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Old 12-02-2006, 07:28 PM   #1
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Unhappy Hi and help with beans

I am trying to find out if there is a solution to my chili beans. I soaked pinto beans over night, they have been cooking for 5 hours and are still hard as a rock. Is there any help in sight? I don't cook very well. I am trying to find easy recipes so I can get away from the "Hamburger helper" scene. Someone please help.
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Old 12-02-2006, 08:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group!
Are your beans really old? I've heard that older beans take much longer to soften and I'm afraid at this point...you might have to start over.

Someone with more bean know how will come along shortly and give you a better answer.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:25 PM   #3
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I've heard if you salt them while cooking they won't soften...but don't know if this is true.
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Old 12-02-2006, 09:41 PM   #4
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I'm new but I heard if you live at high altitudes this can affect your beans staying hard after boiling for long periods of time. But i'm not 100% sure :(
I heard pressure cookers are great for cooking beans as well. Good luck!
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:40 PM   #5
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Welcome aboard!

Old beans will never soften. Also, adding acidic ingredients such as tomato to the beans early in the cooking will make them tough.


Please tell me you don't mean Derek Jeter, do you?
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Old 12-03-2006, 04:56 AM   #6
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Jeter, I learned this lesson the hard way also.

And Andy is, as always, correct.

Looked into it after I had tossed a bunch of dried beans, from the pantry from who knows when, into water and boiled them.

And boiled them, and boiled them.

Apparently the pores, holes, whatever they are called, in the outside of the beans that will let water into the center close up as the dried beans sit about. And so your beans are fully cooked, yes, but there is no water in them, and so they are just tough cooked dried beans.

If there is any way to resurrect them, I do not know of it.

Would just deep six them and buy some more.

Sorry.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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I'm a big fan of Andy for a very good reason. He knows what he's talking about. One additional comment; salt added to the cooking water does not inhibit the softening of the beans.

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Old 12-03-2006, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeisuresKitchen
I'm new but I heard if you live at high altitudes this can affect your beans staying hard after boiling for long periods of time. But i'm not 100% sure :(
I heard pressure cookers are great for cooking beans as well. Good luck!
This statement is true about high altitudes; that is why I use a pressure cooker (I live at a mile in elevation and have lived at 7200 ft). I use old beans to make bean bag toys for my grandkids, they aren't good for anything else, lol. Andy is sooo right on this subject!!
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:20 AM   #9
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Hi, welcome to the DC family. As for your bean problem, it seems that your beans are either very old or have grown on unsuitable ground. In either case, the better solution would be to throw them away and buy some new ones hoping that they may be a fresh crop.

You will probably hear that soaking them with some sodium bicarbonate may soften them but I don't think it's worth it. In my experience, beans that did not boil well remain so no matter how or what I tried. Meanwhile, beans of the latest crop most of the time boil well from the start without the need to resort to additives to get the job done.
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Old 12-03-2006, 07:36 PM   #10
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Whatever you may have heard, beans do not last fifteen years in food storage. I have cooked some beans from about 2000 and they cooked to hulls because they were old. In Utah, people have been known to inherit a food storage that is over 50 years old. "Old food, is No food!"
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