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Old 03-02-2005, 01:49 PM
M Jones
 
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Default Soaking Beans

Hi all,

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8 hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell off the
beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses? What
does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?

Thanks.




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Old 03-02-2005, 03:42 PM
JamesG
 
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I usually cook pinto or black beans and use a quick soak method. I
haven't cooked kidney beans in a while and don't think that I have ever
cooked butter beans, but I would guess that you could probably use a
quick soak method on these beans also. The quick soak method is that
you cover the beans with several inches of water and then bring them to
a boil for a couple minutes. You then let them soak for an hour. At
the end of the hour you replace the water and cook as normal.
I think that soaking helps keep the beans from giving people as much
gas by breaking down some of the sugars in the beans. I would guess
that you could try to cook some without soaking them first, I wouldn't
try eating them before going on a date though.

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Old 03-02-2005, 04:07 PM
Peter Aitken
 
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"M Jones" wrote in message
...
Hi all,

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8 hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell off
the beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses?
What does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?


You can definitely get away without soaking. All soaking does is shorten the
cooking time. Note, however, that briefly boiling the beans and letting them
soak in the hot water for an hour, then draining and cooking in new water,
can lessed the gas effect.


--
Peter Aitken

Remove the crap from my email address before using.


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Old 03-02-2005, 05:39 PM
Doug Kanter
 
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Default


"M Jones" wrote in message
...
Hi all,

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8 hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell off
the beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses?
What does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?

Thanks.




Depends on how you're going to use them. If you're making soup, unsoaked
beans will soften eventually. It'll just take longer, which isn't always a
problem. On the other hand, if you're chili and the recipe is a less watery
one than some, cooking with thick sauce, in other words, you may run into
trouble.

For the soup, by the way, if it's supposed to cook (according to the recipe)
for say, 2 hours, but you find the beans need much more time, you may want
to hold some of the other vegetables till later in the process so they don't
overcook. If you want celery or carrots with some "bite", instead of with
the consistency of baby food....you get the idea.


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Old 03-02-2005, 06:02 PM
Sheldon
 
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Default


M Jones wrote:

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and

butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8

hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell

off the
beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses?

What
does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?


For everything you need to know about beans and then some go he
http://www.americanbean.org

Sheldon



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Old 03-02-2005, 06:10 PM
M Jones
 
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Default

Thanks all.

"M Jones" wrote in message
...
Hi all,

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8 hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell off
the beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses?
What does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?

Thanks.





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Old 03-02-2005, 09:21 PM
A.C.
 
Posts: n/a
Default


M Jones wrote:

Hi all,

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8 hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell off

the
beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses?

What
does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?


if the skins are falling off the beans you may be agitating them too much
during the cooking process or boiling them agressively. get the beans up to
a good simmer. (small bubbles, not boiling) and cook them that way. don't
stir too much and cook until tender. if you're already doing that... then
just ignore me :-)


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Old 03-02-2005, 10:33 PM
Jill Delgado
 
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Default


"JamesG" wrote in message
ups.com...
I usually cook pinto or black beans and use a quick soak method. I
haven't cooked kidney beans in a while and don't think that I have ever
cooked butter beans, but I would guess that you could probably use a
quick soak method on these beans also. The quick soak method is that
you cover the beans with several inches of water and then bring them to
a boil for a couple minutes. You then let them soak for an hour. At
the end of the hour you replace the water and cook as normal.
I think that soaking helps keep the beans from giving people as much
gas by breaking down some of the sugars in the beans. I would guess
that you could try to cook some without soaking them first, I wouldn't
try eating them before going on a date though.


I always use the "quick soak" method, but have learned (the hard way) that
if I am going to cook the beans in the crock pot, I need to boil for about
10 minutes instead of two. It makes a HUGE difference in the way the beans
cook. Another trick is to NOT add salt to beans as they cook...it makes
them tough.

jillie
Roseville, CA


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Old 03-02-2005, 11:51 PM
A.C.
 
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Default


Jill Delgado wrote:

Another trick is to NOT add salt to beans as they cook...it makes
them tough.


i've been cooking beans for a long time and i've found this to be completely
untrue. salting beans while they cook seasons the beans throughout. you
can't get that taste into beans from salting afterwards. i've never had any
problem with toughness either.


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Old 04-02-2005, 12:10 AM
Peter Aitken
 
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Default

"A.C." wrote in message
...

Jill Delgado wrote:

Another trick is to NOT add salt to beans as they cook...it makes
them tough.


i've been cooking beans for a long time and i've found this to be
completely
untrue. salting beans while they cook seasons the beans throughout. you
can't get that taste into beans from salting afterwards. i've never had
any
problem with toughness either.



You are right - it is untrue. See http://www.pgacon.com/KitchenMyths.htm

Peter Aitken




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Old 04-02-2005, 12:24 AM
Sheldon
 
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Default


A.C. wrote:
Jill Delgado wrote:

Another trick is to NOT add salt to beans as they cook...it makes
them tough.


i've been cooking beans for a long time and i've found this to be

completely untrue.

Utter nonsense.

http://www.americanbean.org/BeanBasics/Home.htm

"Add salt only after beans are cooked to tender. If added before, salt
may cause bean skins to become impermeable, halting the tenderizing
process."

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Old 04-02-2005, 12:33 AM
aem
 
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Default


A.C. wrote:
Jill Delgado wrote:

Another trick is to NOT add salt to beans as they cook...it makes
them tough.


i've been cooking beans for a long time and i've found this to be

completely
untrue. salting beans while they cook seasons the beans throughout.

you
can't get that taste into beans from salting afterwards. i've never

had any
problem with toughness either.


Well, the bean folks at the site Sheldon posted disagree. They say
salting can make the skins impermeable, which retards the tenderizing
process. Perhaps if you salt them you have to cook them longer than if
you don't. Myself, I nearly always put a smoked ham hock in my pinto
beans, which is pretty salty already so I only add additional salt to
taste at the end. Sometimes they're ready in 90 minutes, sometimes in
150.

-aem

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Old 04-02-2005, 02:28 AM
A.C.
 
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Default


aem wrote:


Well, the bean folks at the site Sheldon posted disagree. They say
salting can make the skins impermeable, which retards the tenderizing
process. Perhaps if you salt them you have to cook them longer than if
you don't. Myself, I nearly always put a smoked ham hock in my pinto
beans, which is pretty salty already so I only add additional salt to
taste at the end. Sometimes they're ready in 90 minutes, sometimes in
150.

-aem



it's ok with me. do what you want. i've found sheldon to be an utter
****wit so i tend to ignore anything he says. my experience has told me
otherwise. i say experiment and find out for yourself. it's never caused me
any problem, but then again i don't claim to be and expert. in the end it's
what works for you.



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Old 04-02-2005, 09:35 AM
M Jones
 
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Default

The skins are wrinkled and falling off during the soaking process. I put
them in the fridge for 8 hours and they seem to fall apart. Should I just
soak them for 3-4 hours in the fridge instead?


"A.C." wrote in message
...

M Jones wrote:

Hi all,

Perhaps somebody here can help a bachelor. I have kidney beans and
butter
beans. It says on the pack I must soak the beans for a minimum of 8
hours
preferably in the refrigerator. I have done this and the skins fell off

the
beans.

Is soaking absolutely necessary for me to cook these types of pulses?

What
does soaking actually do? Can I get away without doing it?


if the skins are falling off the beans you may be agitating them too much
during the cooking process or boiling them agressively. get the beans up
to
a good simmer. (small bubbles, not boiling) and cook them that way. don't
stir too much and cook until tender. if you're already doing that... then
just ignore me :-)




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Old 04-02-2005, 10:01 AM
Bob
 
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Default

aem wrote:

the bean folks at the site Sheldon posted disagree. They say
salting can make the skins impermeable, which retards the tenderizing
process. Perhaps if you salt them you have to cook them longer than if
you don't. Myself, I nearly always put a smoked ham hock in my pinto
beans, which is pretty salty already so I only add additional salt to
taste at the end. Sometimes they're ready in 90 minutes, sometimes in
150.


Bean skins are ALREADY impermeable. The way liquid gets into the bean is
through the tiny dot where it used to connect to the plant. (In case you
care, that dot is called the cilium.) Dissolved salt can pass through that
dot just as easily as unsalted water.

Cooks Illustrated debunked the myth of early salting spoiling the beans
quite some time ago: They TRIED early salting and found out that beans
tasted BETTER when salted early. In fact, they recommend soaking the beans
in a flavorful liquid prior to cooking.

I always cook the ham hock for a while, cool the broth, and soak the beans
in the broth overnight. Then I do the "real" bean cooking the next day. The
beans come out flavorful and not tough at all.

Sheldon doesn't know beans.

Bob




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