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Reusing Beans/Rice from Blind Baking?

arielleeve Sep 1, 2010 06:06 PM

Ok, so this may sound dumb -- but I never knew that there was something wrong with reusing dried beans or rice that I use to line tart and pie shells for blind baking. I was just watching Ina Garten and she mentioned that they become inedible after they are used for blind baking. Is this true for beans AND rice, and if so, why? I literally JUST made hummus with some dried chickpeas that had been blind baked at least several times...nothing seemed problematic to me. Should I be worried?

  1. Cherylptw Sep 1, 2010 06:26 PM

    I love Ina Garten's recipes but when she said to toss chicken that was simmered 20 minutes for stock, I thought that was crazy considering if you're making a chicken stew, you'd cook the chicken at least, if not longer, than 20 minutes. I use the chicken for salad. Yeah, I don't so much go on everything she says. If the beans tasted okay to you, you did the right thing...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw
      arielleeve Sep 1, 2010 06:32 PM

      Yeah, I wasn't just going on what she said -- I also read some things online (I freaked out and googled after I saw that). But I don't understand what could be such a big deal about toasting them (essentially) before boiling them. Although I probably should invest in pie weights one of these days...

      1. re: arielleeve
        Cherylptw Sep 1, 2010 07:43 PM

        I don't understand it either; and people also toast rice before cooking...I do. I'm not going to lie, I'm just not going to buy pie weights because I've been doing good with the rice & beans. Why rock the boat?

    2. greygarious Sep 1, 2010 10:04 PM

      Because on another thread there were adamant posts proscribing cooking with pie-weight beans, for the heck of it I soaked and cooked the white beans that had been used several times for blind baking, then sat in a glass jar at the top of the cabinet above the stove for at least a decade. They took a long time to cook, and were fairly bland, but definitely edible.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious
        arielleeve Sep 2, 2010 05:17 AM

        You know, they did take a while to cook but that actually worked in my favor. I forgot they were cooking on the stove and left them on for an hour longer than I should have. But they didn't get overcooked. So I guess it worked out. It was just for hummus, so blandness wasn't a huge issue. But I was just concerned there was something unsafe, which is the way some people were making it seem. In the future I'll just buy separate baking beans, as others suggest. It's not that I'm against that, it's just that these chickpeas were all I had in my cabinet!

      2. AndrewK512 Sep 1, 2010 11:26 PM

        But then you'll have no beans for the next pie!

        1 Reply
        1. re: AndrewK512
          Becca Porter Sep 2, 2010 04:42 AM

          Exactly. I reuse my beans to blind bake every time. I put them in a ziploc in between.

          A pound of dried beans is what $1-2. It is really a loss if you just reuse them for the same purpose? I would imagine each baking ages the beans tremendously. I wouldn't want to eat them.

        2. Caroline1 Sep 2, 2010 08:36 AM

          Well, to criticize Ina Garten around here can raise some yelps and howls and serious boos, but the fact is she is not all that knowledgeable in a kitchen. Plain and simple fact. According to her biography, she is not a professionally trained chef, nor did she serve a long ground-up apprenticeship under professional chefs. But somewhat in her defense, even professionally trained and well schooled chefs can have "literacy gaps" in their culinary knowledge. But rarely at the level of hers.

          There is NOTHING wrong with using beans or rice you have used for blind baking for cooking. If you've been using and reusing the same beans for a few years, it may take a lot of pre-soaking to rehydrate them, and the cooking time may take longer and the flavor may be off, but they should not be toxic, and we're not talking about beans or rice you've been using over and over for a couple of years now, are we?

          Beans and rice are types of dried vegetation. Sometime the drying process for some foods includes applying circulating heat to accelerate the dehydration process. When you use rice or beans to bake blind, they may be in a hotter oven than a normal dehydrating oven, but they aren't in there that long, and there is nothing dangerous about using them for cooking. Not to worry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Caroline1
            Becca Porter Sep 2, 2010 08:46 AM

            Well of course. Obviously.

          2. l
            LiviaLunch Sep 2, 2010 04:28 PM

            Bad idea, just taste-wise: at least, when I accidentally cooked some navy beans that had been used for blind baking. The texture and flavour was unmistakaby off. Very off.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LiviaLunch
              chefj Sep 2, 2010 05:43 PM

              I agree. I cooked some as an experiment. The Texture once softened had no creaminess at all and the flavor was muted and a slight rancid oil flavor was there.
              I am sure that there is no health risk, but with such a cheap product to begin with why not use fresh.

            2. pikawicca Sep 2, 2010 04:32 PM

              I've been using the same beans for blind baking for 20 years, at least -- way cheaper than pie weights. Don't know why you'd want to cook them, though; I have to think they would take forever, have near zero nutritional value, and not taste very good. When I want to cook beans, I get them from Rancho Gordo. These are beans from the current year's crop, and the freshness makes a huge difference.

              3 Replies
              1. re: pikawicca
                greygarious Sep 2, 2010 05:04 PM

                Having bought and cooked several varieties of Rancho Gordo beans, I did not find any difference from supermarket bagged beans, other than the larger variety of shapes and colors.
                Certainly not worth paying 3-4 times as much per pound, plus shipping. Dryding has for eons been a method for preserving foods for prolonged periods. I do not think freshmess makes any taste difference. Fresher dried beans cook slightly faster, not worth the huge price difference.

                1. re: greygarious
                  chefj Sep 2, 2010 05:45 PM

                  Fresher dried beans also hold their skins better and cook up with a creamier texture.

                  1. re: greygarious
                    pikawicca Sep 2, 2010 06:02 PM

                    Well, I couldn't disagree more, but if you couldn't discern a difference in the Rancho Gordo beans, it certainly makes no sense for you to spend the extra money.

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