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How do you cook your beans?

 
gardener
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Tomorrow is Taco Tuesday in our house. It normally involves leftovers, some kind of salsa / hot sauce, some kind of green leaf and refried beans. I soak a big batch of beans on Sunday night then cook on Monday. The cooked beans are then used for soups and stews and refried beans. I’ve followed the same recipe for as long as I can remember. In a big stock pot, cover the soaked beans in a couple of inches of water. Add chunks of onion, some garlic cloves, some fresh herbs - normally thyme and bay, no salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for two to three hours.

I was doing some research trying seeing if there was a way to cook them with less energy. I came across a recipe that suggested 4 to 8 hours on the stove. Another recommended using a pressure cooker, which does require less energy, whereas another cook suggests pressure cooking is a bad idea, the beans cook too quickly at too high a temperature. It’s cold but sunny today - maybe I should Make a solar oven with the plywood I recovered from some draws.

How do you cook your beans? I’m especially interested to know if you’ve found a method that uses less energy than 2 to 3 hours on a gas stove.

 
pollinator
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Howdy,
I do use a pressure cooker. Time is about 25 minutes or less. Can be done on wood stove. I do soak at least 8hrs., which usually means overnight. I cook more than I need for one meal and usually have a soup or stew extra that I freeze for those days when I'm not up for cooking, or have guests and need a quick homemade meal.

I also like to cook over coals, so will have an outdoor fire, burning small dia. sticks and chunks of wood, in/on a fire pit BBQ, takes 4-6-8 hrs, and I use a dutch oven. Depending on my planning, these beans may not get the pre soaking.  
 
master gardener
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Always I soak first. With good sun, I use solar. In the winter ....from now to April, I use a Dutch oven in the fireplace.  Other times I pressure cook.
 
Edward Norton
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Thank you both - great solutions.

I do have a pressure cooker and mostly use it for stocks. My reason for not using it with beans was based on the idea that beans need long and slow cooking to neutralise the compounds in beans that can prevent the uptake of nutrients. I’ve tried finding some actually science, but failed so far. It looks like Sally Fallon is the most sited voice in the “Don’t use a pressure cooker for beans” camp.

Most of my cooking is based on observation and I only use timing as a guideline. A pressure cooker has to be sealed, so no looking!

I also discovered that sprouting beans can reduce the cooking time by an hour or more with regular beans like pinto. There’s more starch which also makes refried beans even creamier. I’ll have to have a go.

Here’s the evolution of my refried beans.

Buy a tin of refried beans, fry for a couple of minutes and serve. . . Wasn’t impressed, too salty and too pappy.
Buy a tin of cooked beans, blitz and fry - nice!
Two day in advance, soak beans, cook for two to three hours, find a better recipe - awesome!
Five days in advance, sprout beans, cook for an hour using same recipe  - next weeks experiment
Buy a house, build a rocket stove, make a solar oven, grown beans, dry beans, sprout beans, cook beans, refry beans, eat, relax and polish halo.
 
pollinator
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I soak my beans for about 2 days, rinsing at least once a day. When I see the start of fermentation with little bubbles on the surface of the soaking water, I do a final rinse and then cook. The soaking time varies with kitchen temperature.

I usually pressure cook since most of our beans are for refrieds, and having them more broken down is fine. From what I've read, you need high temperature (at or above boiling) to destroy the bean poison, which is why I never use a crock pot or slow cooker. If others have had good results with a slow cooker, that's great but it hasn't worked well for me. I read what Sally Fallon wrote about not liking pressure cookers and it's pretty much "it's new technology so we don't know what it will do to food." So there isn't a hard reason, just more of a philosophy, which I tend to agree with for the most part.

I notice that there is very little intestinal gas from beans soaked, slightly fermented, then cooked on the stove or in a pressure cooker.
 
pollinator
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Sometimes I soak them overnight, sometimes not. I just throw them in the pot with whatever else, bring to a good hard boil for ten minutes or so and then simmer till tender. I might cook them a bit longer if doing it on the wood stove.  In a cast iron kettle on the wood stove is probably my favorite but I still boil them good in the kitchen first because unless it is really, really cold out the house gets too hot if the stove temp is brought up that high.

It has never seemed to me like it takes as long as most people think but I don't mind if they still are a little bit firm. Also, different kinds of beans cook in very different amounts of time. Some go tender in not much more than an hour; some take considerably longer.
 
pollinator
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Our family pressure cans our dried beans, in the winter time when the heat is not wasted (nice warm kitchen).
My wife is actually the one who does the proportions (they swell up, so you want the right water-to-bean ratio)
Then we just pop open a jar when we want beans for a soup.  
 
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I use a "haybox" to cook my beans. I soak them at least overnight. If it ends up being a couple of days of soaking, I also rinse them each day, and add new water to the soak.

I put in all the seasonings EXCEPT for salt. Salt is added after the original cooking, because salt prevents the softening of the beans. I bring the pot up to a rolling boil, and keep it there for at least 15 minutes. Then I turn off the heat. The pot is put in my "haybox" and is left there for at least 8 hours. At this time, it is usually done and yummy. The first few times doing this, I recomend having  backup meal, just in case your beans are not soft yet.

Perimies' Haybox thread is here. There are multiple varieties of the "haybox" in that thread. Also a link to a cookbook for additional recipies to use with them.

My "haybox" is a styrofom cooler (because that is what I already had). I put a wool blanket in it, then the pot, wrap the blanket around the pot, and put the lid on it. Wait. Done!

 
pollinator
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I use a slow cooker so I can put the beans on in morning and they are cooked by dinner time. I like to make a big batch without much seasoning and use it for different purposes throughout the week.  Some refried, some in soup or beans and rice.
 
pollinator
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Soak overnight cook for about 1hr in a saucepan with lid. no bean that is not old should take longer than that.
 
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How do you cook your beans? I’m especially interested to know if you’ve found a method that uses less energy than 2 to 3 hours on a gas stove.



I've "cooked" them in a canning jar with water or stock added & then left in a sunny spot inside a car parked in the sun all day.

As far as spices go I cook them many different ways. I'm going to recommend finding some chili petin (sometimes called bird's eye, mosquito, pequin, or tipin) peppers. It's a TexMex thing. They have a unique flavor & some serious heat. A little goes a long ways. I strongly suggest wearing gloves when handling & don't rub your eyes or other sensitive parts.  

Snacks? I don't think so. Watch their faces:)




 
gardener
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it seems to me that most of south america and probably a lot of india uses pressure cooking for legumes. My husband makes a pound of beans (black or pinto) every sunday for his weekday lunches, if they're soaked it takes 10 minutes plus maybe 5-10 for tempering afterward. Now that cooking gas is astronomically priced, I'm using the pressure cooker for almost everything.
I do have a slow cooker and unless I'm making bean and bacon soup, I find the beans actually come out better in the pressure cooker.
 
steward & bricolagier
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I pressure cook also, and sort of haybox.
I set the beans to soak in the morning, and while I'm cooking dinner I cook them under pressure for 20 mins or so, leave the pan shut, and toss a heavy towel over the pan all night. In the morning I have beans ready to do whatever with.

I like my system because it's the least work for me, things happen either when I'm already in the kitchen, or by themselves when I am not.

Soaking and/or fermenting reduces the phytates, at that point, cooking them any way in fresh water works.
 
gardener
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8+ hour soak and pressure cooker with fresh water here!
 
Edward Norton
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Soooo many great answers! I held of cooking until this morning to see what else came in, and I’m not disappointed. I’m going to go for the pressure cooker and haybox method. I currently have a freezer bag and some quilted blankets. As I’m a badge bit addict, I’ll have to add haybox cooker PEA BB to my list of projects to complete in the near future. It will have to include dovetails if I want the sand badge, even though I already have PEP sand badge. I just need to make sure it has a cubic foot of capacity for the wood box crate PEP BB twofer. Cheers!
 
master steward
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I cook my beans using all the methods that have been suggested here.

If I were to cook a pot of this "musical fruit" today, I would probably use the stovetop method.  Soaking overnight first, drain and add fresh water, then cooking until the beans are tender which might be 4 to 6 hours.

I like to add onions and a teaspoon to a tablespoon of baking soda. plus other spices when I start cooking the beans as the baking soda is how to silence the "musical fruit" aka degassing.

Dear hubby likes to add tomato sauce after the beans are done.

I like my beans served over rice to create the New Orleans favorite "Red Beans and Rice".
 
gardener
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Pretty much everyone in India uses pressure cookers to cook beans or dal. Every day. That's about one sixth of the world's population.

As mentioned above, I've read that it's high temperatures that deactivate bean poison, not long slow cooking.

So I soak beans, then bring them up to pressure once, then turn it down and simmer them under pressure for 30 to 50 minutes. Works great, comes out delicious.

Acid prevent them from getting soft, and alkaline helps them get soft faster, so add tomatoes or anything acidic only after they are as soft as you want.
 
Edward Norton
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Thank you all for your bean stories and suggestions.

Here’s how it went this week.

I put two cups of pinto beans into soak on Sunday night. I changed the water on Monday and first thing Tuesday morning, there was some foaming starting but I didn’t see any evindence of sprouts. I put them on to cook in a pressure cooker around 10ish in the pot with onion, garlic, bay, thyme and star anise.



It took 15 minutes on medium high to start hissing at which point I turned the gas down to medium low to stop venting and cooked for a further 15 minutes. I then put the pot in a freezer bag, wrapped in space blankets and then offcuts of cotton bedding. It was pretty snug in there.  The freezer bag and space blankets are from Waldons who are a home delivery meat company and they get returned when the next delivery arrive. I plan on building a haybox soon.





This is the second time I’ve made a temporary haybox and I was really impressed with the results. Six hours later the outside of the pot was till too hot to touch. The beans were perfectly cooked, just starting to break down.



They tasted great, better than normal. One advantage to a pressure cooker is trapping all the aroma molecules. Half the beans are for soup and the other half were made into refried beans for tacos and breakfasts. Family were really happy with the results.



So for now, this is how I’ll cook my beans. I’m saving on average two hours of gas on medium low and the results are better.
 
pollinator
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I cook mine in a thermos, a similar process to haybox cooking. I like that I don't need to store a big insulated thing or pull out and potentially dirty a bunch of towels to make a spontaneous haybox.

Sometimes I just soak the beans overnight, sometimes I sprout them. It depends on how anxious I am for beans.

I boil them hard for ten minutes, then dump them into the thermos. Lay the thermos on its side and a few hours later, I've got perfectly cooked beans.

I cook all kinds of stuff this way. Today I'm cooking up a bunch of potatoes and beets to have on hand for meals. Yesterday I made a chickpea and mushroom curry, having cooked a batch of chickpeas in the thermos on the weekend. Every night before bed I put a mix of grains in one of my smaller thermoses for hot porridge in the morning. If I want fluffy grain, I do the same as for porridge, but I set a timer and drain off the excess water before the grain gets mushy. I make some kind of soup pretty much every week in my big thermos, which fits enough for four servings. I absolutely love my thermoses.
 
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The long cooking times mentioned perplex me.  I soak 12 hours, then toss the beans in a big pot with garlic, onions, and a few spices.  Bring to boil then simmer for 1.5 hours, adding salt during last 30 minutes.  Once in a while I need to add 10-15 minutes if beans are very old but never more than 2 hours total.

I used to use a pressure cooker but it didn't save much time overall.  It took about 20 minutes to come up to pressure, 25 minutes to cook, then 20 minutes for pressure to drop.  Overall a bit over an hour.  Not much better than my 1.5 hours on stove top and I get a chance to test the beans along the way to be sure they are cooked just right.  Locked up inside a pressure cooker, I don't have that luxury.

I think long soak is key to short cooking times, but haven't seen much reduction in cooking time with soaks more than 12 hours.  I do sometimes soak longer to get the first hints of a sprout as a path to a bit more nutrition.
 
jack vegas
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Hey Jan White!
Enjoyed your post on thermos bean cooking.  I do my breakfast porridge in a thermos as you do, but have never ventured beyond that.  If you're up to it, maybe start a thread on thermos cooking?  The ideas you suggest sound tempting and I suspect a lot of folks could chime in with tasty recipes!
 
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Beans are one of the foods most suited for any form of heat retention cooking.
https://solarcooking.fandom.com/wiki/Heat-retention_cooking

You could use a thermos or any one of the many heat rention cookers (thermal cookers) commercially available (you can often pick one up very cheaply second hand) or you could make a haybox cooker etc etc.). Examples of brands include Shuttle Chef, Billyboil, Ecopot etc.

You rinse the beans in the usual way (usually overnight) then you bring them to a boil for a few minutes then put them in your heat retention cooker and simply leave them for several hours.

Then you bring them to the boil again, discard the water and your beans should be soft and ready to eat or ready for whatever other recipes you want to use them for.

Heat retention cooking has the advantages of reducing the amount of cooking with fuel required down to less than 15 minutes and eliminates the need to tend to a pot that is simmering. You won't overcook the beans. Any cook time between 3 and 6 hours in a good thermal cooker should be fine and safe.
 
Edward Norton
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Jan White wrote:I cook mine in a thermos, a similar process to haybox cooking.



Thank you Jan. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this. When I camp, I cook rice this way. In the morning when I’m making coffee, I boil a jug of water. I add half a cup of rice and a cup of water to a thermos pot, put on the lid and it’s cooked and still hot for the evening meal. It’s economical on fuel and a real bonus having instant hot food after a day in the hills.

There’s almost no financial incentive for me to use less gas here in NJ. I have a gas hob and massive, oversized oven. I do a lot of baking, roasting, grilling (broiling). I don’t have a microwave or any other kitchen cooking device, cook all our food, so the hob is in constant use. My gas bill is typically less than a dollar a day. Getting into a “use less” mindset though is a future investment. When I have the opportunity I intend to go all electric and generate some of it myself, so units of energy will have a far greater worth and value beyond finance.
 
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Instant pot for sure. Soak overnight and cook at 25 mins then natural release. Just perfect every time. I blend some for refried beans and freeze the rest for whatever.
 
gardener
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Jan White wrote:

I cook all kinds of stuff this way. Today I'm cooking up a bunch of potatoes and beets to have on hand for meals. Yesterday I made a chickpea and mushroom curry, having cooked a batch of chickpeas in the thermos on the weekend. Every night before bed I put a mix of grains in one of my smaller thermoses for hot porridge in the morning. If I want fluffy grain, I do the same as for porridge, but I set a timer and drain off the excess water before the grain gets mushy. I make some kind of soup pretty much every week in my big thermos, which fits enough for four servings. I absolutely love my thermoses.



This method of cooking bunches of "building blocks" to use in meals throughout the week is my new secret weapon. About two weeks ago I started doing this to have more variety, more healthy ingredients and less stress in the kitchen.
I am totally addicted to the YouTube channel (as well as blog) of Rainbow Plant Life. Whether you are vegan or not, her cooking tips are so helpful and the recipes absolutely tasty.
Have a look at this meal prepping video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coks7z2lltA&t=1s
(you can add dairy, eggs, or meat to the recipes to "de-veganize" if you like)

I use beans for soups/stews, for making hummus (oh, check out her hummus recipe, mouth-watering) and as ingredient in salads.

Anyway, as for the question I do soak overnight and pressure cook legumes and will add baking soda next time.
Interesting to see that only Anne Miller adds baking soda. As it apparently softens the skin and reduce the overall cooking time considerably. I am yet to try this out (I ran out of chickpeas or I would have tried today)
 
Edward Norton
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Anita Martin wrote:Anyway, as for the question I do soak overnight and pressure cook legumes and will add baking soda next time.
Interesting to see that only Anne Miller adds baking soda. As it apparently softens the skin and reduce the overall cooking time considerably. I am yet to try this out (I ran out of chickpeas or I would have tried today)



The first time I tried cooking pulses with baking soda was following a Yotam Ottelenghi recipe. I really didn’t like the after taste. I love his recipes, many vegan / vegetarian btw, so thought I must have done something wrong. So I repeated, making sure to follow everything exactly. Same result. When I asked the rest of the family, they didn’t think there was an after taste. So maybe it’s one of those flavours that some are more sensitive than others.

Thanks for the link and recommendation for Rainbow Planet. Great idea to prep a bunch of veg in advance. I’m going to give this a go. I sometimes get decision fatigue or too tired and end up with a less than healthy meal. Having a bunch of prepped veg and options would be good - less bad choices and eating more veg. Thanks for mentioning recipes packed with flavour, that’s very important to me.

On a personal note, I went down the common road of thinking veganism would reduce my carbon foot print and it was the right thing to do. It was an interesting five month experiment. It left me with some great recipes, techniques, a change of mind set when cooking with veg. I went back to eating meat. Today I only eat meat from restorative farms, ones where grass fed really means grass fed. I eat way less dairy and vegetables are my first priority.
 
Anne Miller
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Edward Norton wrote:The first time I tried cooking pulses with baking soda was following a Yotam Ottelenghi recipe. I really didn’t like the after taste.  



Edward, I wonder how much baking soda did the recipe call for?  If there was an aftertaste, this may have had something to do with the other ingredients maybe?  Or too much baking soda for the proportions?

Baking soda would give whatever is being cooked a salty taste.

When my grandmother had gotten older and was on a salt-restricted diet she had a home health aide who substituted baking soda in her salt shaker so my grandmother thought she was salting her food. To me, I thought the baking soda was just as bad for her as the salt, though who knows?
 
Tereza Okava
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There seem to be wide variations in freshness in beans and pulses. Here where people eat beans every single day our beans tend to cook much more quickly, I assume because stores/distributors have faster turnover and they're fresher. When I'm in the US I'm often amazed at how long beans take to cook, and the last few trips I've just bought canned (or red lentils, which cook in an instant).
If in doubt, an overnight soak will usually make any bean cook a lot faster.

One suggestion: if you have access to Indian or Latino markets, buy your dried beans there. Their turnover is much faster, so they're usually fresher and take less time to cook, and the prices are usually better. Plus you usually get different varieties and maybe an added bonus of different kinds of produce you might not be familiar with. In your area, Edward, you should have no problem finding both!
 
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Hi, I'm a Mexican housewife. So I've got some experience cooking beans. Among Mexican, well, Oaxacan, housewives there are two ways to cook your beans--over a fire in a clay pot, all day, or in a pressure cooker. This choice is basically Urban-rural, and few urban, and urbanish households are without a pressure cooker around here.
As mentioned above FRESHNESS of the beans plays a huge role. Beans harvested within a year can be cooked in 20 minutes in the pressure cooker by soaking overnight, then popping them in the pressure cooker. And by 20 minutes, I mean total time on a gas range. Most women doing a wood fire for cooking, do not soak the beans and are working with this year's beans. They just put the pot on the side of the fire in the morning and use the fire to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and those beans are ready for the next day.
A few times that I've had to buy beans in the supermarket, instead of using ones we've grown or ones I've purchased from other growers, they take way more time to cook.

While we don't add baking soda to beans, we do use "sal blanca" which is a local mineral salt rather than commercial sodium chloride, has various carbon compounds in it naturally making it kind of somewhere in between sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) so you might try a half and half, salt-baking soda

I've been wanting to try beans in a solar cooker, but where I live is so windy, I need to build in some wind protection if I'm going to cook that long. So far I've only ever baked cookies, cakes, and brownies in my solar cooker, that's the entire reason I built it since I previously didn't have an oven.
 
Anne Miller
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Tereza and Melissa, I feel you are both right about the freshness of the beans.

While I don't know for sure though I bet that a lot of beans sit in warehouses a long time while being packaged and then shipped to different locations.  and then again to stores.  We bring them home and the beans sit even longer in our cabinets.

One year we grew pinto beans and I still can remember how much better fresh undried beans tasted.  That was too long ago for me to remember the cooking time though it probably wasn't very long.

I am not sure if I mention this earlier, if not I meant to.
The kind of beans everyone is cooking makes a big difference in cooking times.

Southerners or at least me, are usually cooking pinto beans though that is not always the case as we also like butter beans, great northern beans, navy beans, black beans, kidney beans, etc.

I bet each of these beans has a different cooking time.

Maybe it would be helpful if each person starts a new thread based on the kind of beans they are cooking and the way they are cooked.

At any rate, I have read a lot of interesting comments about beans.
 
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Anne Miller wrote:Tereza and Melissa, I feel you are both right about the freshness of the beans.



In retrospect, I will add my agreement to this as well.  We have all sorts of beans laying about.....from black to pinto to cranberry to Navy to red chili.....and I've been frustrated over the years as to the lack of consistency in my end product, even with a fairly consistent method (overnight soak, next day simmering).  It's making more sense now when I realize that  the only bean we grow is the cranberry bean......and my best cooked batches come from recent harvests.  I still have beans that are 5+ years old and occasionally go back to some of those, only to regret what has to be done to make them palatable.  We have older beans from other sources that seem to exhibit the same tendency.  So this thread has been very useful for driving home this point!
 
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The Basques are also fanatical about their beans. Small beans are generally favored over large ones as having a finer taste.

I have recently had a chance to put the "new beans vs. old beans" controversy to the test.

I have always been a pretty spontaneous cook so the whole soaking-the-night-before routine used to throw me off. So I would buy nice beans from local producers and accumulate them in the pantry for years. I recently got tired of this old song and dance and have really gotten into cooking beans with the advice of my local chef friends.

Some tbh probably 5-year-old navy beans took damn near an hour in the pressure cooker, after being soaked overnight. Then bought some of this year's crop from a new local producer at the farmer's market. She told me, "you don't need to soak them, and they cook in 15 minutes!" OK, then she said, at least check them after 15 minutes to see how they're going. I ended up cooking them another 8 minutes for a total of 23. Best beans ever. No soaking. Wow. So it does really make a difference how old the beans are. If you can find a local producer and know you're getting this year's crop, your cooking times will be greatly reduced, and maybe even no soaking!

Back to the original question, here we always cook beans (but never lentils) in a pressure cooker. (Lentils sometimes foam up and clog the steam vent, causing the pressure cooker to explode, ask me how I know.) Also, except the lady at the farmer's market selling this year's beans, everyone tells you to pre-soak everything but lentils. I have loads of cookbooks in various languages, some 100 years old and some new, so I've been reading up on bean cooking and experimenting and here are the pointers I've come up with. (I've never tried sprouting/fermenting or a haybox, those will be future experiments)

  • The best way to soak beans, especially old ones, is to pour over them the night before 4x the volume of BOILING water. The temperature shock really does something.


  • The next day, dump the water (unless they're black beans, then we save the water to preserve the color) and cover the beans and all your fixins but salt in the pressure cooker with 2 or 3 fingers of COLD water. Start to boil with the top off, and skim off any scum that rises to the surface before you close the top.


  • Cook on the highest heat you can without burning stuff (I have an induction stove that goes up to 10 and I use 8 or 9) until it comes up to pressure, which is the second line. This takes maybe 5 minutes. Then I start timing, 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the age of the beans and the type, and I start reducing the heat gradually to medium-low, whatever keeps it between the first and second lines but closer to the second.


  • Once the time is up, I put the pressure cooker in the sink and run a thin stream of cold water over the top, and the pressure goes down right away. This is a really useful trick when you don't know how long your beans are going to take to cook. I can get the top off, test, put it on again in and get back up to pressure in less than 5 minutes


  • Test the beans for tenderness, if not completely done, put them back on under pressure for a few more minutes.


  • Once they're nice and tender, put the pot back on the stove, add your salt and anything delicate, and simmer with the top off for maybe15-30 minutes. This changes them from watery like they come out of the pressure cooker to nice and creamy, makes a huge difference. Slosh the pot around to mix occasionally, only if you have to, stir gently with a wooden spoon to keep the beans from breaking.


  • Good additions at the beginning are kombu (for flavor, minerals and to de-fartify them), onion or leek, garlic, celery (not traditional Basque but good for flavor), carrot, and for the meat eaters, Spanish-style chorizo (a cured pork sausage made with paprika, doesn't fall apart like Mexican chorizo), salt pork, fat, baby ribs...


  • We view baking soda as a desperation measure to soften really tough old beans, and there is always the danger they'll disintegrate and turn to mush. Ask me how I know. For what it's worth of course, your mileage may differ. Salting at the beginning of cooking similarly causes the beans to break apart, say my chef friends.  


  • We like to eat our beans with crusty bread and pickled peppers (not too spicy)... mmm

    I'm curious, you haybox and thermos method folks, how watery vs. creamy do they come out? Do you have to pop them back on the stove for a bit to make them less watery?
     
    Tereza Okava
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    Dave de Basque wrote:cook beans (but never lentils) in a pressure cooker. (Lentils sometimes foam up and clog the steam vent, causing the pressure cooker to explode, ask me how I know.) Also, except the lady at the farmer's market selling this year's beans, everyone tells you to pre-soak everything but lentils.  


    I don't think lentils really take long enough to deserve soaking or pressure. I will occasionally (if I'm trying to be really thrifty or in a serious hurry) do them in the pressure cooker, but always at low water levels (half or below). That said, my pressure cooker has a safety valve and I'm pretty diligent about keeping the steam vents very clean and in good order.

    Foam can also be an issue with chickpeas, so be careful with them too!
    (I've only had clog-related disaster with coarse grits or hominy-- not recommended!)
     
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    Coming back to this thread because in the meantime I bought more chickpeas.
    This time I used baking soda both for soaking (overnight) and for cooking. Last time I cooked a small batch and did not add soda because in my pressure cooker I used the little insert that sits over the steam and does not dip into the cooking water.

    I left them cooking a bit longer than last time because last time I cooked them for over an hour and they were not totally soft, the hummus had some lumps that would not go away with my middle-range blender.

    So today when I opened the pressure cooker after a good hour and a half the chickpeas were so soft!
    The hummus I made was unbelievably creamy.

    But I believe that this is only partly due to using soda. I guess the main difference were the chickpeas themselves. Normally I buy these little packages of one pound that are in the "oriental aisle" of my supermarket (sometimes I get them in the organic section as well). But this time I bought them in bulk in the zero waste shop - they must have been much fresher.
    I will comment this to the owner the next time I go there.
     
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    I like this Weston Price article, discusses industrial methods, traditional approaches, age of the beans, enzymes involved, phytates, type of water used to rehydrate -- lots of things to think about!  I love beans, but as I've gotten older they seem harder to digest, so it's been good to learn more about how to process them.

    https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/food-features/putting-the-polish-on-those-humble-beans/
     
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    Rebecca Hyde wrote:I like this Weston Price article, discusses industrial methods, traditional approaches, age of the beans, enzymes involved, phytates, type of water used to rehydrate -- lots of things to think about!  I love beans, but as I've gotten older they seem harder to digest, so it's been good to learn more about how to process them.

    https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/food-features/putting-the-polish-on-those-humble-beans/


    I learned to soak beans overnight to reduce phytase and make beans less gassy.
    In addition to plenty of water for bean swelling a 1/4 cup of a live ferment, raw apple cider vinegar, whey, kumbukcha, the brine of homemade pickles, the hooch off your sourdough starter. After they soaking dump that water on your garden and replace with seasoned water ( broth is particularly good). Some source of probiotics to neutralize everything that holds a seed in stasis until its ready to sprout, with a warning that acid may make the beans tough it halves the cooking time that you can then halve again with a pressure cooker.
    I'm also liking the passive cooking from things like the hay box cooker others have mentioned and look forward to trying it.
     
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