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Old 05-24-2013, 08:34 PM   #1
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ISO - Help with Dry Beans

Question 1

I am curious why one needs to soak dry beans first other then the fact that it takes about 15 min to 30 min less time to cook if you soak.

Is there some hazard if you don't soak them first.
If there is not a major deal then I don't see why one would take the additional time to do it since it is not like quick.

Question 2

I have seen guidelines saying that it is like a 1:3 ratio for dry beans
like a pound of dry beans would equal 2 cups so you would need 6 cups of water for every pound.

But then have seen other sites claim to be more like rice a 1:2
So I am confused which method works best for the cooks professionals ?
(or maybe it doesn't matter as long as you regulate the time and temperature.)

Note I am cooking in a covered pot on the stove not pressure cooker or crock pot. (though a covered pot is similar in principle to pressure cooker just not as time efficient )

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Old 05-24-2013, 10:49 PM   #2
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I've never NOT soaked the beans. While it's not quick it is easy to put them in a pot the night before and let them soak while I sleep. Then in the morning I can throw the ham bone and onions and bits of ham into the pot and cover with chicken broth and let them cook most of the day. I use a crock pot but my mom always did them on the stove top. Just make sure you keep the flame on the low side and check the liquids so they don't dry out. I use 2 quarts (8 cups) broth for a pound of beans.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:53 PM   #3
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Here is an authoritative source on how to cook beans

Cooking Beans | Central Bean

.40
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Old 05-24-2013, 11:02 PM   #4
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The reason for soaking overnight is to ensure that the very center of the bean is cooked through. Nothing like that nasty little bite in the center of the bean to ruin your meal. Even though most folks and recipes give you the ratio of water to amount of beans, the main thing is to make sure you keep the beans covered with liquid at all times starting with the soaking.

Start soaking your beans around 6 p.m. Keep an eye on them right up until you go to bed. Give them one last check to make sure they are covered completely with liquid. When you get up in the morning, add more water if needed. After you have your coffee, take care of the kids morning needs, then you can start your beans cooking. Only during the last hour after testing for doneness, can you let the water level drop.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:35 AM   #5
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I'm not a bean soaker. I read about the method here and have used it with a 100% success rate ever since.

Cover the beans with water in a cast-iron dutch oven and salt them, bring to a boil on the stove top. Cover and cook in a pre-heated 250F oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until done. Black beans, navy, pinto, garbanzo, etc. all work splendidly.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:41 AM   #6
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Ok I see

Last question on this quote
Quote:
Even though most folks and recipes give you the ratio of water to amount of beans, the main thing is to make sure you keep the beans covered with liquid at all times starting with the soaking.
So does that mean as long as the beans are fully under water at all times thru out the soaking and cooking that will do. So ratio's of water to beans don't mean anything like it does with rice's 1:2.

If so does that hold for all types of beans leaving out lentils , split peas ,...etc just navy , pinto , kidney , chickpeas (garbanzo beans) , white beans ....etc

Because if that is the case I am just going to fill a lot of water in a pot and wing it ... i.e not measure like I do for rice.


Also I would imagine when the beans are done it won't be like rice where the water is totally evaporated you will have to strain... but curious if one could get the right ratio of water so the water would totally evaporate like cooking rice ?
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:09 AM   #7
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I've always soaked my beans overnight since it's supposed to help eliminate some of the enzymes that cause gas. And as Addie pointed out it also insures the center of the bean isn't hard, although it appears a few other methods eliminate that concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam111 View Post
...So does that mean as long as the beans are fully under water at all times thru out the soaking and cooking that will do. So ratio's of water to beans don't mean anything like it does with rice's 1:2....Because if that is the case I am just going to fill a lot of water in a pot and wing it ... i.e not measure like I do for rice.

Also I would imagine when the beans are done it won't be like rice where the water is totally evaporated you will have to strain... but curious if one could get the right ratio of water so the water would totally evaporate like cooking rice ?
Actually, Chef Sara Moulton says you don't have to measure the rice and water, just fill a 2-qt pot with water, bring to a boil and dump a cup of rice into it, and boil for 15-17 minutes or until rice is tender. Then you dump it like you would had you cooked pasta. I haven't tried this recipe yet since Himself likes our rice cooker.
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Old 05-25-2013, 07:21 AM   #8
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I use a quick soak method. Cover beans with water. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Cover and let rest one hour. Drain. Replace the water with cooking liquid and proceed per the recipe.

I would start with an overnight soak if I would plan that far ahead.
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Old 05-25-2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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Lentils and split peas don't get pre-soaked. Just cook them in the recipe. IF I soak beans overnight, I drain them and add new water. That should be measured so the recipe will come out right.
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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it helps if you put the beans in the fridge...

anyone?
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