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? about black beans

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I am a fairly advanced home cook and, being a single mom, can make a feast out of just about nothing, but I'm having issues with tender beans. I can cook pintos just fine, but black beans are proving to be my nemnisis. Soaked overnite (can you soak beans too long?) and in the crockpot w/ sauteed onions, garlic, chorizo and seasonings. Still chewy. Possibly do they get stale? They have been stored in a glass jar with a cork lid for a few months, but, since they're dried, I didn't think months would matter. Any advice? and how do I save my dinner tonite? Should I just blend 'em? Help!

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  1. black beans will toughen up and require even longer cooking if you add salt or acid early on. maybe that's the problem?

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Acid for sure but I salt my water when making black beans all the time they they come out tender after ~2 1/2 hours cooking and that's without soaking. Cooked too long and they come out mushy.

    2. Did they ever come to a full boil?

      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        I put them on high, then lowered the temp to low after an hour or so. Sigh. I think I'll blend them and wrap 'em in a tortilla! Kids will never know the difference... :)

      2. I believe beans can go stale. A few months on your shelf, and you don't know how long they sat at the store.... or the warehouse for that matter... Try a fresh bag.

        2 Replies
        1. re: UnConundrum

          Yeah, staleness is always a risk with mass market beans in North America. Best to buy from artisanal producers like Rancho Gordo, from purveyors who include a harvest or pull date (often pricey European brands, unfortunately), or markets with a high turnover of the variety you're planning to cook (e.g. Latino markets for black beans, Middle Eastern markets for favas).

          1. re: carswell

            method of storage once you get them home is important as well...airtight container, cool, dry place. califntve, i have to wonder if the cork lid could have also been an issue since it's porous material. personally i think dried beans keep best in a glass jar with a tight-fitting screw-top - try that with the next batch you buy.