To Drain or Not? [NOT 15/01/23]

The Dude drinks a white Russian
You're not wrong.

Hi, friends!

I hope your weekend is going well.

Over the weekend I was with some family and they mentioned that they never drained canned vegetables because it helped the flavor of dishes. Maybe it was generational, because all I could think of was the brine water in the green beans isn’t going to add flavor.

How about y’all? Are you draining canned vegetables before cooking them? Does it vary by veggie? I don’t typically drain canned tomatoes because they’re canned in tomato juice, for example.

I have another friend who doesn’t drain and rinse black beans before they go into their chili.

Before you think wow, brightersideoflife is a rinsing maniac! Let me tell you, I’m really bad about not rinsing off any fruit before I eat them. Because why be consistent when I can be myself?



  1. I’m with you on tomatoes, drain & rinse beans & most other canned stuff, except I cook canned corn in some of the water when I do it in microwave.  Actually, those are about only veggies I ever use from cans that come to mind.

  2. I’ve read about using low sodium chickpea water as a substitute for egg whites in meringue, and one person on the Great British Bakeoff did it, so it’s feasible, although supposedly a bit tricky.

    I’ve kind of wanted to try it just to see it in action, but I so rarely make meringues I’ve never gotten around to it.

  3. The only thing i don’t typically bother draining are tomatoes–although if it’s Rotel, they’re sometimes drained a bit…

    But beans? ALWAYS “drain & rinse a time or two.”

    And always, unless *i* picked them off the bush/tree *myself,* (and I KNOW it was much too high for a dog to have peed on!), as far as rinsing-off every fruit other than bananas! I work in a grocery store–i know how incredibly nasty folks can be about basic hygiene & food safety!🤢🤢🤢

  4. Oh, have I got a story for you…

    When I was a little Smacks, my grandma kept a jar in the fridge that was full of somewhat murky liquid. I asked her, when I was in 3rd grade, what it was. It was the liquid drained from all the canned veggies. SHE USED IT INSTEAD OF BROTH FOR HOMEMADE SOUP. This was the same grandma who made skin-on chicken legs without salt in the pressure cooker (mmm, slimy.) Lovely woman, but yeah… I didn’t eat there much!

    Anyway, to actually answer your question… I use a lot of canned foods, and I drain everything. If it’s packed in juice (tomatoes, pineapple) I will drain the juice into a cup for later. Beans get dumped into a colander and rinsed in cold water. If I’m cooking a veggie straight out of the can, such as green beans, I will just dump the whole thing in a pan to heat, but it gets well drained before eating. And no, I don’t save the liquid!!

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