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Old 01-02-2013, 07:40 PM   #1
kellia
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problems cooking dried beans

Help! I keep trying to use dried beans for use in chili and other soups that will cook all day in a crock pot. But when the meal is done, they are either crunchy or mushy. SIGH!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
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The beans need to be soaked in water overnight,drained,rinsed & then put in the crockpot to cook all day....I cook them on low.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellia View Post
Help! I keep trying to use dried beans for use in chili and other soups that will cook all day in a crock pot. But when the meal is done, they are either crunchy or mushy. SIGH!!
Also, if they're old, they will take f--o--r--e--v--e--r to cook. I just cook them forever, but it can be frustrating. You can try soaking and then freezing, helps break down the cell walls.

If they're newer or fresher, and you soak them and cook them for a few hours, you shouldn't have trouble.

If you don't want to soak, you're looking at 6-8 hours in the crock pot. That's how I make pinto beans for refried.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
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Also, don't soak them with salt because that can prevent them from softening. If possible, soak them and cook them in a regular pot and add them to the slow cooker toward the end of cooking so you know they are the texture you would prefer.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:23 PM   #5
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Also do not add any acidic ingredients (tomatoes) until the beans are soft. As the acid will not allow them to soften any more.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #6
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I have also dumped in a can of coke when I throw everything in the crockpot....DH likes this
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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If you put any salt in they will never get soft.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:05 PM   #8
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This is some good information! I never knew all of this.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:26 PM   #9
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If you put any salt in they will never get soft.
Yep, one of the first things I remember my mom teaching me
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:33 PM   #10
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Well you learn something new every day! I have never successfully made a recipe with dried beans and gave up. I am sure I have salted the water or used bouillon that contains a lot of salt and I bet that is my problem with soups! My sister and I both like to cook and had given up on them after a disgusting lentil soup. I am willing to give it another try
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizabu
If you put any salt in they will never get soft.
This actually isn't true-though I believed it for years. The folks at America's Test Kitchen now recommend brining beans in salt water for extra flavor.

http://m.lifehacker.com/5906564/brin...or-and-texture
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:17 PM   #12
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The altitude at which you live can also have an impact. I moved from sea level to 6500 ft and had to learn to cook some things all over again. Dry beans take forever to cook here and that is on the stove. It would take days to cook them in a crockpot if it would even work at all.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:37 AM   #13
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And even when I do all these things, sometimes beans still don't get 'ready' when I want them to, especially when using a roaster or a crock pot to cook a lot of them.

I think there's a "Bean finger" just like there's a green thumb. And I don't have it. I do think I have low heat crockpots. And I learned when I want beans, I have to think long term. I make a big batch way before, days before I want them, when I am under no time pressure and they can cook as long as they darn please, then divide them up into can-size portions and freeze. Then add them into what ever needs them, the day of.

(But I too, experimented after cooking beans without salt for years, (I had many hispanic neighbors who only made refried from beans from scratch, and they always added salt at the beginning of the soak...??) I learned I could pre salt beans and still get them soft- so it wasn't the salt that was holdn 'em back.

I think some bagged beans are Verrrrrry Old. Because most people use cans, and they sit on the shelf a lot. Cooking up into beans that have totally shed their wrinkly skins is a clue. But they are still good to eat. Just harder to cook.

Dry Beans are hardcore budget stuff. I think there ought to be a "Bean Badge" avatar for all you who are drybean green thumbs, and an "Earning my Beans" for all us still practicing! Those with badges are seriously saving for Disney.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaMOM
Also do not add any acidic ingredients (tomatoes) until the beans are soft. As the acid will not allow them to soften any more.
Yes. This is a big factor. Put the tomato last.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Readerbug View Post
And even when I do all these things, sometimes beans still don't get 'ready' when I want them to, especially when using a roaster or a crock pot to cook a lot of them.

I think there's a "Bean finger" just like there's a green thumb. And I don't have it. I do think I have low heat crockpots. And I learned when I want beans, I have to think long term. I make a big batch way before, days before I want them, when I am under no time pressure and they can cook as long as they darn please, then divide them up into can-size portions and freeze. Then add them into what ever needs them, the day of.

(But I too, experimented after cooking beans without salt for years, (I had many hispanic neighbors who only made refried from beans from scratch, and they always added salt at the beginning of the soak...??) I learned I could pre salt beans and still get them soft- so it wasn't the salt that was holdn 'em back.

I think some bagged beans are Verrrrrry Old. Because most people use cans, and they sit on the shelf a lot. Cooking up into beans that have totally shed their wrinkly skins is a clue. But they are still good to eat. Just harder to cook.

Dry Beans are hardcore budget stuff. I think there ought to be a "Bean Badge" avatar for all you who are drybean green thumbs, and an "Earning my Beans" for all us still practicing! Those with badges are seriously saving for Disney.
I soak my beans overnight, drain the water, and cook till just soft, not mushy. Then I freeze the beans in 2 cup baggies, and use when a recipe calls for canned beans. It is far, far, cheaper than canned beans.
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