Adding cooked or dried beans directly into slow cooker recipe?
I've gone on a bean kick recently and have been making them in the rice cooker. However, I'm wondering a few things about how my bean usage would work with my Crockpot (my residence doesn't have burners):
- can you add dried beans directly into a recipe for the slow cooker, eg chili? It seems to me like the beans should cook through that, provided there's enough liquid.
- conversely, will cooked beans become too soft if I put them in the slow cooker?
- as a side note, does anyone know any good slow cooker bean recipes that aren't stews, chilis or baked/refried beans?
Yes, you can put dried beans directly in your crockpot. However -- you'll find they cook down MUCH faster and to a much nicer texture if you soak them overnight first. (cover with water in a big bowl and let sit 6-8 hours)
Most beans (red, kidney, calico, etc) would have to be cooked forever to get too soft. Softer beans (lentils, split peas) will go to mush after a day in the slow cooker.
I'm not sure what other dish is out there that isn't a stew, chili, or refried beans.
Maybe you mean something like petit sale - lentils, leeks, and carrots slow cooked with a smoked ham hock -- very French, but very much a stew-type dish.
I've 'read' that soaking beans, in addition to the reasons given by previous response, rids the beans of indigestible sugars in the skin, perhaps the reason that soaking beans (and discarding the water) reduces bloating.
I make pinto beans in the crockpot all the time. First rinse the beans then put into the crockpot insert and cover with water. Soak over night in the fridge. In the morning, drain beans then start your recipe in the crockpot as usual. Here are some recipes:
and my favorite:
Try a smoked ham hock with dried kidney beans. When finished serve with white rice and a green salad. Eat it without the rice
If you add dry beans to any kind of acidic mixture (like a chili with tomatoes in it, or anything with lemon or vinegar) they'll never soften properly.