Tips for Cooking Dry Beans in a Slow Cooker: Crock-pot Cooking …
Crock-pot Cooking Makes Preparing Dried Legumes Easy and Cheap
Jan 20, 2010 Jennifer Mueller
The core routine for cooking dried beans is soak, rinse, cook. this article addresses specific tips to for cooking beans in a slow cooker.
Cooking Beans in a Slow Cooker
Beans can take 5 to 8 hours to cook in a slow cooker. Such slow cooking is very suited for legumes that will split easily at high temperatures. (See more about how to cook beans.)
Experiment with Cooking Times for Beans in a Crock pot or Slow Cooker
Cooking times for beans will vary depending on freshness, water chemistry, altitude, and cooking temperature. Experience will be the best teacher in any particular situation.
Converting Slow Cooker Recipes Calling for Canned Beans to Use Dry Beans
There are two options when using a recipe that calls for canned beans with dry beans instead:
- Pre-cook the dry beans and follow the recipe exactly, or
- Increase the amount of liquid (usually 2 cups liquid for 1 cup dried beans) for cooking beans.
The first option will yield better results with harder beans and the second with smaller, softer beans. If the package of beans indicates less than an hour of stovetop-cooking time is required, the beans are in the latter category.
Cooking Beans Within a Crock Pot Recipe for Soups or Stews
Bean-only cooking time can be reduced, or even eliminated depending on the variety, if the beans are designated for further cooking in slow cooker recipe.
Because acidic ingredients, including tomato juice which is called for in many slow cooker recipes, increase cooking times cooking times for beans. Dropping uncooked beans into a slow cooker recipe can sometimes result in undercooked beans even after 8 hours.
One technique to address undercooked beans is to put the soaked beans and liquid called for in a recipe into the crock pot on the highest setting an hour (or two hours on low) before preparing the rest of the recipe. Then follow the recipe as directed.
Watch Liquid Content to Ensure Fully Cooked Beans
Stay close when trying a new bean or recipe for the first time to ensure a recipe has sufficient water. this can get tricky when adjusting recipes. Many vegetables release liquid during crock-pot cooking and very little evaporates through the slow cooker’s tight fitting lid. It’s easier be conservative and add more liquid during cooking than to take it away.
Enjoy Cost Savings with Dried Beans
The supermarket price of a serving of canned of beans is many times that of a dried beans dried beans, but thanks to a slow cooker, adding dry legumes to a weekly routine does not mean hours of standing by the stove.
Dry beans are a cheap protein food. - Flickr user jeffreyww, Creative Commons 2.0
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