Number 7 talks about dried beans and how to do them.Hope this helps.
8 secrets of slow-cooking success
Following a few simple rules can make the difference between a so-so meal and a great one.
1. No peeking, Don't lift the lid when cooking--the temperature will drop considerably and you will lose about 20 minutes of cooking time.
2. Fill it correctly. Be sure your slow cooker is at least halfway full, but avoid filling it more than two-thirds full. Overfilling can cause the dish to spill over while simmering.
3. Know how to add. If you're using a recipe designed for a 3 1/2-to 4-quart slow cooker, but want to prepare the dish in a 5 1/2-to 6-quart model, increase your amounts by one-half. (That said, many recipes contain enough volume that you won't need to make any adjustments.)
4. Browning matters. Some recipes call for partially cooking or browning a few ingredients before placing them in the slow cooker. This extra step can make a world of difference to the taste, texture and appearance of the dish.
5. Timing is everything. If a recipe tells you to add a quick-cooking or delicate ingredient at the end of cooking, do so. This attention to detail will pay off when you taste the finished product.
6. Less (liquid) is more. Because the lid remains on throughout most slow-cooked recipes, liquid doesn't evaporate as it does when cooking on the stove or in the oven. When converting a favorite recipe to a slow cooker, you may need to use less liquid. To get rid of excess liquid, remove the lid and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.
7. Presoak. Presoaking dried beans improves their digestibility and will turn your slow-cooked beans tender in 8 hours instead of 18. Also, don't add salt, tomatoes or other acidic ingredients until the beans have softened (otherwise they'll remain tough), and be sure to drain cooked beans and discard the cooking liquid before adding them to a recipe (also recommended for digestibility).
8. Precook, There are two ways to use pasta or rice in slow-cooked recipes: Add uncooked pasta or rice during the final hour of cooking time, or cook the rice or pasta separately and put it in the dish just before serving. I prefer the latter because pasta and rice cooked directly in the slow cooker often turn out gummy and starchy. Converted rice works best when added raw. If you prefer brown rice, it's best to cook it separately.
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I'd like to cook some dried beans in my slow cooker. I've been looking online for instructions on how to do this, but I've read varying things on the amount of liquid I should be adding. Does anyone know the ratio of beans to liquid in a slow cooker? I've seen anywhere from 4 to 1, or to cover the beans with an extra inch or two of water.
I am just using the beans for a bean salad, so I don't want them to be too mushy or soupy, if that helps.
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