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Cooking Dried Beans?

I make a lot of soups that call for beans, all different kinds. It gets quite expensive to use the canned beans. I have tried dried beans and have never been able to get them to the consistency of the canned type. I have soaked them overnight and then cooked them. They seem to stay hard or fall apart. Does anyone have the secret for cooking dry beans?

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By Rose Smith from Malvern, PA

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December 10, 20110 found this helpful

I've had the very same problem with attempting to cook dried beans. I soaked them over night and then the next day cooked them in my pressure cooker. And they were still tough. So I decided to go back to using the canned beans.
Sorry I don't have a solution.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

Try soaking overnight in a crockpot. In the morning, rinse beans and add lots of fresh (boiling) water. Cook them all day (on low); they should be "just right". If you're at home while the beans are cooking, you can cook on "high"; I prefer to cook on "low" when I'm away, since that temperature doesn't overcook items.

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I've even skipped the soaking part, cooking on "high" for 4-5 hours; this might work, too, though the soaking is recommended, and it tends to reduce the "gas effect". I've heard that adding a bit of baking soda reduces gas, too. Good luck.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

What is expensive about canned beans? You can get them on sale all the time. If your recipe does not call for a full can just put the remainder in a baggy and freeze it until the next time.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

I wash them then soak in fresh water over night. Then the next morning I drain them and put fresh water to cover and bake in the oven in a roaster at 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check them often adding water as needed. You can put ham with them if you want but I just cook them plain because I use them in different recipes.

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Then when cool I put them in 3 cup containers and freeze them. Works perfect for me. They are just like the canned ones and I don't put salt in them either where canned beans have salt. Hope this is a help for everyone and works well for you as well.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

I quit soaking my beans. I wash them and put them in the slow cooker and I've never had problems with this remaining hard or falling apart. One thing I have heard; after they start cooking and you need to add water, do NOT add cold water. That makes them fall apart. So make sure any additional water you add is HOT.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

I have the same problem with trying to get my beans soft. I read on several on-line forums that the problem could be my hard city water - I get a lot of lime build-up inside my pots, so I know there are a lot of minerals in the water.

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The recommendation is to filter your water or buy spring or distilled water. I haven't tried it yet, but plan to try it the next time I cook dry beans.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

I too vote for the crock method. I rinse mine, don't bother to presoak, and like you, if I am going to use in a diff recipe, I don't season them, just put into small freezer strength zip bags, and freeze. If it will be for a meal, then I put in the chopped onion, celery, seasonings, etc.
Cook on low for about 6 hours.

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December 12, 20110 found this helpful

I always cook mine in the crock pot overnight, with a ham hock, and enough water to last all night, but if I get up in the night, I will check the water level. I cook them on high.

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December 13, 20110 found this helpful

My mother always told us never add salt until the beans get soft. Otherwise it takes for ever the beans to get done, and most of the time they stay hard. Also the older the beans the longer it take for them to get done.

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As TXBetty said use hot water when adding water. It also cuts the cooking time.

I just starting cooking beans in the crock-pot. So much easier and the beans seem to hold their shape better.

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