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Picture of Spanish Revival
posted
When cooking dried beans I've heard you should not salt the water before cooking the beans because it will toughen them. I cook beans ALL the time, Small Red Beans, and 4 pounds at a time. I ALWAYS add salt right at the beginning, otherwise they end up very bland. What do they mean by "tough" beans anyway? If you cook a bean long enough it will soften up. I always add onions, green peppers and fresh garlic, and a couple of packets of Sazon with achiote and cilantro. Do you wait till the end to season and if so, does the seasoning actually permeate the beans?
 
Posts: 958 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ga.karen
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My salt & pepper go into the pot in the beginning also! Never heard of beans getting "tough"...but you can cook them dry and they get tough...actually they get HARD! And don't ask how I know! Big Grin


"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
 
Posts: 4816 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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I have heard you should wait until the beans are soft to add tomatoes.


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3491 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of still tryin
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Charming, that's because acidic foods will toughen the skin of some beans.

The U.S. Bean Council says you should add after cooking because it will take longer to cook the beans if you add it at the beginning.

I always added bicarbonate of soda to the soaking water and cooking water to make the beans tender unless the beans are really fresh because I have hard water. However, really fresh dry beans turn mushy if you add bicarbonate of soda.

http://www.usdrybeans.com/recipes/recipe-facts/
 
Posts: 2651 | Registered: Jan 08, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of nettiejay
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I never have thought it makes any sense to not salt the beans but then to cook them with a salt-cured ham bone! Duh. Roll Eyes
So... I don't add salt because of the ham, but that's the only reason.

This comes from America's Test Kitchen:
"Dried Beans: Brine 'Em

Forget conventional wisdom warning against salting beans before they're cooked. Our testing revealed that adding salt to the overnight soaking liquid (2 teaspoons per quart of water)—in effect 'brining' the beans—yields better-seasoned and more evenly cooked results.
Beans can be 'quick-brined' by adding the same proportion of salt to water as the overnight soak and following the package directions for quick-soaking the beans."
 
Posts: 4504 | Location: zone 6b, Missouri | Registered: Sep 19, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've always put salt in at the beginning. Once or twice I've had a batch of beans that never softened, but I wrote them off as a flukes--left too long in the cabinet.
 
Posts: 3404 | Location: Louisiana | Registered: Jan 15, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of zone9alady
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I always soak overnight and always add all my spices and ingredients at the beginning. A trick I did learn recently is to cook them in a tightly covered heavy pot in the oven at 300 deg. for 4-5 hours. That way I can put it all together and forget about it. No scraping the bottom of the pot every few minutes to stop it from sticking. The beans come out really soft and whole.


Life is a great big canvas...throw all the paint on it you can.
Danny Kaye
 
Posts: 7406 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: Feb 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Spanish Revival
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Thanks ladies! Zone9alady, that's a great idea, no babysitting, I'm going to try it next time. It does make sense... like baked beans for BBQ!
 
Posts: 958 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of KeepYouInStitches
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Years ago, Miss Pinto Bean (I kid you not!) was on a local news show out of Texarkana...I think she was on the Arkansas side. She said it was the natural sugar in the pintos that cause gas. You should soak overnight - the longer the soak, the more sugar the bean loses. Next day, pour the soaking water off and rinse the beans. Then pour into your pot (I use my slow cooker), cover with water, season, cook.

In the slow cooker, you normally don't open the lid but with pintos I find if you don't you have some hard beans. So, give a stir a couple of times throughout the day. I cook on low for 8 hours.

I have a BFF who cannot cook pinto beans. She stirs constantly. Her beans break up and she has mush. She's so funny. Wink I was once part of a chili cook-off team - Flamingo Chili and we dressed up in flamingo gear and hot pink. I watched the other two cooking. It was BFF2's recipe. She would get up, taste, season and stir, put the lid on. She would no more get sat down good than BFF1 mentioned above would get up and stir again. They were fun to watch.
 
Posts: 17017 | Location: Daingerfield, TX | Registered: Feb 07, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of zone9alady
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That's why I decided to do the oven thing. Once I stirred my black beans so much they all but disintegrated. Frown I did have some really good Black Bean Soup!


Life is a great big canvas...throw all the paint on it you can.
Danny Kaye
 
Posts: 7406 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: Feb 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of peppermintpattitotherescue
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In our American Indian and Mexican culture, we salt at the beginning along with a ton of bacon/bacon ends and a lot of water, never stir and cook for approx. 1-1/2 to 2 hours depending on the texture you like. I usually taste mine after about an hour to test for doneness, but have never stirred. In our family, we cook and serve the beans and chile separate. This done so everyone can make their beans as hot or mild as they like.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: peppermintpattitotherescue,


Save Planet Earth, it is the only Planet with chocolate!!
 
Posts: 993 | Location: Camarillo, California | Registered: Mar 05, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Spanish Revival
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Lots of good ideas, and techniques. I think once you cook the beans, it's practically impossible to get flavor into them after they're done, unless you use them in another application. It's like not salting pasta or rice, if you don't do it in the beginning you end up with a very bland product.
 
Posts: 958 | Location: Florida | Registered: Aug 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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