I live in a fully metric country. Every single canned vegetable or pulse comes in a nice round number - and generally 400g of it.

Except for red kidney beans - they always come in 410g cans. And every single recipe I've found always calls for a 410g can. I've searched for this question and all I found was links to shopping sites selling - you guessed it - 410g red kidney beans - so I'm assuming it's across the board.

So why the extra 10g tacked on the end?

  • If I had to take a guess which I am.... A tin of 410g once drained will have around 250g of beans, nice rounded number for you :-).. In England they all seem to come in 400g tins with 240g drained weight.
    – Doug
    Dec 6, 2014 at 11:53
  • 1
    I checked the tin and it gives you 255g of drained beans. The plot thickens...
    – Haedrian
    Dec 6, 2014 at 17:10

1 Answer 1


Perhaps because the cans are of a standard height and the extra 10g of beans gives the proper headspace in the can?

  • It sounds like you're basically saying that they're denser so more of them fit in the same size can?
    – Cascabel
    Dec 10, 2014 at 21:00
  • Well....I suppose so. I'm speculating that it's the can size driving it all. It just so happens that when they fill the "typical" can, there happens to be a "non-round" number of grams involved. I don't know, just a guess. I used to work in the canning industry and I know that the proper amount of head-space is important as are maintaining pretty much standardized can dimensions.
    – gnicko
    Dec 11, 2014 at 21:52
  • @Jefromi, this may help to explain my thinking: link These are North American can standards, but I imagine things are roughly the same elsewhere. Notice that the cans are not defined by the weight of the contents, but rather the weight of the contents is a function of the can dimensions. Beans are pretty dense, so that volume of beans probably weighs more than the same volume of most other vegetables, but I'd bet that the statement "...every single canned vegetable or pulse comes in a nice round number..." isn't strictly accurate.
    – gnicko
    Dec 11, 2014 at 22:04
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    Yup, I understand that the cans are a standard size, so denser = more. But even if "every single" is an exaggeration, I assume that the OP at least checked a couple other kinds of beans, so if you're only talking about beans being denser than non-beans, that wouldn't explain it - it'd have to be kidney beans being denser (or being packed with less headspace) than other beans.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 11, 2014 at 22:55
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    Well....looks like I'll be spending an inordinate amount of time in the canned veggies aisle next time I go to the grocery..... ;)
    – gnicko
    Dec 12, 2014 at 13:55

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