Cooking Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker
- lupaglupa Dec 31, 2008 08:34 AM
I just got a slow cooker and I came across a recommendation for cooking dried beans in it. I usually use the canned ones because the soaking and cooking is such a hassle. Has anyone had a good experience with cooking dried beans in the slow cooker? Any tips, tricks? TIA
I have cooked dried black beans in the slow cooker several times now and it has given me wonderful results. I used the instructions from the crockpot lady:
I freeze the extra batches in ziploc bags and defrost or microwave them to thaw them. The texture is SO MUCH better than in the canned beans and you can just tell by eating and looking at them that they are better for you this way. The house smells nice too then.
I have tried this before and it took a really long time for them to cook (although I was cooking anasazi beans which tend to take a long time to cook.) I think if you let them cook on high (depending on your slow cooker) for most of the day, it would work. My Heirloom Beans cookbook (by Rancho Gordo) lists the slow cooker as a good option. the drawback they site is that the liquid doesnt evaporate, so the liquor isn't as flavorful as stovetop cooking.
I use my slow cooker all the time for beans. I buy a lb. bag of beans for cheaper than canned and cook them on low for 8 hours during the night. I don't even need to soak them. Just make sure you add plenty of water. I just made a huge amount of hummus from dried Garbanzos. Have fun!
I cook unsoaked, salted black beans 12 hours at 175 in the oven, and they come out great, so I assume a slow cooker would work fine. I also make huge batches and freeze pints.
I always cook my beans in the slow cooker. I get infinitely better results than from the stovetop. The beans are firm and whole (i always used to get at least some mushy or broken beans when I cook them on the stove) and the bean liquor is much more flavorful. I measure out two cups of the cooked beans in a ziplock bag with some of the liquor and then freeze the portions in ziplock bags. Much healthier and WAY more cost effective than buying canned beans.