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Old 10-12-2012, 06:40 PM   #1
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Question Help! Cooking dried beans

"16 bean"mix:
1)How can I have all beans consistently soft without some being mushy-or some being crunchy?
2) On this site I saw an OLD 'bean' thread about baking beans (that aren't soft enough) as a 'save', after the fact. What temp and how long???
Will it work with this large variety of beans and that are already at a variety of softness?

FYI: I soaked beans 8 hours, dumped water, and added fresh as per package instructions. I'd just added the water and eventually the seasoning packet as instructed on the package. After the two+ hours, since it seemed to taste flat, I added dried minced onion, jarred minced garlic and "Orrington Farms Broth Base & seasoning Chicken flavored" to give the beans and broth some flavor. After simmering more, and determining the flavor was ok and the beans seemed to be cooked, I turned off and left the pot on the electric burner a few more hours before refrigerating overnight. Today the broth is thicker, but the beans are not consistently cooked. Some are perfect, others are somewhat crunchy-and some of the beans are inconsistent even within the same type, some are splitting too. I had some, but it'd definitely be better with all beans soft.
HELP!! Thanks! I'm hoping to get answers before serving my spouse.

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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Instead of cooking them on top of the stove, try baking them in the oven on 225F. for eight hours. Like they do with baked beans. And don't put salt in them until the last minute. It toughs them and prevents the liquid from penetrating them completely. The beef broth soup base is loaded with salt. Make that a last minute addition. Check to see if your seasoning packet has salt in it. I made baked beans for years every Saturday night and never had a tough bean. Make sure your soaking water is enough. Double the amount of water to the amount of beans. If you have two cups of beans, then have them soaking in four cups of water. Even more. There should be some water still floating on top when you go to change it for the second soak.

Hope this info helps.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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What was the expiration/use by date on your beans? Old beans don't cook well, as I have found out!
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
What was the expiration/use by date on your beans? Old beans don't cook well, as I have found out!
Another good point!
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:44 PM   #5
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I agree that the package may have been old. I've had great northern beans that I soaked for 3 days and then cooked all day that wouldn't get tender.

I make 15/16/17 bean mix all the time and have never had any problems.

I don't soak them overnight either. I use the method of boiling for about 3 minutes then turning off the heat and letting them sit for an hour (covered) before bringing them back to a simmer. It only takes a couple of hours and all the different beans are cooked just fine.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #6
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I like using a pressure cooker. No soak and tender beans!
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:50 AM   #7
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THANK YOU EVERYONE: Here's more in detail:
The beans were a year from expiring, plenty fresh. I had seven and a half cups of water in the soak. They soaked for over eight hours. I dumped that water and added it again. I brought to a boil and simmered, at almost two hours (later than they suggested) I added their seasoning (not very flavorful, did not taste salty) and simmered more. I added the chicken flavoring, yes, that was salty, with the dried onion and jarred minced onion after I'd thought the beans were soft, but I thought they were flavorless. After they'd simmered enough to get the beans and broth flavorful and soupy rather than watery, I turned off burner and let them continue as that electric burner heat dissipated and I left the house. I put them in fridge overnight. Next day, broth was a tad thicker, but when I heated a bowl, that's when I noticed I'd been fooled. None of the beans were inedible, but some here and there were crunchy. I emailed the above.
What I did, as I couldn't wait for responses: I put in oven at 325F and it was a bit over 2 hours when my spouse came home, ready for dinner, so I pulled out a bowl. They liked them. The broth was a tad thicker again, and they said the beans seemed soft enough, and it was good. (Remember that there are 16 different beans!)
I had a couple of bowls today. The broth had thickened to a perfect consistency, and the only beans that weren't 'soft' were the giant lima bean looking ones. They had more of a texture like Red Kidney Beans in chili, rather than soft baked beans.
Thanks for all your ideas for next time. I was looking for a save on what I'd already not had good luck with, even though I'd done 'all the right things." Bad luck I guess.
But it all turned out okay. ...now if only I had thought to serve Beano as an appetizer beforehand... ;-)
My mom always used a pressure cooker for black beans, but I've not had good luck, and now I'm scared to use it anyway!
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:51 AM   #8
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Ever' now and then, and I can't explain why, I get some beans that just won't cook proper. I have only had it happen once or twice. The last time it happened, the beans were just being stubborn and so was I. I ended up using the beans in a hunting load in my ML shotgun. First time I ever got supper by shooting it with lunch.
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoot View Post
Ever' now and then, and I can't explain why, I get some beans that just won't cook proper. I have only had it happen once or twice. The last time it happened, the beans were just being stubborn and so was I. I ended up using the beans in a hunting load in my ML shotgun. First time I ever got supper by shooting it with lunch.
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
What was the expiration/use by date on your beans? Old beans don't cook well, as I have found out!
I've pretty much given up cooking beans from the dried (obviously, if my budget was such I would). It seems like you can do it three times out of four without a problem, but then ..... just when you're cooking for company or really, really need it to come out right, guess what? You're eating pebbles. I researched and researched and fell that it is the above; that the beans are old, way too old.

Any more I buy beans in the can. I'd rather cook them from dried, but don't do it much any more because of spending a day or even two getting them just right, just to find that I might as well go outside and put some rocks in the soup.
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