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Help with Beans
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afrazier5 Offline
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Post: #1
Help with Beans
I just did up a trial batch of BBQ beans on the smoker over the weekend. I found a recipe online that sounded good and gave it a bit extra of my own touch to round out the flavors. I ended up soaking the Northerns in salt water for 2 days as I started them too early (got excited to try it out :oops: ) then popped em on the smoker with all the fixn's for about 8 hours. Pulled my pork shoulder off and the beans weren't done yet so moved them off to the oven to cook more. Well the beans never made it to the table as they were still cooking until I got tired at 9:30 and put them in the fridge. All in all, they cooked 12 hours when (according to the recipe) it should have been a 6 hour cook.

The underlying problem is that the beans were still tough at the end of the cooking. They're edible but just not the tender bean I'm used to. The flavor profile IMO was out of this world and I think would be an awesome product if I can get the beans soft. I'm wondering how many of you have encountered this and what you have done to fix it.

All tips are welcomed!

Back Alley BBQ
West Valley Utah
06-15-2010 03:36 PM
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wallywombat Offline
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Post: #2
Re: Help with Beans
While not an optimal solution I wonder what your results would be using canned beans?
06-15-2010 03:58 PM
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afrazier5 Offline
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Re: Help with Beans
wallywombat Wrote:While not an optimal solution I wonder what your results would be using canned beans?
Hey Wally - I am considering next time to just buy precooked navy/northern beans to use rather than doing them from dry. I refuse to use the cheat method of pork'n beans though as I want the flavor to be mine and mine alone. It's just irrating :evil: that these buggers cooked for 12 hours with sub-optimal results...

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West Valley Utah
06-15-2010 04:09 PM
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SoEzzy Offline
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Re: Help with Beans
You might also try doing the beans in a pressure cooker to actually cook them first.

It only takes 15 - 20 minutes and gets you further along with the minimum amount of effort!

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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06-15-2010 04:11 PM
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Phred Offline
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Post: #5
Re: Help with Beans
I have a bunch of old beans in my storage too. I have discovered if I add some baking soda to them while cooking it helps to soften them up.

Phred
06-15-2010 04:22 PM
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afrazier5 Offline
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Re: Help with Beans
I'd read some posts elsewhere about using a pressure cooker but alas, this is not part of my cooking arsenal as I've never had a need for one.

I'd heard the only good thing adding baking soda would accomplish is to de-gas the beans. I will admit in 'hind' sight I should have done this as my hind end was sure thanking me for the good vittles later :mrgreen:

I'll look into trying both and pricing out a pressure cooker...

Back Alley BBQ
West Valley Utah
06-15-2010 04:47 PM
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Phred Offline
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Re: Help with Beans
<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2009/07/how-to-cook-old-beans.html">http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2009/07/h ... beans.html</a><!-- m -->

Here's another reference on using baking soda.

Phred
06-16-2010 01:34 PM
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afrazier5 Offline
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Post: #8
Re: Help with Beans
Thanks Phred - will give that a shot next time around Smile

Back Alley BBQ
West Valley Utah
06-17-2010 05:03 PM
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sampson Offline
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Re: Help with Beans
Personally, I'm not a big fan of salting the water... I think it makes the skin on the bean a bit tough, don't know why...

Rockin' on two 22.5 WSM's, a GOSM gasser and missing them old drums...
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06-17-2010 10:07 PM
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SoEzzy Offline
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Post: #10
Re: Help with Beans
sampson Wrote:Personally, I'm not a big fan of salting the water... I think it makes the skin on the bean a bit tough, don't know why...

You don't know why you think it...or you don't know if it does make the skins hard? Tongue

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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06-18-2010 03:01 AM
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crashpilot
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Post: #11
Re: Help with Beans
One of my favorite things to eat is to put 2 cups pinto beans, 6 cups water, and some black pepper into a pressure cooker and cook for an hour. Take off the heat and let the pressure come down on its own, then dish up a cup full with some tabasco in it. Doesn't sound like much, but it is YUMMY!

As far as degassing beans, my opinion is that undercooked beans have gas in them. Fully cooked beans don't.
06-18-2010 09:11 AM
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sampson Offline
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Post: #12
Re: Help with Beans
SoEzzy Wrote:
sampson Wrote:Personally, I'm not a big fan of salting the water... I think it makes the skin on the bean a bit tough, don't know why...

You don't know why you think it...or you don't know if it does make the skins hard? Tongue


Yes

Rockin' on two 22.5 WSM's, a GOSM gasser and missing them old drums...
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06-18-2010 08:20 PM
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Lazy J BBQ Offline
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Post: #13
Re: Help with Beans
Sampson is correct - the salt in the water was your demise. Salt beans very late in the cooking process.

Jeff
Lazy J BBQ
06-21-2010 01:27 PM
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afrazier5 Offline
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Post: #14
Re: Help with Beans
Just back from summer vacation in sunny, hot and humid Cancun. I'm doing up another batch of these bad boys over the holiday weekend so will let everyone know how it goes. Will try the baking soda trick as well. I found another site that mentions not to soak them in cold water overnight and to not reuse the soaking water. According to the site, soaking them long and reusing the water makes them extra gassy...Hmmm kinda explains why I felt the way I did after they soaked for 2 days.... :oops:

Back Alley BBQ
West Valley Utah
07-02-2010 01:51 PM
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Gumbo Offline
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Post: #15
Re: Help with Beans
Lazy J BBQ Wrote:Sampson is correct - the salt in the water was your demise. Salt beans very late in the cooking process.

Jeff
Lazy J BBQ

This is correct. Also, don't add tomatoes until later in the cooking process.

A good way to start beans is to soak overnight in cool water. Or the quick-soak method is to add beans to pot, add water, bring to boil and as soon as it reaches a boil turn off the fire and put a lid on the beans. Let soak until the water is cool or until you run out of time. And regardless of which method you use, dump this water and rinse the beans with fresh water; this helps remove the fartiness (although I make no guarantees to Sampson's wife).

Then add fresh water to the beans and simmer--no seasonings, no nothing but plain water until the beans start to soften. Once the beans start to soften, you can add meat, tomatoes, seasoning, etc.
07-22-2010 02:46 PM
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afrazier5 Offline
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Post: #16
Re: Help with Beans
Guess I should have posted an update. Tried it again without the salt and they turned out bloody perfect! Cooked em for about 8 hours, lots of beef stock to soak up along with burnt ends and bacon.

Will be doing a double (maybe triple) batch in 2 weeks when we host a neighborhood BBQ. Should be an awesome cook...
Pulled Pork
Ribs
Kielbasa
Beans
Slaw
Beer
Fun times!

Back Alley BBQ
West Valley Utah
07-25-2010 06:08 PM
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