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Nov 1, 2013 03:55 PM

crunchy black beans :(

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??

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  1. 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: trolley

        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.

      2. 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

          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

            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

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

        2. Use a pressure cooker.
          Perfect every time.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sedimental

            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. 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 - - 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. 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

                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!