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Old 06-09-2008, 09:13 PM   #1
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Black beans (from dried beans)

Hi there, I'm new to the forum - joined this weekend and planned a regular intro thread, but need help in the meantime!

I made black beans today. After doing a 2 minute boil + 2 hour soak, I cooked them on high for about 4 hours in my crockpot, followed by a 3 hour simmer on my stove top. They are STILL not the proper consistency (somewhat crunchy). I'm afraid that because I added some smoked cured ham, the salt in the ham may be preventing the beans from cooking fully. Is there any help for these beans at this point? Thanks!

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Old 06-09-2008, 09:24 PM   #2
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Good question! I have not tried black beans from a dried state, but have read to avoid salt during the soak. I wouldn't give up just yet (I am too frugal for that). What have you got to lose by allowing an overnight soak at this point?

I am interested to see how this works out for you!
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:27 PM   #3
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Thanks.

They definitely aren't getting wasted (DH would have a fit, especially with all that yummy smoked ham in them!). For safety reasons, they are having another overnight soak, this time in the fridge. We'll see how it goes. I told DH I will just put them in the crockpot on low in the am and let them go all day, then give it another try.

My main concern now is figuring out what went wrong so I don't repeat it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:43 PM   #4
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Ahhhh, crunchy beans. Love 'em. Yes, the salt didn't help but only 4 hours in the crock was not enough. They really need at good 6-8 hours. I would have boiled at the beginning for a good 5 minutes and sit for 1-1/2 hours or more.

At least you will make notes and will have perfection the next time you do black beens. BTW all dried beans are not the same when it comes to rehydrating them.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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Old dried beans will never soften. Buy dry beans from stores that have a high turnover and soak them in plain water.

Cook them with the ham bone. Don't add any acidic ingredients until later in the cooking process as acidic ingredients introduced too early in the cooking process will make the beans tough.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:15 PM   #6
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UH OH... I added a can of diced tomatoes. But I always do that w/pintos & they come out great!

Is there any saving them??? Thank you for the advice.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:26 PM   #7
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They need way more than 3 hours in a crockpot. Maybe 6 - 8 hours is more like it. Soaking them won't help - cooking them will!
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:33 PM   #8
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I live at a fairly high altitude 7600 ft so beans take forever so what you should do is wash them and soak over night soaking over night will double them in size then rinse real well and put in crock pot with fresh water add all your other ingredients and set crock pot to high let them cook away when they start to soften about 6-7 hours you can turn pot to low if you are not in a hurry . I start mine in the morning after soaking I start to cook them around 9:00 am they will be ready around 4:00 to 5:00 PM . Soaking overnight will help alot. You could also soak a day ahead and then put them in crock and just let cook overnight.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
They need way more than 3 hours in a crockpot. Maybe 6 - 8 hours is more like it. Soaking them won't help - cooking them will!
Oh, I know! I should have been more specific. I stopped crockpot and switched to simmering at that point in the hopes that those additional simmering hours would be quicker than the crockpot.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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Got it now! If they are still hard it's because they are too old. Nothing you can do to change that either. I hope they turn out!
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