dehydrate refried beans
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How to Dehydrate Refried Beans: Step By Step

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Refried beans are a versatile food. You can use them for taco night, nachos, as a dip, or for many other purposes. You can even make your own refried beans at home. 

If you’re a fan of Mexican food or Tex-Mex cuisine, you’re probably already familiar with refried beans and what they are.

Do you know how to make them? Did you know you can dehydrate refried beans? Dehydrating your refried beans is simple. If you own a dehydrator, this is the preferred method but you can also dehydrate them in the oven. Rehydrating your beans after they have been dehydrated is also quite easy. 

In this guide we will cover all of the pertinent details from making your own refried beans to dehydrating, preserving, and storing refried beans.

Furthermore, we will share some tips and information about the dehydration process in general. 

We encourage you to keep reading and soaking up all of the important information about refried beans and dehydrating beans, along with so much more. 

Refried Beans – A Guide to Dehydration and More

Let’s start from the beginning. The first thing you need is refried beans. We recommend making your own refried beans.

It’s not that hard and the great thing is you can flavor them to your own taste or even add other ingredients if you’d like. 

You can certainly buy a cheap can of refried beans from the local grocery store but they have been processed and canned and typically have excess water in them.

There is just something noteworthy about homemade anything, particularly refried beans. 

Make Your Own Refried Beans

There are extensive processes for some recipes of refried beans. You can search the internet and find any number of options.

dehydrate refried beans

What we will share with you is the basic concept of making refried beans, which can be adjusted in any number of ways. 

You can use freshly cooked pinto beans or buy cans of pinto beans. You can also add and change seasonings to fit your own tastes and preferences. The following is just a general guideline of how refried beans are typically made. 

Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Canola oil
  • Garlic cloves, minced garlic, or garlic powder
  • Pinto beans, prepared (you can prepare your own or buy canned)
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt
  • Lime juice (recommend ½ of fresh lime)

It takes very few ingredients to make refried beans. It is primarily pinto beans and seasoning to taste. This is not an overly complicated process. 

Here are the typical steps for making refried beans:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet. 
  2. If you use fresh garlic, sauté it over medium heat and then smash. 
  3. Stir in the pinto beans. 
  4. Add seasoning to taste. 
  5. Cook until beans are well heated, stirring occasionally.
  6. Smash the bean mixture. This is quite simple to do with a potato masher. 
  7. Squeeze the ½ lime over the bean mixture and stir well. 
  8. There you have it, refried beans made easy! 

It takes only about a total of 10-20 minutes to make your refried beans from start to finish. It is so simple and easy. Making refried beans does not require a lot of excess time and requires very few steps to the finished product. 

Now, what do you do with your refried beans from here? We recommend eating them, but of course, you need options if you made a large batch or have a significant amount left over when you’re finished with them. 

Dehydration Explained 

Dehydration has long been a common method for preserving food. It is through dehydration that we enjoy many common things like jerky or dried fruits. 

Before technology and continual advancements in products and knowledge, including the freezer, dehydration was the go-to method for preserving food.

Dehydrated food takes up less space and stays good for an extended period of time. 

The dehydration process dries all moisture from your food and usually occurs through a method that also uses heat.

Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

In decades or even centuries past, dehydration was often done in the sun, using natural heat to complete the process. 

Now, there are dehydrators and vacuum tools that do the majority of the work for you in a matter of a few hours.

You can even freeze-dry some foods for the dehydration process. 

The easiest dehydration process is now completed with a dehydrator. However, you can also dehydrate your beans in the oven and it’s quick and easy. We will instruct you on both in the following section.  

How to Dehydrate Refried Beans

Here are the pros and cons to dehydrating refried beans, so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

dried beans

Pros to Dehydrating Refried Beans

  • Make ahead and store 
  • Prepare travel packs of refried beans
  • Easy to dehydrate
  • Works well for hiking or survival kits

Cons to Rehydrating Refried Beans

  • Beans will need to be rehydrated for use
  • Rehydrating may tamper with the flavor
  • May need to add shredded cheese or additional seasoning 

Whatever your reason for deciding to dehydrate your beans, it’s a relative option that can preserve beans and make them easy to carry around.

Dehydrated refried beans are very popular amongst the hiking and camping community because they make a good versatile meal and are easy to prepare. 

Now let’s discuss the dehydration process:

Dehydrating Refried Beans in the Oven

  • Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Spoon refried beans across the pan or spread out in a thin layer
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until dry
  • Use a food processor, rolling pin, or another tool to smash and crush the dried refried beans. 
  • Store in an airtight manner – vacuum seal, storage bags, airtight containers

Dehydrating Refried Beans in a Dehydrator

  • Layer your dehydrator trays with plastic wrap for easy cleanup.
  • Spread refried beans around on the tray.
  • Run the dehydrator for 2-4 hours, checking the beans regularly.
  • When beans are dry, remove them from trays and crush.
  • Store in an airtight manner – vacuum seal, storage bags, airtight containers.

Rehydrating Dehydrated Beans

If you’re going to dehydrate your refried beans, you should also know how to rehydrate them so that you can use them when you are ready.

They are easy to rehydrate but you will need to have water and a heat source in order to do so effectively. 

Here is the recommended process:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. When water is boiling, pour in dehydrated refried beans and whisk to mix.
  3. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Stir while reheating.
  5. Add shredded cheese and additional seasoning to taste.

If you are using the beans during hiking or camping, you can pour your refried beans into a bottle of water at the beginning of the day and store it in your packet.

This will let the water soak and rehydrate the beans. It will not get them hot but will make them edible. 

Dehydrating and rehydrating refried beans is very simple. This process provides you with suitable options for any type of need.

Whether you are planning to hit the trails or you simply want to prep and plan ahead, this is a great option for storing and preserving refried beans without using freezer space. 

Be sure to label and date your packets for storage. Dehydrated refried beans will remain preserved and good for several years with no concerns of quality or rotting. 

Related Questions

We hope that this guide is both informative and useful for your needs and that we provided valuable information for dehydrating refried beans as well as surrounding processes. 

We invite you to review the question and answer section provided. There could be additional information that you find pertinent in the section. 

Are Refried Beans Bad for You?

Canned refried beans are very high in sodium. Homemade refried beans can somewhat control the sodium included in them. Aside from the sodium factor, refried beans are really not unhealthy. 

Refried beans are high in protein, dietary fiber, and potassium. Additionally, they can contain magnesium, manganese, and Vitamin C – all of which are nutrients that your body needs and craves for optimal functionality.

Ultimately, refried beans are a good option. 

Can Refried Beans Be Made More Flavorful?

Refried beans are really versatile. You can use them as a dip or as an added substance to multiple types of food.

You can also eat them by themselves. If you feel like refried beans don’t have enough flavor you can change them up to meet your tastes. 

Try adding finely chopped peppers, onions, or even pepper flakes for added spice and flavor. Additionally, you can mix any seasoning that you enjoy with refried beans and flavor them how you like them.

We recommend taking it easy on the salt, but don’t be afraid to try other spices. 

Up Next: The 5 Healthiest Refried Beans

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