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Can someone tell me how to cook dry beans?

Do I soak them for 12 hrs in cold water first, change the water, then simmer them? Simmer for how long? Do I bring to a boil first before simmering?

Last time I tried this they came out rather hard.
 

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Tough Chick
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Pinto, navy, black, kidney and red beans should be washed thoroughly then soaked overnight. You can hurry the soaking time by bringing the beans to a boil then turning off the heat and allowing to soak an additional 4-6 hours.

Peas and lentils do not need to be soaked for more than 1 hour.

Here's an FAQ: http://www.centralbean.com/cooking.html

(In my experience, adding salt does make the beans harder and the soaking time longer, but the FAQ disagrees with me. Go figure.)
 

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Can someone tell me how to cook dry beans?

Do I soak them for 12 hrs in cold water first, change the water, then simmer them? Simmer for how long? Do I bring to a boil first before simmering?

Last time I tried this they came out rather hard.


I usually soak pinto beans over night.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and turn it off, then add the beans, cover and let sit, soaking with some pepper and spices overnight.

It helps to add some bacon grease, just a half teaspoon or more, depending on your tastes. You can substitute cooking oil, olive oil, or something similar, but I prefer bacon grease.

Don't cook them quickly. Let them simmer, on a low heat setting for several hours, the longer the better.

Keep it covered so the water doesn't boil away.
 

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We soak beans, not peas, overnight in lightly salted water. Pour off the soak water onto the garden, put beans in fresh water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for several hours.
If your beans came out hard, they just need to simmer longer. When they are tender, they're done. You can add spices or whatever to the simmering water, or spoon the beans into a bowl or plate and add spices then. We find it does little good to add spices to the soak water, the flavor doesn't carry well through the simmer.
Hope that helps.
 

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Can someone tell me how to cook dry beans?

Do I soak them for 12 hrs in cold water first, change the water, then simmer them? Simmer for how long? Do I bring to a boil first before simmering?

Last time I tried this they came out rather hard.
Ah, beans. We will ignore the usual flatulence jokes and get to the good stuff.

Conventional instructions are to wash and pick over beans, tossing rocks, dirt clods, and any beans that look malformed or odd. Then soak them overnight in cold water, drain, put them in a cooking pot, and recover in cold water to the depth of about an inch. At this point you add seasonings, salt pork, bacon, molasses, whatever you want. Put on the heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, then simmer several hours until skins break. Eat. The end.

I pretty much go with the above, except for tossing the rinse water. If you've washed the beans first, I don't see the point, and it just adds another step. And I note that Alton Brown, the host of the TV cooking show Good Eats, agrees with me (or I with him) on this point. In his episode on dried beans (entitled, appropriately enough, "Cool Beans") he got into all things bright and beany, along with a couple of bean recipes. Here's a transcript:

http://www.goodeatsfanpage.com/Season3/Beans/BeansTranscript.htm

Hope this helps. And about your hard beans: You may just not have cooked them enough. Or they may have been really old beans. I'm not sure beans can ever go bad, short of decomposition, but I know that the older they are the longer they take to cook...
 

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When cooking pinto beans, add the salt after they are done. Pepper,garlic,and dried onions,along with any meat or oil/fat go in at the beginning. Any green or red chili sauce add at the table,as prolonged heat destroys the flavor and leaves the hotness behind. Diced jalapinos go in after about 3 hours. Keep a cold one handy and enjoy:)
 

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Lentils and split peas don't need to be soaked. All you gotta do is pickup a bag and look at the directions, but anyway. You can also quick-soak dry beans, but overnight makes 'em better.
 

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Soaking overnight is preferred, but not required.

A great LTS meal I made the other night was with Pinto beans, Brown rice canned chicken, and chicken broth.

I add 1/2 cup beans, 1 cup rice to a pan. Add (1) 14 oz can of chicken broth, plus one can of water. Let soak for 2 hours. I prefer the chicken broth with salt and veggies already in it. College Farm Brand

Bring Rice/Beans to boil, reduce heat and cook on a high simmer for 30 mins. Turn off stove and transfer everything to a 9" baking dish. Stir in (1) 12oz can of chicken and then bake in the oven on 350 for 45 mins.

Beans and rice cook perfectly in the same pan with this method. Its a tasty meal without adding any spices, but feel free to dress it up!

This meal comes out to about 12 grams of fat, and 32 grams of protein per serving using canned white meat chicken.
 

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Under pressure.

Take your beans...Each type is a little different. add to pressure cooker. cover with water, bring to a boil. As soon as pressure is achieved cook 20 minutes. Turn of heat, let cool until pressure is relieved. Add water to cover bring back to a boil. Turn off heat. let sit 3-4 hours or until ready to use. Add all the seasonings and other goodies. Again add water to cover, boil 20 minutes or so after pressure is achieved. Total cooking time 45 minutes or so...This equates to a tremendous savings on fuel. WARNING DO NOT USE THIS METHOD ON LENTILS OR SPLIT PEAS, AS YOU WILL HAVE MUSH!
You will have to experiment a little. Each type of bean is unique, but the method is similar. just vary the 2nd cook time until done. You can put the cooker in the sink and run cold water over it until the pressure is relieved in order to check the progress.
Here is a link to the Cadillac of pressure cookers. They are virtualy explosion proof, and use a 1/4" "O" ring seal.You can get "O" ring material at any auto parts store...They are pricey, but worth every penny...I own 3 of them. SEB, and a couple of other companies make an identical type.I have seen them on EBAY at a considerable savings:
http://www.magefesausa.com/fichas.asp?m=48&s=54
Enjoy...
 

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I have heard that adding salt before they are cooked will lengthen the cooking time. I don't know if that is true or not, but maybe someone else knows more.
I also understand that throwing out the soak water will cut down on flatulence.
And yes, old beans take longer to cook.
Like they say above, the best way to conserve fuel is to cook them in a pressure cooker.
 

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My general pinto sized bean prep method; it changes a bit depending on what I'm planning but this is the average path.

Step 1. Soak beans overnight 8-12 hours without salt. Rinse (I find it produces less gas with navy beans in particular but I use it for all of them now) in a colander while I reuse the stock pot below.

Step 2. 1 tbls olive oil, a medium onion, a few cloves of garlic, some cumin and a dash of cardamon and pepper, toss it all in your heated pot and cook until the onions soften. Toss in the soaked beans and cover with as much water as will fit in the pan and not boil over (you can always pour out the extra at the end, but if the water boils off the beans are screwed).

Step 3. Bring to a rolling boil for 10-15 minutes and then turn them down to simmer for about 3 hours (I start checking every 15-30 mins after 2 hours, they should smash easily but not be grainy; when the skins slip easily or are floating off they're overdone but just scoop out the skins and eat the beans anyway, they're perfect for refried beans at this point.

For lentils and split peas start with step 2, add your ingredients and only simmer for about 10 minutes before testing for softness, they should be done after 30 mins.

Do we have a recipe location... I really want to finish my refried beans recipe :)

Nom
 

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(In my experience, adding salt does make the beans harder and the soaking time longer, but the FAQ disagrees with me. Go figure.)
That's been my experience too.

I prefer the longer soak method because it doesn't tend to blow the skin off the bean.
 

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With lentils it depends if they are canned or not.

The ones that arent canned, rely mostly on a complex cooking (ie boiling for 10 minutes, then simmering for 30 minutes while taking of any scum etc). Id just check the packaging of each product.
 

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A Good way to store Dry Beans of all kinds and rice is using those air tight bags that you suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner, Wal Mart sells them as space savers.
As an experiment I kept beans and rice for 2 years in my cave hide out and recently we took some out and cooked them, no bugs or any growth of any kind since they are vacuum sealed.
We also used 50 gallon Plastic drums and kept them inside ther.
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=15637358
 
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