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Aug 22, 2007 06:21 AM

red beans and rice in crockpot

So, I am attempting to make red beans in a crockpot for the first time. I have 1 lb of beans (soaked overnight), a ham hock, some chopped vegetables, seasonings and 5 cups of water. I put the crockpot on last night around 10:30 on low. This morning at 9:00 am the beans are still whole, but I thought more of the water would have been absorbed into the beans. Is it just not enough time? What I have right now is more like a bean soup rather than red beans as I was expecting to serve them (with rice). Should I remove some of the water? Turn it on high? I wasn't planning on eating it until tonight or even tomorrow, so I have time to let it cook further.
Any crockpot experts, I would welcome your suggestions and thoughts.

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  1. I make RB&B in the crock pot all the time. Here is how I do it:

    Soak beans overnight, in the morning put them in the crock and cover with water (sometimes I sub a can of chix broth for some of the water, nice flavor). Add veggies and seasonings. Cook on low all day, at the end add chopped browned link sausage. Also mash up some of the beans a little; this helps it be thicker.

    I guess mine is sort of soup like but I never really considered that an issue. I don't really measure the liquid but just put it to within 1-2 inches of the top of the pot. I always cook mine the same amount of time, roughly 10-12 hours on low.

    1. I tried this too-- my beans cooked 10 hours on low and were not tender at all. I just transferred them to the stove to finish them.
      Anyway, I haven't done a redo yet but next time I do, I will cook them on high. I think that may be part of the solution. Also, as far as your recipe is concerned, take some of the water out. So, yes..I would put it on high and take some water out. Good luck.

        1. re: malenky

          Thank you. That recipe is pretty much what I followed; and thanks for that link. I just got back and have turned the beans onto high. That means they have been cooking on low for 12 hours. The ham hock is falling apart, but the beans are still whole. I guess the trick is to do them on high. Since I was doing them overnight, I was afraid they would dry out which is why I put the 5-6 cups of water. I also added 2 boullion cubes to the mix, along with 3 ribs finely chopped celery, one onion and green pepper, also finely chopped. It smells great, and the dog was up twice during the night since he smelled the meat cooking! I'm hoping it will be good.

          1. re: mschow

            Might be the salt in the boullion cubes that making it go slow. But definitely take out a big scoop and mash them up to thicken it.

            1. re: sagestrat

              Yes, and the salty ham hock. If you add salt to the beans they will never get soft. I'd cook the beans on high overnight in the crock pot, then add the ham in the morning along with a bay leaf. Still no salt.

              Then, when you get home, saute bell peppers, onions, and celery in a pan with a good amount of butter. When the veggies are soft, add flour and make a roux. The veggies will be sort of coated with the roux, plus there should still be some extra in the pan. Add some of the liquid from the beans until you have a nice paste, then add the whole mixture back into your beans. Either put the whole lot in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil until it thickens, or put it back on high in the crock pot. (That will take longer.)

              Good luck!

              1. re: sagestrat

                That's surprising. I always salt my beans (and often used cured meat), cook the beans on low for 10 hours, and the beans get soft. They still stay INTACT, but they don't have any bones, if that makes sense. And that's with an old, low-temp crockpot. Sometimes I will mash some of the beans and put them back, but that's about it.

                A note on crockpot cooking and water. Because liquid doesn't really evaporate, you really need a lot less liquid. Especially if you include vegetables, which also give up some water. So when I'm adapting a recipe, I cut out some of the liquid or I add barley or something else that will soak up some of the juice.

                1. re: heatherkay

                  I agree... I rarely get my beans to break up on their own, and usually have to mach them a bit. In fact, I have two recipes for red beans that call for mashing them lightly with a wooden spoon. Or stick an immersion blender in for just a pulse or two.

                  I also frequently turn to high and remove the lid for an hour before serving.