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my beans are terrible- need help!

trolley Jul 27, 2010 01:23 PM

i would really like to stop using canned beans but can't seem to make them very well from dried. i soak overnight, drain, rinse then cook with new water. my beans are tough on the outside and sort of grainy or just so over done the skin is peeling off. I can't seem to find the sweet spot. does anyone have a good method for making tender beans? thanks.

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    wegsjac RE: trolley Jul 27, 2010 01:40 PM

    I've had good luck using a slow cooker, have you tried that? Last batch, I just threw some little dried black beans in without soaking, along with a quarter of an onion and a cut up carrot and a bit of thyme, cold water a couple inches above the beans, turned the slow cooker onto "auto" (high until it gets heated up, then down to low) and forgot about them for ~4 hours. They came out just perfect.

    1. shanagain RE: trolley Jul 27, 2010 01:47 PM

      Hmm. More info required. What kind of beans? Do you salt your water during or at the end of cooking? Any chance they're old?

      1 Reply
      1. re: shanagain
        trolley RE: shanagain Jul 27, 2010 02:17 PM

        black beans. i don't salt my water and have no idea if they're old. i get them from Whole Foods. I've had similar results from beans purchased at my farmer's market.

      2. greygarious RE: trolley Jul 27, 2010 01:53 PM

        Putting the search options into effect: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7229...

        3 Replies
        1. re: greygarious
          trolley RE: greygarious Jul 27, 2010 02:16 PM

          thanks. i did a search before posting and somehow missed this...

          1. re: greygarious
            trolley RE: greygarious Jul 27, 2010 08:11 PM

            hey, just clicked on your link and it's about washing chicken!

            1. re: trolley
              greygarious RE: trolley Jul 27, 2010 08:29 PM

              Oops, I added it to the wrong post....this is the right one:

          2. tcamp RE: trolley Jul 27, 2010 01:54 PM

            I'm a recent convert to pressure cooking my beans. Rinse them, add to cooker with about 6 cups of water for 16 oz of beans, some oil (to reduce foaming, I read), salt and maybe a bay leaf, then bring up to pressure and cook for 25 minutes, let cool, remove lid, voila.

            The time works well for black beans and pintos. They come out really well.

            1. John E. RE: trolley Jul 27, 2010 09:14 PM

              That whole "salting beans in the beginning cooking makes them tough" is actually an old wives' tale. Adding salt at the beginning improves their flavor significantly without adding to the cooking time. Adding an acidic ingredient at the beginning of cooking however, like tomatoes, will change their texture and cooking time.

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