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CHLOEMINOR SparkPoints: (6,326)
Fitness Minutes: (15,221)
Posts: 39
3/12/12 12:16 A

The fastest way I know is to cover dry beans with water, bring to a rolling boil, turn off the heat, and let sit *covered* for about two hours -- then change the water and simmer them until soft. (A lively simmer speeds it up, but I don't think a hard rolling boil does.) Then add any flavorings you like -- herbs and potatoes for something kind of French, tomatoes and oregano and chilis in the chili direction, or Indian spices. Or oil and salt and fresh corn niblets. Mmm.

I cook a lot of beans and have a pressure cooker; even big beans take about 12' after soaking, or 20' *without* soaking, in a pressure cooker. Mmmm, beans. With tasty beans, and after your digestion has adapted, you don't need to change the water and the best ones make a rich stock on their own.

Black-eyed peas and lentils cook quickly without presoaking.

Other than that, what everyone else said: old beans tend to stay dry, and acid or salt early on makes them tough.

Edited by: CHLOEMINOR at: 3/12/2012 (00:18)
MLYON2 SparkPoints: (9,020)
Fitness Minutes: (295)
Posts: 13
3/9/12 9:45 A

I bought some dry black beans...... any suggestions on how to cook and use them?

BPOTTS291 SparkPoints: (3,210)
Fitness Minutes: (4,545)
Posts: 20
3/8/12 11:57 A

Don't add anything to your beans until they're soft. Then drain again, rinse and add your seasoning. The salt prevents them from softening.

OLDOLGA Posts: 191
3/7/12 2:52 A

fabio - an internet chef says it only takes 6 hours to soak your beans. i tried it and then cooked them until they were soft--my friend told me to watch for when they just start to crack--it was about an hour and a half of boiling. it was the first time i made brown beans and they turned out well...i cooked them in the slow cooker.

TURTLERASKIN Posts: 2,067
3/6/12 10:09 P

For me, beans are a three-step process. First, soak the beans. In the morning, toss the water and rinse. Second, cook the beans -- fresh water a couple inches over the beans, simmer for an hour to two hours until the beans are soft. Toss the water. Three, use the beans in a recipe. I generally don't add any spices to beans when I simmer the beans (and particularly not salt, since that can keep the beans hard).

FARIS71 Posts: 492
3/4/12 8:18 P

Thanks! I think they were old and both recipes had tomatoes in them. Lesson learned. Thank you for your help!

HMATTAX SparkPoints: (11,819)
Fitness Minutes: (3,290)
Posts: 222
3/4/12 8:05 P

Sometimes if the beans are old they will never soften up like you want them. I generally toss the old water and add new for cooking. Also, make sure to not add much acid/salt like tomatoes) to the water for the first bit of cooking as that can also keep them from softening. What generally works well for me is to cook the beans for while after soaking without any flavors but water, then at about half cooked I add other ingredients.

For your current batch you can try to cook it a bit longer and see if it softens up a little. Not much to do other than that in my (small) knowledge.

Good luck!
--Heather

FARIS71 Posts: 492
3/4/12 2:21 P

I threw out the dry bean packages and just soaked them for 24 hours. But now that I've cooked them in a recipe, they are still a little hard & dry. What should I do now and what should I have done differently?

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