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Old 03-26-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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Cooking dried beans: advice wanted

As I said in the $ for tickets thread, one of my cost-cutting measures has been switching from canned beans to dried beans.

I do have a pressure cooker. I'm super good at cooking lentils and split peas. I have tried cooking dried black beans and kidneys and I kind of underdid it (but didn't soak them) but then just cooked them in the soup they were going into extra long. I cooked some garbanzo beans and they were a bit undercooked, I even re-sealed the pressure cooker and did it again for a bit, but I would love some experienced tips on technique and cooking times.

Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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I'd say lentils and split peas cook much faster than dried beans. I would definitely cook beans at least 2 - 3 hours, nothing will happen if you cook them too long. They also soak up the water, so be sure to have lots in there (just check occasionally). Obviously, the more beans, the more water. I sometimes make soup with them, so I go kinda easy on the amount. But usually I make them baked with a meat bone of some type for flavor and cook them slowly for 4 hours or so (this also allows you to leave and do something else without worrying). The water should be completely gone, so you'll have to stop cooking at that point. I use a roasting pot for this and cook in the oven. I find it's best to leave them alone for 3 hours at least before opening the pot and checking on them. This would probably be a lot more than you want though.

I'm sure soaking them would shorten the process somewhat, but I've never pre soaked.

I've never used a pressure cooker, I guess you would just have to add more water and time to your split pea recipe. When I cook split peas, they take about 2 hours, so I would just double your cooking time for beans.

Hope that helps.

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Old 03-26-2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varitek View Post
As I said in the $ for tickets thread, one of my cost-cutting measures has been switching from canned beans to dried beans.

I do have a pressure cooker. I'm super good at cooking lentils and split peas. I have tried cooking dried black beans and kidneys and I kind of underdid it (but didn't soak them) but then just cooked them in the soup they were going into extra long. I cooked some garbanzo beans and they were a bit undercooked, I even re-sealed the pressure cooker and did it again for a bit, but I would love some experienced tips on technique and cooking times.

Thanks!
Here's a handy chart for cooking dried beans in a pressure cooker.
Varieties of Dried Beans for Pressure Cookers

I used to be an expert at this but I haven't done it in so long I honestly don't remember how long I cooked them in the pressure cooker. I make plans every week to make some black bean soup but then never get around to it. But see if the chart is helpful. I LOVE my pressure cooker.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:25 PM   #4
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I've never made them myself, but being southern, I've grown up around the process. My mom soaks the beans overnight, with the seasoning already added to the water. Then they cook for about three hours in a regular large pot on the stove, with extra water being added as needed so they don't dry out and burn.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:36 PM   #5
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I soak all my dry beans, it definitely cuts down on the cooking time. It depends on what type of bean you are using though.

Have you tried Azuki beans? They are my favourite by far.
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Old 03-27-2009, 07:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice guys, this is really useful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardyharhar View Post
But usually I make them baked with a meat bone of some type for flavor and cook them slowly for 4 hours or so (this also allows you to leave and do something else without worrying). The water should be completely gone, so you'll have to stop cooking at that point. I use a roasting pot for this and cook in the oven. I find it's best to leave them alone for 3 hours at least before opening the pot and checking on them. This would probably be a lot more than you want though.
Wait so you just stick the beans in a pot with some water and stick it in the oven for 4 hours? how hot? I'm confused, though I will google it later.

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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
I soak all my dry beans, it definitely cuts down on the cooking time. It depends on what type of bean you are using though.

Have you tried Azuki beans? They are my favourite by far.
No, will see if I can find them here. What kind of recipes do you make with them?
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Old 03-27-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice guys, this is really useful!



Wait so you just stick the beans in a pot with some water and stick it in the oven for 4 hours? how hot? I'm confused, though I will google it later.
Yeah, just put them in the pot with lots of water. I use a small roasting pot, the kind that is shaped like it's larger brother that would be used for roasting a turkey. I also put barley in with them. 350 degrees. I never measure . But for you, Varitek, I just went and did a rough measurement. About 1/2 - 3/4 cup dry beans (pink or pinto, but they're probably all about the same cooking wise), and 1/2 cup barley. About 2 quarts water (no barley, less water). I also put in one whole onion, salt & pepper, paprika, and 3 or 4 small short ribs (you can use any beef or ham bones, or none at all). Throw it in the oven and check in about 3 - 4 hours. Basically becomes baked beans and barley. Don't stop cooking till all the water is gone, sometimes there's still some there underneath, give it another half hour or so. But this is a lot (it's still good as leftovers), you could probably cut it down proportionally. If you do this, like DOL mentioned, keep an eye on it after a couple hours and make sure there is water still there. Just add if needed. I wouldn't cut the cooking time down too much cuz they're better when soft.

The only tough part here is getting the amount of water you use right. If you just want the beans soft, then it probably doesn't matter to you if the water is gone or not, you just want them cooked till soft. So no worries at all. Just give them at least 3 hours to cook before checking.
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Old 03-27-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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I me some slow cooked foods
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:58 AM   #9
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I've heard, and it is probably an old wives' tale since I've never tried it myself....that to remove the "gassiness" beans can cause, to cook them with a whole onion (peeled) does the trick. Has anyone ever tried this?
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Old 03-29-2009, 07:24 AM   #10
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Never heard of that. Dried beans should be soaked overnight in water to cover, then drain the beans, give them a rinse, and cook in fresh water. This should aid in reducing the gassiness.

My tip: black eyed beans are substantial, cheap and cook in about 30 minutes after soaking. Great in vegetable stews.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:08 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the tips. Will have to try roasting on a weekend some time!

As for reducing gassiness, I've never heard anything about an onion. The more you change the bean water the less gassy, including draining and rinsing canned beans. But then if you wanted to use the water for flavor, you can't do that.
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Old 03-31-2009, 02:02 AM   #12
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I might just have to try the onion theory as an experiment. I'll report back
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I might just have to try the onion theory as an experiment. I'll report back
http://www.u2interference.com/forums...-a-195161.html
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:38 AM   #14
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perhaps there should be a "what do you smell like?" thread
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