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Old 07-09-2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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Black Beans won't soften

Today I have been cooking some black beans after soaking in boiled water for one hour. These little guys are refusing to soften. Any ideas???

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Old 07-09-2006, 01:39 PM   #2
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Several possibilities:

First, if the beans are old, they won't easily soften.
Second, if you put anything acidic in the water too early in the cooking process, that will retard the softening.

What did yo put in the water and how long have they been cooking?
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:13 PM   #3
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black beans

Bottled water, smoke turkey neck, some sliced garlic
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
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beans

About 2 hours
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:30 PM   #5
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I learned what Andy said (i.e., that when they're old, sometimes dried beans of any kind will never soften) a number of years ago. Since you cannot tell how old a bag of beans is when you buy it, it can be unpredictable. So ... I've taken to almost always using canned beans, especially when I need a predictable result. It's one thing to have to toss out a dish I'm making just for hubby and me. Yet another thing to have to start all over on a dish that takes hours when you're making it for company. My turning point was when we were on the road and bought anasazi beans at a market in rural Colorado that was famous for its fresh produce --- and they never softened. Now I'm afraid that I rarely cook beans from dried any more (never say never or always) because I dislike having put 3 hours into something I have to throw away.

Yes, acid of any kind will keep them tough -- tomatoes, wine, vinegar, beer. Anything like that has to be added AFTER the beans are cooked in my experience.
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Old 07-09-2006, 02:58 PM   #6
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Give them another hour and see if that makes a difference. If they're still hard, I think it's a lost cause.
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Old 07-09-2006, 04:40 PM   #7
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If you have a pressure cooker, use it for beans. They will cook in 20 to 30 min after a fast soak. If after 20 min they are not done another 5 to 10 min or 15 min will do it.... saves hours on the stove!I add my onions and garlic when I start but you can always add a bit later and still have everything cooked. I add herbs and seasonings at the end and let it cook unpressured for a few min. If I am going to bake afterwards, I just cook the beans to the done stage, put into a bean pot or dish, add onions, molasses, bacon etc. to finish in the oven for several hours like my GMA used to do.
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Old 07-09-2006, 05:23 PM   #8
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I've had black beans that never softened also. Funny thing, I've never had the problem with any other kind.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:02 AM   #9
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I suspect that they are old, in which case they may never soften enough, even in a pressure cooker.
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:25 PM   #10
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I always soak my beans overnight before cooking them.
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