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Old 01-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Readerbug View Post
I think there's a "Bean finger" just like there's a green thumb.
Sorry -- my thoughts went to "pull my finger" along with the "musical fruit"!

I subscribed to the thread because I also have trouble cooking dry beans. Maybe I'll try again!
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Last edited by lovesmurfs; 01-03-2013 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:14 AM   #17
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I soak the beans overnight in a bean pot. Then add a bit more water and bake in the oven at 325 for about 5-7 hours.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:40 AM   #18
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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.
Bean Badge
Earning my Beans
Bean Finger

As a lover of beans, I love these terms!

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #19
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I put the plain beans in the crockpot, cover with water 2 inches over the beans and let them cook overnight. Drain and then use them in your chili recipe.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:09 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by pampam View Post
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.
In a crockpot, on a stove top, or does it matter?
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #21
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You can cook them just fine either on the stovetop or in a crockpot.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:35 AM   #22
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Great tips on here. I do beans often and I too soak mine over night (no salt) and then rinse and crock pot all day on low the next day. I usually use veggie stock or just water in the crock with them. I've never had crunchy beans or mushy.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:44 AM   #23
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You can also do a "rapid" cooking method. Put beans in a large pot, cover with at least 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit for an hour. Drain and rinse a couple times.

I did this, just this morning. I needed black beans for a crockpot recipe, and didn't have any cans of black beans. A pound made ~6 cups of cooked beans--I used 2 cups in my recipe, and threw the rest in the freezer.

I will admit, I usually buy canned beans because it's easier, but really, dried beans are pretty simple. Or maybe I just have that Bean Thumb thing going on.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #24
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I've cooked with dry beans for about forever, and just last week was the FIRST time I've ever had beans stay "hard." I had just bought that bag new at the store, as well... I figured they were just "old" beans, even though they were "new-to-me"... Maybe there's just a bad batch out there right now... don't give up!
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #25
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I love dried beans! Actually, I had some yesterday and as leftovers for lunch today. I never soak them, actually went home for lunch yesterday and thought hmmm I want beans. I washed them in a strainer then put them in the crock pot on high. When I got home about 4 hours later, they were awesome!!
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:35 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by mrsklamc View Post
In a crockpot, on a stove top, or does it matter?
As others have mentioned, it doesn't really matter. If you cook them on the stove top, then you hve to be able to watch and see that they don't burn, since all the heat is coming from the bottom. You can simmer them in your oven if you don't have a crockpot, or by all means use your crock pot if you want to go out or leave the beans unattended.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:21 AM   #27
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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!!
Originally Posted by pigletto View Post
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

I have found different types of legumes require different soaking/cooking times.

For instance, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) soak up tons of water. Navy beans cook better with a 24-36 hour soak. I usually cook lentils without soaking (they are small and cook quickly).

Originally Posted by limace View Post
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.

I agree. Salt adds flavor. Beans are essentially a starch. Adding salt to a starch at the beginning of cooking has always worked best for me.

I also agree with the poster who mentioned that bagged beans are often old and, therefore, very dry.

When I was learning to cook beans, I was so frustrated. I would buy one or two sacrificial bags of the type I was interested in, did a couple of Google searches, divvied them up and experimented with soaking times, cooking times & salt/no salt (without adding the expensive extra ingredients). Then I made notes. I figured it was worth it to do the homework, as the results would last a lifetime.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #28
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Bean Question!

I put a bag of mixed beans (for beef and bean soup) in a large pot and covered them with a ton of water last night about 7 p.m. The bag says to soak them overnight. They are an assortment of different beans. However, I completely forgot to drain them this morning . Are they still going to come out ok if I drain them when I get home (about 7 p.m.) and then cook them overnight on low in the crockpot for lunch tomorrow? They were supposed to be dinner tonight, but I never get up early enough to do anything but fly out the door in the morning for work.
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