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crunchy black beans :(

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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: harryharry

      yeah, not salting them at ALL :(

      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.

        1. re: rjbh20

          No Acid True . No salt Bunk!

      2. re: harryharry


      3. 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 -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. 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!