"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Pasta, Rice, Beans, Grains...
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-08-2006, 12:20 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Question Anyone know beans about beans?

Hello all

I have a problem cooking dried beans. I'm a very patient cook, I soak them overnight as the package suggests, and I follow recipes carefully, but 95% of the time they come out tough, and even on the verge of crunchy!

For instance, I have a batch of baked beans that I'm hoping to rescue. I soaked a pound of medium/small pink beans overnight on Friday, and following a recipe from a reputable cookbook, I added ingredients and a GALLON of water (again following the recipe) and boiled them at a good slow boil FOR FIVE HOURS (the top end of the recipe's cooking range). All of the liquid reduced, and the sauce is of a good consistency, BUT THE BEANS ARE STILL FRICKIN TOUGH.

Anyone have any tips for me?

Thanks,
slocooker

__________________

__________________
slocooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:25 PM   #2
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,401
It could be that the beans are old. Even though they are dried, as beans age they reach a point where no amount of cooking will soften them.

You might also try putting a little baking soda into the water when cooking them.
__________________

__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:28 PM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Well I think I have found an answer.


As beans cook, the starches in them absorb water. The heat and water break down cell structure, causing pectin, or the glue that holds cells together, to become soft and dissolve. That's what makes beans tender. Acid (like tomatoes), salt, and calcium reacts with the bean surface, preventing water from entering the bean and cooking the starch. Boston baked beans can be cooked for hours and still retain their shape because of the acidic sauce that surrounds them. So add salty, acidic, and dairy ingredients at the end of cooking time in bean dishes. "

So, I've come to the conclusion that most of the recipes that I've been using just suck, but I would still like to hear if anyone has any other suggestions.
__________________
slocooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:29 PM   #4
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks Andy, our posts must have crossed.
__________________
slocooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:35 PM   #5
Cooking Links Contest Winner
 
shannon in KS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wamego, KS
Posts: 1,196
Send a message via Yahoo to shannon in KS
I have heard to add salt at the end of cooking too. Makes me wonder why when I cook beans with a ham hock they turn out ok... must not be enough salt in it to matter! Good luck with your bean endeavors!
__________________
~ Shannon

shannon in KS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:45 PM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks, Shannon. This recipe for some reason calls for adding all of the sauce ingredients (minus salt & pepper but including ketchup and other ingredients that have acids) at the beginning of the boil, after soaking, so I suspect that it just needs to be modified to do this after the beans are already cooked. I'm going to try to add a bunch of liquid and reduce it again... But if this doesn't work, oh well. Live and learn.
__________________
slocooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:47 PM   #7
Executive Chef
 
corazon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Native New Mexican, now live in Bellingham, WA
Posts: 3,859
Maybe you should invest in a pressure cooker? That's what we have and without soaking, we have beans ready in 45 minutes.
__________________
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings." http://aidancallum.blogspot.com/
corazon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 12:50 PM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Yeah, that might be a good idea corazon, but my small apartment kitchen is already crammed with gizmos and gadgets. If I could find a small one maybe... But I really don't mind long cooking times, especially on the weekends.

Thanks,
slocooker
__________________
slocooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 01:26 PM   #9
Head Chef
 
Shunka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Arizona
Posts: 1,023
slocooker, at what altitude do you live? That makes a big difference in how long it takes to cook beans. I live at just over a mile above sea level and cannot cook beans worth a darn in a crockpot here. I use a pressure cooker and never have a problem.
__________________
Shunka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2006, 01:43 PM   #10
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
altitude and the ph of your water, along with age of the beans, have more to do with toughness than tomato or salt in your recipe.
__________________

__________________
Robo410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:56 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.