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I'm making a recipe that involves using pie weights when pre-baking a pie crust, and suggests using dried beans as an alternative if you don't have purpose-made pie weights.

Can you eat the beans after using them for this purpose? Does it change how long you'd cook them or anything else about how you'd prepare them?

If not, can you re-use them in subsequent pies?

  • Another old method is to line the crust with baking parchment and weight with coins. – Chris H Jun 5 at 6:00
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    Let me recommend using sugar as a pie wieght instead: seriouseats.com/2016/10/how-to-blind-bake-a-pie-crust.html – FuzzyChef Jun 6 at 18:23
  • And if you do that, you can use the sugar afterwards. – FuzzyChef Jun 6 at 18:23
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    I'm reusing my pre-baking beans for years now without any issues. But I put a paper on top of the crust before adding the beans. – eckes Jun 7 at 18:28
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Beans are already dried, but it's certainly possible that baking them dries then further, or cooks them without softening. It's worth testing, for which I'd use chickpeas - I buy them in bulk, and they soften quite easily (plus I cook them on their own too make hummus while my other beans cook in chilli etc). I'd rinse them and put them on to soak once they've cooled a little, rather than storing them.

For reuse as baking beans I'd be concerned about two things: safety, and scorched beans giving an off flavour. The latter is addressed by not reusing them if they start to brown, and for the former, it's important to keep them dry, as dry beans keep indefinitely. If the beans are in direct contact with the pastry during blind baking, I'd rinse them briefly (to get any flecks of pastry off then return them to the cooling oven to dry quickly).

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