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Home Cooking Beans Tips, Tricks, & Shortcuts

Beans won't cook.

egit | | Jan 23, 2013 09:50 AM

It all started with a pound of Goya "small red beans."

I soaked them overnight. I changed the water, and soaked them for about 6 more hours. I then proceeded to prepare to make a pot of chili, including browning some meat, draining, sweating onions, garlic, peppers, spices, etc. During this time the beans sat in a colander for maybe 30 minutes or so. Then I put them in the pot with some crushed tomatoes, some stock, salt, black pepper, etc.

Then they went into a very slow oven (220F maybe?) in my Le Creuset for no less than four hours. I had some errands to run, and I wanted to take advantage of my MLK Day off. I discovered to my disappointment after taking them out that the beans were still mostly raw--edible, but VERY "al dente." I put them on the stove at a moderate simmer for about 30-45 minutes, but still it didn't seem to help much.

I know some people say salt toughens beans, but these weren't just tough. Is there anything that will prevent beans from cooking? Was my oven too low? I don't like leaving home for very long with something in a hot oven.

Thoughts? Advice?

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