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Old 07-21-2015, 09:32 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
While the canned beans may be cooked similar to slow cooked BBB, the canned beans haven't had the benefit of slow cooking with all those other BBB ingredients.

That food network recipe is doctoring canned pork and beans. It is no doubt a tasty dish, but cannot match a slow cooked BBB recipe.
I know what it is. As soon as I tasted it for the first time, I got that mouth-watering taste memory of the long-cooked dish. I don't think cooking it for seven hours could improve on that. But if you think it's worthwhile, enjoy
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:53 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
While the canned beans may be cooked similar to slow cooked BBB, the canned beans haven't had the benefit of slow cooking with all those other BBB ingredients.

That food network recipe is doctoring canned pork and beans. It is no doubt a tasty dish, but cannot match a slow cooked BBB recipe.

So right.

If you takeAddie's awesome recipe, use canned beans, and just cook for an hour you'll likely be very disappointed.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:02 AM   #43
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I am going to use the dried beans and probably give away the leftovers. I want them to be like my mother's used to be. I want that memory. I could probably buy the dried beans and only use half a bag and adjust accordingly. Then I could make them twice!

And we always buy the 20 roll TP, so plenty on hand!
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:55 PM   #44
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Personally, I don't like traditional baked beans. However, I do like a similar bean dish I've made for years that has the addition of vinegar.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:13 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Since canned beans are already cooked, you wouldn't have to bake them for seven hours, either. One hour should do it.
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
While the canned beans may be cooked similar to slow cooked BBB, the canned beans haven't had the benefit of slow cooking with all those other BBB ingredients...
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I know what it is. As soon as I tasted it for the first time, I got that mouth-watering taste memory of the long-cooked dish. I don't think cooking it for seven hours could improve on that...
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
...If you takeAddie's awesome recipe, use canned beans, and just cook for an hour you'll likely be very disappointed.
Isn't it possible that, since they've already been "cooked" in the canning process, the canned beans are more receptive to the flavors? It's possible you infuse the bean with yummy flavor throughout quicker. Also, unlike Addie's recipe, the one GG uses has probably been developed to work with canned beans.

Besides, if GG is using the short-cut recipe, and GG is happy with the results, isn't that the most important flavor of all? I know if I was using a short-cut that resulted in a dish we enjoyed, and someone told me that "no, it should be done this way to make it best", I'd happily put fresh linens on the guest bed and invite them up to cook.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:17 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
Isn't it possible that, since they've already been "cooked" in the canning process, the canned beans are more receptive to the flavors? It's possible you infuse the bean with yummy flavor throughout quicker. Also, unlike Addie's recipe, the one GG uses has probably been developed to work with canned beans.

Besides, if GG is using the short-cut recipe, and GG is happy with the results, isn't that the most important flavor of all? I know if I was using a short-cut that resulted in a dish we enjoyed, and someone told me that "no, it should be done this way to make it best", I'd happily put fresh linens on the guest bed and invite them up to cook.
What a good idea!
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:57 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess View Post
Isn't it possible that, since they've already been "cooked" in the canning process, the canned beans are more receptive to the flavors? It's possible you infuse the bean with yummy flavor throughout quicker. Also, unlike Addie's recipe, the one GG uses has probably been developed to work with canned beans.

Besides, if GG is using the short-cut recipe, and GG is happy with the results, isn't that the most important flavor of all? I know if I was using a short-cut that resulted in a dish we enjoyed, and someone told me that "no, it should be done this way to make it best", I'd happily put fresh linens on the guest bed and invite them up to cook.
As I mentioned, I don't doubt that GG's linked recipe is tasty. My point is that it's a different bean dish, not a replacement for Addie's or other slow cooked BBB recipes.
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:22 PM   #48
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Ok, I've been following this thread with interest and have to weigh in, from a common sense standpoint.

I know Addie's recipe. It's very, very close to what my own mother used to make for us. I also know that I've been making home made baked beans for a very long time, and have tried numerous recipes and techniques. Sometimes I use shortcuts to get a particular flavor, and have one bean cookoffs with those recipes and techniques. Sometimes I want that slow-baked flavor that comes with Addie's, and my mother's recipe and technique. Both can produce outstanding beans. The only real difference is that if cooked on the stove top, or in a slow cooker, they aren't baked beans.

So, what's the textural and flavor differneces between the two. Let's examine this from a bit of an engineering, or scientific view.

First, the beans must be completely hydrated, maybe even overcooked until very soft, like the ready-cooked beans that come in a glass jar. This is because both salt, and sugar are hygroscopic, meaning they draw out moisture. To prove this, take some raw carrots, shred them, then add a tbs. of sugar and mix until all of the shredded carrot is coated. Now, place that bowl in your fridge and let it sit for an hour. The dry bowl will have liquid in the bottom that the sugar extracted from the carrot. The same is true with beans.

I have taken verysoft beans, with almost no liquid, and placed them into my slow cooker, then added brown sugar and other flavors. After jsut minutes, I have beans that look like they are swimming in syrup from the moisture that came out of the beans. And the beans became firmer.

That's also what happens on the stove top.

Now, take those same beans, and let them cook for multiple hours. The water is drawn back in by osmotic pressure, carrying with it the other flavors. The syrup has become very thick and coats the individual beans like glue. When you take a bite, you get concentrated flavor from the thicker sauce on the beans, and the actual bean flavor becomes somewhat lost. This is true whether the beans are cooked for a long time in a slow cooker, on the stove top, or baked in the oven. It's hard to do on the stove top though, as the sugars easily burn from the concentrated heat at the pan bottom.

If you enjoy a more intense bean flavor, cook them on the stove top and serve them after the sauce has all of the flavors you want. Typically, if you use pork products in your beans, it will be stronger flavored in this type of beans.

Is one type better than the other? Absolutely not. It really depends on the flavor and texture you desire. If you want more tender beans, with more bean flavor, and want to be able to actually taste the other flavors, such as pork, onions, molasses, etc., cook them on the stove top for a shorter period of time. If you want firmer beans, where there is a more homogenous flavor, none of them taking center stage, then bake, or cook in the slow cooker for hours.

A can of your favorite, pre-cooked beans can be made great by adding a little extra flavor with brown sugar, or chili powder, some onion, maybe a touch of mustard, a few drops of liquid smoke, whatever it is that you like in you beans.

Remember, there are very few things in life where there is one perfect way to make, or create something, and that includes beans, and nearly every food I can think of. What may be perfect to you, may just be ho-hum to someone else, and vice-versa.

Use what you like, and allow others to do the same. Always be open to techniques and flavors that are new to you. It may be that when you try another techique, or recipe, it might be better than what you were taught.

Addie, I really like your recipe. It's classic, and will always tough a warm spot in my heart. It will always remind me of good times with my departed mom. But as I've said in previous posts, I really like other bean recipes as well.

Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:09 PM   #49
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As I mentioned, I don't doubt that GG's linked recipe is tasty...
Never even thought you were criticizing GG's recipe. I just pulled your post in to use as a segue to mention that canned beans might absorb more flavor.
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Old 07-22-2015, 06:28 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
... Now, take those same beans, and let them cook for multiple hours. The water is drawn back in by osmotic pressure, carrying with it the other flavors. The syrup has become very thick and coats the individual beans like glue. When you take a bite, you get concentrated flavor from the thicker sauce on the beans, and the actual bean flavor becomes somewhat lost. This is true whether the beans are cooked for a long time in a slow cooker, on the stove top, or baked in the oven. It's hard to do on the stove top though, as the sugars easily burn from the concentrated heat at the pan bottom.
Thanks for your analysis, Chief. I agree with most of what you said. I just wanted to clarify for people who may not have read the recipe I posted that it's baked for 45 minutes after putting everything together, so the syrup does get that concentrated roasted flavor that only comes from dry heat.

I made that recipe for 19 family members at the beach house last week and everyone loved it. My mom, who has had her former MIL's scratch baked beans many times, thought they were as good as hers.

I might just do a blind taste test with friends this fall, just to see for myself.

Btw, Cooks Illustrated staff were shocked last year to find that they preferred canned cannellini beans to dried, except for a mail-order heirloom variety. One reason is that canned beans are cooked soon after harvest while dried beans can sit for months before they're sold. That can lead to too-dry beans that split when cooked or never become tender. They also change chemically, which changes the flavor and texture.

The science and art of cooking are endlessly fascinating to me.
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