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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cooking Dry Beans


Making beans from scratch is pretty simple.
It does take a bit of time, but that is about it.

First of all, when you get your beans out to cook, always rinse them first.

Even if they don't look dirty.
They are.

They just get run through a shaker to get rid of the dirt clumps. But they don't get washed.

They also need to be sorted.
You may find a rock or clump of dirt among the beans.
Some of the beans are probably broken.

To rinse them, cover with water. Take out any beans that float.
These are old.

After you have rinsed and sorted through the beans, you may want to soak them.

Some people believe it shortens the cooking time.
It does, but not by much.
Maybe 15-20 minutes.
So soaking is pretty much your call.

Lots of people get gas from beans.
There are some things people do to try and prevent this.

One way is to add baking soda to the cooking liquid of the beans.
Some people swear it works.
Others don't think so.
Use no more than a teaspoon per pot of beans.

Another method is what I use.
Truthfully, I don't seem to have much gas at all when I do this.
Add a spoonful of bacon grease to the bean pot.
The addition of animal fat seems to help the beans digest easier.

So to cook the beans, add the beans and optional bacon grease or baking soda to a large pot.
Cover the beans fully with water.
Bring to a boil and lower the heat so the beans are bubbling gently.
Partially cover the pot. You want to let some steam escape.
The beans will be down in an hour to and hour and a half.
About 15 minutes before they are done, season them how you like.
They are done when you can blow on a bean and the skin will split. It will be creamy throughout with no crunchiness.

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