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Crockpot slow cooker and beans
Old 12-23-2015, 01:13 PM   #1
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Crockpot slow cooker and beans

I recently bought a 4 qt Crockpot slow cooker.

My attempt is to cook beans. Red kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans aka chick peas

Most of the recipes that I found on the Internet seem to show that cooking at high heat for 3, 4, maybe 6 hours is enough. My experience:

red kidney beans - rinse, boil for 20 minutes to get rid of the toxins, then almost 10 hours (6+4) on the crockpot on high heat.

black beans - soak overnight, rinse, get rid of stones etc, then about 8 hours (4+4) on high heat

garbanzo beans - rinse, get rid of stones etc, soak overnight, then after 10 hours (6+4) it was still not cooked.

I would like to understand and learn from other folks' experiences, and to find out if there is something wrong with my process (or my crockpot).
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:18 PM   #2
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I have had good luck cooking pintos and blacks, no soaking ahead, for about 5 hours on high. At 3.5 to 4 hours I add salt making sure the beans are softening first. I may add sautéed veggies about 30 mins before done.

I pound of beans I start with about 6 cups of water, and add more hot water later if needed.

My cooker is only 3.5 quart.

There are a lot of legends about bean cooking. I'm glad kicked out the soaking process because the cooking time is the same with I soaked beans - maybe 30 mins less, but not enough for that step.
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:29 PM   #3
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Thanks audreyh1. I forgot to mention that I use 1 lb of beans with 6 cups of water, the same as you. After it is cooked, half is put away to be frozen for future use.

Let me add some salt and see if it helps (I am at hour 6.5 of the 6-10 hour phase for the black beans).

About the soaking, I don't think it speeds it up much, according to what I read, but it supposedly makes the beans more evenly cooked.
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Old 12-23-2015, 01:51 PM   #4
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I do stir the beans occasionally. They may be a bit uneven at first, but as time elapses it all evens out.

I just noticed that Latino cooks don't soak their beans so I dropped the practice and have been happy with the result.

Adding salt once the beans have started to soften seems to improve their texture, as well as their flavor.
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Old 12-23-2015, 09:13 PM   #5
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I use an electric pressure cooker and it is so much faster. I make 2 batches a week.


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Old 12-23-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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I soak some black beans overnight. Then drain and add to the crockpot a can of pork and beans with a cooked pork chop, and a some sausage and cooked rice. Some chopped onions too. For added flavor some ketchup and a touch of brown sugar. Good eating.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:27 PM   #7
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I cook them soaked or straight from the bag (after rinsing of course). On high, it takes 3-4 hours for soaked beans and 4.5-6 hours for unsoaked beans. Pintos, black beans, and red beans is all I've done. Not sure how big my crock pot is (probably 4-6 qt), but it uses 227 watts on high. Within an hour or so it's hot enough to simmer.

I usually do 2 lbs at a time and freeze most of them in 1/2 cup servings ("hockey pucks") for later use.

OP, does the liquid in the slow cooker simmer after an hour or two? If so I can't think of why the beans wouldn't be cooked after that length of time.
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Old 12-23-2015, 11:37 PM   #8
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I am at altitude, so I always soak overnight and expect fairly long cook times. That said, good beans are really simple. Saute either an onion and 4 or 5 cloves of garlic or a mirrepoix of celery, onion and carrots (finely diced) in olive oil. Dump in crock pot. Add your pound of beans and enough water to cover plus an inch or two. Cook on high until they are done and then salt them.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:01 AM   #9
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I soak my beans in order to remove the indigestible sugars that cause gas. Of course you can always use Beano.
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Old 12-24-2015, 07:11 AM   #10
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I also cook a lot of different beans. I am curious as to how long it takes in an electric pressure cooker? Also, do you use the pressure cooker for other things? I have toyed with the idea of getting one but don't want it to be just another gadget used rarely.
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Old 12-24-2015, 08:34 AM   #11
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In a regular pressure cooker it takes anywhere from 4-12 min depending on the bean not including initial pressurization and cool down. This is for presoaked.


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Old 12-24-2015, 09:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by molly312 View Post
I have toyed with the idea of getting one but don't want it to be just another gadget used rarely.
GET ONE! I cannot believe how much they do and LOVE it. Use it s a crock pot, pressure cooker, rice maker, bean maker etc. In the past week I have made homemade yogurt, 3 soups, goulash, rice, garbanzo beans, and I have some dolce de leche in the pot right now to give as Christmas gifts. Instant Pot is the brand I have (7 in 1 Duo) which has been on sale on Amazon and Walmart. Lots of recipes and ideas online. I dumped my crockpot and old pressure cooker once I had this.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:29 AM   #13
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I appreciate the feedback from everybody.

FUEGO, the first time I was cooking black beans (4 hour setting) the water/liquid started to simmer at about 2 hours. That time it got cooked into 4+4 hours. However, yesterday at the 6 hour setting I wasn't watching it closely but I think it took much longer to start to simmer. I need to get a cooking thermometer and measure the temperature at different times and settings.

The source of black beans for yesterday was different from the one where it was all done in (4+4 hours). DW and I discussed whether that was the problem just for yesterday.

Easysurfer, brewer12345, just to be clear, I don't need a recipe, just want to have my beans cooked faster in my slow cooker (is that an oxymoron). I had to throw out one batch of beans with onions, cloves etc and then I decided to get my process worked out before putting in the other ingredients.

We don't have an electric pressure cooker, but we do have a steam pressure cooker that DW puts on the gas. It's definitely much faster, @45 minutes. The reason I don't use it is I can't handle the noise.


-

On a side note ...

The bottom of the crock-pot shows 200 watts. My cost is apparently 12.41 cents per KWH so cost is not a big issue, around 30 cents for 12 hours.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:31 AM   #14
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I know much on the net is suspect, but do recall seeing about the dangers of undercooked or even crock potted beans. If you google "dried bean dangers" you can find a number of articles. So just be careful in your experimentation. Frankly, I'd always thought beans were a pretty innocuous foodstuff other than the gas. Now I always include a good dose of high heat. This thread has me thinking about a small pressure cooker; sort of the anti-sous vide machine!
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by DEC-1982 View Post
Easysurfer, brewer12345, just to be clear, I don't need a recipe, just want to have my beans cooked faster in my slow cooker (is that an oxymoron). I had to throw out one batch of beans with onions, cloves etc and then I decided to get my process worked out before putting in the other ingredients.
Gotcha. I would guess we go through between 50 and 100 pounds of beans a year. Since we are at altitude and I often don't want to fool with a pressure cooker (or be limited by its capacity), we crock pot and stove top most of the time. In my experience:

- Soaking overnight reduces cooking times, in some cases dramatically.

- Don't add the salt or any acidic ingredients until the beans are done/soft. If you add these too soon it lengthens cooking time.

- Cooking times depend on the type of bean. Pintos and mayacobas are among the quickest. Garbanzos take FOREVER. Black beans are in between. For the ones that are tougher to cook, I soak all day and then chuck them in the crock pot overnight on high.

- If you need to cheat and speed things up, an old trick is to add a small pinch of baking soda. Be very conservative, since too much can ruin the taste and turn your beans to mush. I use Sal Mixteca sold by Rancho Gordo.

- Speaking of which, seek out and try some new, interesting and different beans. Rancho Gordo sells wonderful heirloom varieties that are simply amazing. Lots of stores (Whole Paycheck type places, some grocery stores, Mexican grocery, etc.) will sell interesting and different varieties.
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:59 AM   #16
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All this crockpot for beans got me hungry, so as I type, the crockpot is slowly cooking. Meal ready in about 8 hrs . For some things, I prefer to go slow. I used make a big pot of spaghetti sauce over the stove. But now, I prefer to just dump all the ingredients in a crockpot and let that do it's magic until dinner time. Plus, the aroma of the sauce filling the room adds to the comfort food feel.
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Old 12-24-2015, 10:15 AM   #17
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Here is a good Tomato Sauce (Marinara) recipe for slow cookers:

Homemade Slow-Cooker Tomato Sauce | Food Renegade


As used in this recipe:

http://www.foodrenegade.com/liver-onions-marinara/
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Old 12-24-2015, 11:09 AM   #18
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I usually use a pressure cooker too. I have a stove top PC, but I bought an Instant Pot last year and it's great; electric PC, yogurt maker, slow cooker, and more all in one device. I can brown food in it and then use it as a slow cooker or pressure cooker.

I like soaking beans in salt water as recommended by Cook's Illustrated. It doesn't cause them to be hard and it does improve the flavor.

As long as you aren't eating your red kidney beans crunchy, you don't need to worry about toxins. Soak them, if you want to be on the safe side.
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Old 12-24-2015, 12:55 PM   #19
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H2ODude, thanks for mentioning, I know red kidney beans can cause serious problems and I do boil those beans for 20 minutes (minimum 10 minutes is recommended). I did throw out the first batch because I learnt that a little late. I don't think the other types of beans have toxins at the same levels but I will recheck.

brewer12345, thanks for the great suggestions. I will experiment some more.

That Rancho Gordo web site has some interesting stuff there. Once I get comfortable with my Crock-Pot and its capabilities, I will go a bit further.

This has been an illuminating discussion for me.
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:59 AM   #20
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I usually soak beans overnight. Parboiling is another method, but, of course, more hassle...
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