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Old 06-22-2013, 09:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jjomall View Post

  • How do I properly cook the beans so that they get to that soft stage and are not still hard and undercooked?
  • Is it better to soak the beans overnight and then still leave them in the water until I cook that evening or is that too much soaking time?
  • Finally, after my first taste test I looked up dried beans and read that they don't even need to be soaked, what are people's experience with that and how much longer do the beans need to be cooked?
-I use a pressure cooker to cook beans. If you are organised and have a slow cooker you can use that but with most beans you should boil them fast on the stove for ten minutes in order to remove toxins that can occur with beans of the kidney bean family. Otherwise, rinse the soaked beans, boil fast for 10 minutes in fresh water then simmer for the time stated on the packet. In most recipes you cook the beans first before commencing the main recipe.

- if you are soaking over night and then leaving them all day it's a good idea to change the water in the morning. Incidentally, don't cook the beans in the soaking water, thereby goes flatulence!

- Personally, I always soak beans and chick peas. Apart from anything else it cuts down the cooking time. Particularly if the beans are rather old they may never soften up if you don't soak them. Incidentally, regardless of what some recipes state, there is no need to soak lentils of any variety (Puy, Egyptian, red, green, brown, etc.).
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Old 06-22-2013, 10:49 PM   #12
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-I use a pressure cooker to cook beans. If you are organised and have a slow cooker you can use that but with most beans you should boil them fast on the stove for ten minutes in order to remove toxins that can occur with beans of the kidney bean family. Otherwise, rinse the soaked beans, boil fast for 10 minutes in fresh water then simmer for the time stated on the packet. In most recipes you cook the beans first before commencing the main recipe.

- if you are soaking over night and then leaving them all day it's a good idea to change the water in the morning. Incidentally, don't cook the beans in the soaking water, thereby goes flatulence!

- Personally, I always soak beans and chick peas. Apart from anything else it cuts down the cooking time. Particularly if the beans are rather old they may never soften up if you don't soak them. Incidentally, regardless of what some recipes state, there is no need to soak lentils of any variety (Puy, Egyptian, red, green, brown, etc.).
Every good cook I have ever known soaks their beans overnight. If your beans are old, no amount of soaking or cooking is going to make them soft all the way through.

After you soak them, drain them and rinse them in a colander. Put in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a soft boil and after about ten minutes take a bean out and blow on it. If the skin splits, then it is ready to do what your recipe calls for. Do not salt the beans, it will toughen them and they will never cook through thoroughly. . Salt them at the end of cooking your recipe.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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Every good cook I have ever known soaks their beans overnight.:
Hmmmmm, and here I thought I was a "good cook". Sometimes I soak and sometimes I don't.
:(. Old beans make a difference, but I have never had trouble getting fresh dried beans to cook through, whether I soak or not, and I am famous for my baked beans! ;)
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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Hmmmmm, and here I thought I was a "good cook". Sometimes I soak and sometimes I don't.
:(. Old beans make a difference, but I have never had trouble getting fresh dried beans to cook through, whether I soak or not, and I am famous for my baked beans! ;)
Not too many gray areas with Addie
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #15
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Not too many gray areas with Addie
Bunny and GG, you crack me up! As do you, Addie,

I must not be a good cook either. If you do beans in the crockpot, it's rare to need to soak.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:10 PM   #16
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Bunny and GG, you crack me up! As do you, Addie,

I must not be a good cook either. If you do beans in the crockpot, it's rare to need to soak.
I made Boston Baked Beans for many years in a six quart bean pot every Saturday. I always soaked just as my mother did. And she learned it from her mother and sisters. Soak overnight, beans go into oven at eight a.m., done by five p.m. Nope, no grey areas there. I also make clam chowder the way it was made by the Pilgrims. No corn starch or flour to thicken it. Just some of the potatoes mashed. We like the flavor of the broth. I am a die hard New Englander through and through. And too old to change now.
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:06 AM   #17
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Salt does not prevent beans from softening. That's a kitchen myth that's been disproven.

Don't wait till the end to season beans with salt. Cook them with salt.

In fact many people even soak their beans in salted water.

And I'm with Addie -- no flour or cornstarch in chowder!
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:43 AM   #18
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Every good cook I have ever known soaks their beans overnight. If your beans are old, no amount of soaking or cooking is going to make them soft all the way through.
As do I, Addie, But she was asking specifically about soaking overnight and leaving them until later in the day. My point was that it isn't a good idea to leave them in the same soaking water for more than 8 hours and that she should change the soaking water in the morning. You can, if pushed, speed up the process by soaking in boiling water but I'm not a fan of that as it still takes an age.

I did say "rather old"! if they are getting to the end of their "best by" life they will take more soaking and cooking than if they are very early in their packaged life. If they are really old they are only fit for using for baking pastry cases "blind".
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #19
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Hmmmmm, and here I thought I was a "good cook". Sometimes I soak and sometimes I don't.
:(. Old beans make a difference, but I have never had trouble getting fresh dried beans to cook through, whether I soak or not, and I am famous for my baked beans! ;)
The soaking means they cook quicker and it saves gas, electricity or whatever. And with the price of domestic fuel these days every little counts
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