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Old 02-27-2017, 02:55 PM   #1
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Hard kidney beans in chili

OK. I broke my own cardinal rule. My package of dry kidney beans were best by 4/15. No problem, says I. I did the quick soak method, thinking they'll be fine. They're not fine. They're still hard, and already cooked in some really good chili.

Anything I can do to soften them up? We've resorted to spitting the beans out on a paper towel. I have a feeling it's an exercise in futility.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure I've read in Cooks Illustrated that old dried beans dry out so much that they never soften up. Unfortunately, I don't think there's anything you can do
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:05 PM   #3
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I fear if cooking them in your chili didn't do the trick, nothing will. Keep on spitting them out.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
OK. I broke my own cardinal rule. My package of dry kidney beans were best by 4/15. No problem, says I. I did the quick soak method, thinking they'll be fine. They're not fine. They're still hard, and already cooked in some really good chili.

Anything I can do to soften them up? We've resorted to spitting the beans out on a paper towel. I have a feeling it's an exercise in futility.
Wow, if they are already in the chili, I'm not sure what you can do, other than try to find a way to get them out of the chili, other than spitting.

If I were faced with this problem, I would probably try simmering the chili and beans for a long time, low and slow, before I'd give up on it, and toss it. Nothing to lose, IMO.

Next time, do a five minute boil on your dry beans, and then let them soak in the boil water. Somehow, it starts a reaction that works better than just soaking the beans in cold water.

CD

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Old 02-27-2017, 03:09 PM   #5
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Hard kidney beans in chili

Yeah, I figured. I simmered the chili for a long time. Thanks guys.

CD, I did the quick soak, meaning I boiled them, then covered and let them sit.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:30 PM   #6
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Thinking I might spread the chili out on a cake pan, and pick out the stupid hard beans. Labor intensive, but I'm not going to throw out all that nice ground beef and seasonings. I'm too cheap.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:33 PM   #7
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Save your spits!!!

Wash them, let them dry - then use them to blind bake your pies...

You line your pie shell with foil or parchment - fill them up to the brim and blind bake your shells!

No one has to know "how" they've been recycled! Just like those coffee beans from guano - (think it's coffee, isn't it?)

Tell people you paid a fortune for those beans having been recycled thru the mouths of _______ (you fill in the blank with whatever exotic animal you care to name)

Do I win a prize for the best solution?
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:30 PM   #8
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Hard kidney beans in chili

Heh. Too late, dragn! Great idea though. I put the chili in a cake pan and picked out as many beans as I could, then threw them in the trash.

I'll add some canned black beans to the chili. Whodathunk two year old kidney beans would be so ornery?

I think it's a wild cat that poops out coffee beans. Haven't tried it.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:05 AM   #9
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Beans will never soften in tomato sauce--they should be fully cooked before adding to the chili. Something about the acid in the tomatoes.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:21 AM   #10
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Hard kidney beans in chili

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Beans will never soften in tomato sauce--they should be fully cooked before adding to the chili. Something about the acid in the tomatoes.

Good point, sparrow. Lesson learned. I boiled the heck out of the beans prior to adding them, they were still hard, but I figured they'd soften up. I should have gone with my first instincts, and not used them, but I was out of kidney beans, and the dry expired ones were all I had. Never again!
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