Are you making beans on toast wrong? Heinz employs ‘etiquette expert’ to show how | British food and drink

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It is the saviour of students, the comfort of lone eaters, the succour of the culinarily challenged, and apparently the only meal Sir Patrick Stewart has cooked since 1948. Beans on toast is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest meals available, but the Great British public has, it has been claimed, been making it all wrong.

Experts at Heinz have released the perfect method (note: other opinions are available) of making the lazy cook’s staple which starts, controversially, with putting bread in a toaster and ends with, you guessed it, pouring beans on to buttered toast.

At the behest of Heinz, “etiquette expert” William Hanson has decreed that the “only way to eat your beans is in a quintessentially British manner”. And while you may think that implies the need for starched napkins, the best silver and perhaps a monocle – it actually equates to white bread, unsalted butter, shaking the can and using a stainless steel pan.

In a TikTok video, Hanson argues that white farmhouse-style bread is the best option for the simple meal, and (inexplicably) warns against using salted butter. “When having beans on toast, don’t drown your toast with beans, this is not your local lido,” he states. “A good butter, unsalted of course because we’re not heathens, will ensure it keeps its crisp crunch.”

According to YouGov, beans on toast is the eighth most popular dish in the UK (behind the English Breakfast, which is the top preference, and “chips”, which comes second) with just under half of the population eating it at least once a week.

Also in the instructions from Heinz – which sells about 1.5m cans of baked beans a day – is that the can should be stored upside down at about 18C and shaken for five seconds before opening to ensure an “even beans to sauce distribution”.

Beans should then be warmed for three to four minutes in a stainless steel pan to preserve their “iconic taste” and – god forbid – never boiled. The optimum temperature is 64C for instant eating, and 75C if you need time to “finalise your toast”.

“Never boil your Heinz beans,” warns the company. “This can cause the sauce to split, potentially ruining the colour and flavour.”

How to make the perfect beans on toast

Step 1

Place two slices of white farmhouse loaf bread in toaster.

Step 2

Store can upside down, and shake for 5 seconds before use to ensure even beans to sauce distribution.

Step 3

Warm beans on the hob for three to four minutes, stirring constantly. Do not boil the Beanz.

Step 4

Spread your butter evenly on the toast up to the crust.

Step 5

Place toast on a plate. Pour on beans.

Step 6 (optional)

Grate cheese on hot beans and let it melt for two minutes.

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