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Cooking Times for Beans? [Oct. 11th, 2013|01:02 pm]
Veg Recipes


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Hi everyone,

Everything I've read about cooking with dried beans indicates you should soak them overnight.  I get that.  What I can never find is how long the beans should be cooked after they're soaked.

Does anyone have any idea?  I'd like to make a chilli this weekend using dried beans.  I have small white beans and small black beans.  I just need to know how long to cook them.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks so much!

--E.A. Week

[User Picture]From: reseda_3067
2013-10-11 07:26 pm (UTC)
Remember to change the water the following day after you've soaked the beans over night, but I'm sure you already know that. And about the cooking time... Well, I suggest you boil them on semi low heat- checking every now and then in case you need to add more water- for at least a couple of hours. It's hard to say exactly with beans, so you will have to test them from time to time until they are soft. Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: eaweek
2013-10-11 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! If the chilli doesn't turn out to be a complete disaster, I'll post the recipe here.
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[User Picture]From: reseda_3067
2013-10-11 08:10 pm (UTC)
You're welcome. And please, do post the recipe! I am always on the look out for new chili recipes.:)
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[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2013-10-15 01:24 am (UTC)
Would you like mine? I warn you, I don't measure anything.
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[User Picture]From: reseda_3067
2013-10-15 06:54 am (UTC)
Yes, please! I don't measure things much either when it comes to cooking. lol!
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[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2013-10-16 08:34 pm (UTC)
Ok, I've put it up! Hope you like it. Basic veggie. Please share any of yours too!
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[User Picture]From: glennagirl
2013-10-11 09:54 pm (UTC)
You can easily dispense with the overnight by bringing the beans to a boil and letting them in that hot brew for about 30 minutes. Rinse and drain, put them in a pot of water again and bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cooking time can vary by bean density, but generally I let them simmer for about 3 hours (sometimes more, sometimes less), checking to insure the water level stays high enough to avoid burning, and for doneness.
My mother always prepared them this way and now I do as well.
Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: balmofgilead
2013-10-11 11:23 pm (UTC)
I find that it varies a lot between batches of beans. I do the quick soak method mentioned below where you put them in water, bring to a boil, boil for a minute, cover and turn off the heat, and let them sit for an hour. Then I cook them. Often they are soft after only an hour or so of cooking. Sometimes old beans - that have been sitting for a while - take much longer. I find the whole process much easier in a crock pot since they never boil over that way....actually I just boil water on the stove, turn the crock pot on high, pour the boiling water over the [unsoaked] beans in the crock pot, and they're ready in two or three hours.

Edited at 2013-10-11 11:23 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: eaweek
2013-10-12 03:52 am (UTC)
Thanks one and all! I'll definitely give one of the above methods a try this weekend and hopefully report back on Tuesday as to how well it all worked. : )
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[User Picture]From: alien_sunset
2013-10-12 10:29 am (UTC)
wow, the people who are cooking for two to three hours must have really hard beans.

after an overnight soak, I rarely have to cook my beans (at a simmer) for more than an hour, often times less for the smaller ones.
much longer and they start to fall apart.

I just checked and The Joy of Cooking agrees with me.
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[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2013-10-15 01:17 am (UTC)
Different beans need different times. Check out this table:
Bear in mind that for kidney and pinto beans, if you're using them, once they're soaked you need to flash-boil them for ten minutes, discard the water, and if you're being really careful, do it again before cooking them. This is because the skin contains a mild toxin that a feisty rolling boil will destroy. It won't kill you, but it might give you a nasty bellyache. If you want to soak them together with other beans that don't need flash boiling, that's cool-- it won't hurt them to be boiled along with the kidneys.

You really don't need to be terribly precise about it. I frequently cook kidneys, pintos, black turtle beans and black eyed peas all together and they don't seem to mind. Just soak in lots of water, preferably overnight, and cook 'em til they're done the way you like them.
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[User Picture]From: eaweek
2013-10-15 02:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks to everyone for the helpful hints about the prep time for beans. This weekend I finally had the time to actually cook. I wanted to call this dish "Black & White Chili," but once all the tomatoes were in, it was more like "Black & White & Red All Over." I finally decided to call it "Chili Improv," because I improvised my way through it. The recipe is adapted from the cookbook Lean and Luscious and Meatless, which I picked up in grad school circa 1992. It's actually a combination of two chili recipes. Pretty much any of the ingredients can be changed or altered to taste.

Prep time: I honestly can't say. I'm the world's slowest cook. Also, my kitchen is tiny, so I had to keep stopping to wash dishes or make room on the counters. It probably took me close to an hour. A faster cook with a better kitchen could probably whip this up in about 20 minutes flat.

Also, I cook for myself, so the recipe is scaled down for one person. However, the yield was enough to keep me fed for a week, probably around 4-6 servings.

Chili Improv
Beans: I used 1/2 cup small black beans and 1/2 cup small white beans, which I soaked using the overnight soak methods. The next day, I cooked them for about 50 minutes, until they were tender. This actually yielded more beans than I needed.

3/4 cup picante sauce, as spicy as you wish. I used the mild version.

1/3 tablespoon chilli powder or red pepper flakes. You can use more or less, or eliminate entirely, to taste.

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 7 oz can corn

1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained

About 1/3 of a small white or yellow onion, sautéed in olive oil with about half a tablespoon of garlic. Again, more or less as you please. I have friends who include things like carrots, red peppers, mushrooms in their chili.

1/4 cup wheat bulgur, cooked in 3/4 cup water, until all the water is absorbed.

Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan (I used my 3 quart pan, and it was perfect) on medium heat until everything is heated through.

The dish is warm and spicy and very filling, perfect for a chilly October night.

To go with the chili, I made roasted sweet potatoes. I use a spice mix from Concord Foods, which is mostly paprika, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Dissolve about half a teaspoon of the spice mix in olive oil. Slice the potato into thin medallions. Coat them in the oil & spice mixture. Bake on a flat sheet at 400 F for about 10-12 minutes. Flip the medallions over and cook for another 10-12 minutes at 400. Potatoes should be lightly crispy and cooked through when they're done. I made this as a side dish for Christmas last year, and it went over really well. Even my uber-fussy sister-in-law, who normally sits at the table looking like a prisoner of conscience on a hunger strike, loved them. Obviously I used more of everything--more potatoes, more olive oil, more spice.
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