Cans of beans say "Heat for 3-4 min. DO NOT BOIL". Does anyone know why canned beans should not be boiled? Surely they were boiled when they were first cooked, so where's the problem?

  • 2
    Is this heating in the sealed can? if so, it is to prevent overpressure explosions...
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 17:53
  • No, heating in a pan. I wouldn't recommend anyone to reheat in the can. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 20:10

2 Answers 2


Beans in the can are already well cooked--they are essentially pressure cooked as part of the canning process.

While only a speculation, it is highly likely that they are now fragile and bringing them to a full boil would mar their appearance--fewer whole beans--from the agitation.

There is nothing I am aware of from a safety aspect that would contraindicate boiling the beans again.

  • Yup, breaking them would be a problem, especially since a full boil likely means stirring to prevent sticking. Even more simply, if they're already fully cooked, why overcook them by boiling?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Feb 15, 2014 at 1:00

I think it is to do with the taste, it's like making a soup or something. Boiling it can ruining the flavour that is why when making things on the stove it can be left to simmer but all recipes tell you to turn the heat down. Also boiling it risks burning the beans, I always look on the instructions as advisory; they also always tell you to heat throughly even thought it is perfectly safe to eat a tin of cold beans.

  • you're probably right. It's the way they say it, as if it was dangerous or unhealthy to boil them again. Thanks for your reply. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 20:09

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