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crunchy black beans :(

trolley Nov 1, 2013 03:55 PM

I stink at making beans. I soak them overnight, drain, the cook the life out of them for 3 hrs and they're still a bit on the crunchy side. what's the trick? what's wrong??

  1. DuchessNukem Nov 2, 2013 12:21 AM

    Great suggestions above. Maybe try another market for a different bag? I'm guessing whatever WF has on the shelf is likely from the same lot, so try somewhere else for maybe a fresher bag.

    I do all my beans in the crockpot and never have issues. I just rinse and place in slow cooker (no presoak, no boil), leave on low until done, often overnight. If you have a slowcooker, it's definitely worth a try.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DuchessNukem
      trolley Nov 2, 2013 07:22 AM

      going to try the crock pot. I do think the beans were old. Now that they've had time to marinate in the fridge they're more crumbly but not creamy. DO OVER!

    2. DiningDiva Nov 1, 2013 10:05 PM

      Sounds like you've got old beans. I would do bulk beans before buying them packaged. Bulk beans get rotated out fairly quickly, with a package you have no idea when it was processed and how long it's been sitting on the shelf.

      I cover the beans with at least an inch of water, bring to a boil, boil 3 minutes, turn the heat off, cover and let sit for an hour. After an hour, I drain off the soaking liquid, add fresh water to cover by an inch, bring them back up to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 90 minutes. At that point I begin tasting for doneness and add salt.

      If you're so inclined, try a package of Rancho Gordo beans -http://www.ranchogordo.com/ - I've had them cook up perfectly in as little as 45 minutes because they were fresh dried beans.

      I know it sound weird to be talking about the freshness of a dried product, but the older a dried bean is the harder it is to cook it. Beans that have only been dried for a few months cook more quickly and are more tender.

      And I agree with Chefj, it doesn't really matter when the salt is added.

      1. s
        sedimental Nov 1, 2013 05:08 PM

        Use a pressure cooker.
        Perfect every time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sedimental
          tcamp Nov 2, 2013 07:25 AM

          ITA. I have experimented with just about every cooking method when it comes to beans. Now, I cook in the PC, with salt, bay leaves, maybe a chile or two, and I get perfect results every time. If, for some reason the beans are still too hard, put the lid back on, bring back to pressure, and cook 5-10 more minutes.

        2. boogiebaby Nov 1, 2013 04:06 PM

          How do you cook them? Are they fresh? Old beans will never cook up soft. Make sure you are buying them from a store with decent turnover.

          3 Replies
          1. re: boogiebaby
            trolley Nov 1, 2013 04:31 PM

            they are packaged beans from whole foods as I don't do bulk. they seem fresh as dried beans can be. I soak them in water overnight, drain, then cook. i read i should have brought them to a boil first :(

            1. re: trolley
              boogiebaby Nov 1, 2013 05:04 PM

              How are you cooking them? Most beans, you bring to a boil and then simmer until tender. I don't understand how you would cook them if the liquid doesn't come to a boil.

              1. re: boogiebaby
                trolley Nov 1, 2013 05:16 PM

                putting in the pot with water, boiling them and bringing it down to simmer.

          2. h
            harryharry Nov 1, 2013 04:06 PM

            Don't salt them while cooking - no idea if you do that - but it can make them tough - also, don't add any acid while cooking -
            Sometimes I add thyme from the beginning and then some salt in the last twenty minutes or so.

            4 Replies
            1. re: harryharry
              trolley Nov 1, 2013 04:29 PM

              yeah, not salting them at ALL :(

              1. re: trolley
                rjbh20 Nov 1, 2013 04:36 PM

                No salt and no acid (eg tomato). And bring to a boil, them simmer. Season when done. They will be much thicker (and better) the next day.

                1. re: rjbh20
                  chefj Nov 1, 2013 06:22 PM

                  No Acid True . No salt Bunk!

              2. re: harryharry
                chefj Nov 1, 2013 06:21 PM


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