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Old 04-30-2008, 05:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerd View Post
I would hold off on the Salt until the end of the cooking. I've learned salt stops beans from cooking completely.
I usually hold off on it till the very end. A tip I learned from my mom.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
That's actually not true. Acid inhibits beans from softening, but not salt.
Hmmm, my authority at Dummies.com says "Never add salt to the soaking or cooking water when initially preparing beans. Salt prevents the skin from softening, making for a tough, not-too-tender bean. Always season the beans after they're done cooking. Like little sponges, they'll absorb the salt quite quickly and be flavorful."

I always add acid in the form of vinegar to inhibit the creation of the gaseous side effect.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:14 PM   #13
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In my experience, salt is a matter of the individual pallet. One can always adjust for flavor during the cooking process, whether it be salt or other flavor adventures.
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerd View Post
Hmmm, my authority at Dummies.com says "Never add salt to the soaking or cooking water when initially preparing beans. Salt prevents the skin from softening, making for a tough, not-too-tender bean. Always season the beans after they're done cooking. Like little sponges, they'll absorb the salt quite quickly and be flavorful."

I always add acid in the form of vinegar to inhibit the creation of the gaseous side effect.

Your information from "dummies" has been contradicted by reputable food scientists like Shirley Corriher, Alton Brown, Harold McGee and the likes of the folks at Cooks Illustrated. Also by my own personal experience over many more years that I'd like to admit.

Salt doesn't inhibit softening. Acids, sugar and calcium do. Also old beans may refuse to soften no matter what.

Salting cooked beans doesn't help them much. Like Alton Brown said "if you wait until (the beans are) finished to add the salt they're going to taste like papier-mâché."

Oligosaccharides, the sugar that causes gas, are water soluable and not counteracted by acids. They have been thought to be counteracted by mold, so maybe there's some marginal effect from a fermented product like vinegar, but you're probably offsetting some small improvement in flatulence by risking a crunchy end product.

For what America's top food scientist has to say, here's the actual text of "On Food and Cooking"where McGee explains cooking beans.

Alton on beans

Discussion about cooking beans here
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:43 PM   #15
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Another good reference is THE COMPLETE BEAN COOKBOOK, by Victor Bennett, published in 1967 by Bonanza Books in NY.
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Old 05-01-2008, 01:54 PM   #16
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soak beans overnight. then put in crockpot with ham hocks, celery and onions. let em rip. taste wonderful with corn bread.


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