans and pour everything in a strainer (it is important to choose the strainer that’s big enough to be put in the sink if you want to avoid mess). Once poured, you can rinse the beans by running the beans under running water for at least thirty seconds. However, make sure that you use lukewarm water because cold water takes more time.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a strainer, you need to open the can and tilt it a bit to let the water out. However, it is better that you wear gloves because can have sharp edges that can lead to cuts. Also, you can hold the tablespoon’s edge against the can to ensure the beans don’t drop into the sink. As far as rinsing is concerned, you can simply fill the can with water, let it rest for a few minutes, and drain it (all the additional contents of the can will be removed).

Are There Any Health Concerns?

Many people think there are health issues involved with the liquid of canned beans. Truth be told, it’s only an issue if you are asked to limit your sodium intake. This is because the liquid has salt, which can result in a higher sodium intake, so in such cases, it is better that you drain the beans for chili since it reduces the salt content by 36%.

Additional Tips To Use Beans For Chili

If you are using canned beans for making chili, we are sharing the additional tips that will ease the cooking experience;

  • Always rinse the beans before adding them to chili. This is because if you leave the rinsing and draining for later, it means that chili’s gravy will be drained out, and you don’t want that
  • If you aren’t draining the beans, make sure that you revise the ingredients, especially the seasonings and salt because the canned liquid already has these contents
  • Don’t store the leftover beans in the can because they will pick up the metal taste, which will impact the dish’s flavor when you use it the next time

To summarize, draining or not draining beans is a completely personal choice, and you can decide according to your taste preferences and health concerns!

  • Save
Categories Cooking

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap