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Old 09-19-2006, 04:40 PM   #1
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Tough Beans

Hi,
I believe that I was sent to this forum to ask about a bit of a problem with beans. I had posted the message in the introduction forum and someone said that I may find my answer in the beans and pasta forum. I think that this is it, I hope so. Below is my problem.

Donna

I found this forum by googling "food forums". I have a bit of a problem that has me puzzled. I am in the midst of cooking been soup. (Little navy beans). I soaked them overnight and have been cooking them on high for hours and hours and they are still hard. I have never encountered this problem before. Has anyone else? Are the beans too old or something?

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Old 09-19-2006, 05:08 PM   #2
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Yes, the most likely reason is that they are old. BTW, you should only simmer beans or the skins will come off and they'll split. There's no need to cook them on high -- more heat won't do anything.

Here's another thread on beans that won't soften
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:10 PM   #3
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Hey, Donna. Bienvenue. jenny's right, as usual. go buy some new beans.
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Old 09-19-2006, 05:11 PM   #4
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That's the most likely problem. Old beans will not soften, even after hours of cooking. If they've been laying aroud the house for a year, ypu shouldn't have used them.

Another issue is acidic ingredients. They can toughen/harden beans as well.

You should soak the beans overnight then change the water and cook them in salted water until almost done. Then add the remaining ingredients and cook to completion.

This allows you to get the beans past the point where the acidic ingredients can negatively effect them.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:06 PM   #5
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Thank you

Hi Jennyema,

Thank you for the reply I much appreciate it. I think my problem is that I put a can of tomatoes in the pot at the beginning.

Donna
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:08 PM   #6
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Tough Beans

I'm still getting the hang of this forum. . I see that several people replied. Thanks to all of you. I think that the culpret may be the tomatoes that I put in before cooking. I believe that I'll use canned beans from now on.

Donna
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:21 PM   #7
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No, the tomatoes won't make that much difference and neither will salt. They are old beans. Buy beans from groceries that will have a bit of turnover. Also, once you are cooking them (after soaking or the quick soak method), bring them to a boil and then simmer at a good simmer, but not a boil.
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:37 PM   #8
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Donna, when I make my bean soup I always use northern beans, they are larger than the navy beans. After soaking them over nite and draining off that water, they plump up so nice. I have never had a problem with them staying hard. What else do you put in you bean soup?
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Old 09-19-2006, 06:57 PM   #9
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Tough Beans

Hi Grethchen,
Will continued boiling rather than simmering cause tough beans.

Hi to JoAnn too.

I added bacon, onion and of course the canned tomatoes.

Donna
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Old 09-19-2006, 07:04 PM   #10
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tomatoes are acidic, any type of acidic ingredient can make them tough, these should be added towards the end of the cooking when the beans have already softened... i still think the cause is old beans though
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