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How can I keep my home cooked black beans black and glossy?

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I don't know what it is, but my black beans never come out looking like black beans. They look like gray beans and they have lost their gloss.

I have tried slow simmering, using the slow cooker, and so forth. I've tried the fast soak method, the overnight soak method. I've tried different brands. I've eliminated salt, added salt and on and on.

I just do not get a bean that looks as beautiful as Bush's black beans. I normally make a corn and tomato salad with my black beans, so looking pretty is fairly important. A grayish dull bean isn't very appetizing at all.

Do you know of a way? What am I missing?

Oh and I'm only cooking them until they are tender. They are not being overcooked.

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  1. Do you dump the water after the initial soak? With black beans, it always seems like a lot of the color soaks out overnight, so I don't change the water before cooking.

    Also, let the beans cool in the liquid. If I drain cooked beans immediately after cooking it always seems like the skins split.

    Once they are cooked and cooled, drain and rinse them under cool water. If any of the beans have split during cooking they will fall apart in cooking and coat the remaining beans.

    Also you may wish to check the label of Bush's black beans to see if food coloring has been added. In other words, they may cheat.

    1. I'm suspecting its the water you're using that causes the black beans to fade. As an experiment, try using bottled or distilled water.