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Asked by:

Photo by Soupwhistle

Cooking Level: Expert

Home Town: Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Living In: Seattle, Washington, USA
Soupwhistle is asking: (2 answers)
I'm making a black bean and pork dish. I've made it before and the beans have been soft after about 6 hours. This time I even soaked the beans and it's been cooking about 8 hours and the black beans aren't soft and smooth. They're crumbly. Same amount of fat and a longer cooking time. Did I use the wrong beans? They're small black beans - just a different brand. Help!

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Last updated: Apr. 23, 2013 11:41 pm
Posted: Apr. 19, 2013 7:29 pm
Answered by: chairlifter
Apr. 19, 2013 7:34 pm
Some baking soda in your beans may (or may not)help.
Answered by: BigShotsMom
Apr. 19, 2013 8:16 pm
Sometimes the beans aren't as fresh as others. In my experience, they just never get soft no matter how long they cook. Sadly, there is no way to tell until you have gotten so far along. They are safe to eat and will taste fine, the texture will just be odd.
Apr. 19, 2013 9:40 pm
I agree with BigShotsMom. Old beans will never soften. Sounds like that is what you are dealing with.
Apr. 20, 2013 5:02 am
I'm with BSM and Marie-old beans don't cook well. ... This is a link someone posted a few days ago. It has interesting info about beans. I don't have a pressure cooker, but she makes it look pretty easy to cook beans in one!
Apr. 23, 2013 4:34 pm
They may have been old beans but I bought them from the grocery story a day before I made the dish. It was a different brand than I've used before - not sure if that means anything - maybe they sell old beans! I've been thinking about the pork. Instead of a big rump I used 5 big - about 2 inch thick - boneless country style spareribs. They had about something less than 1/4 of fat on one side. So maybe the meat just wasn't fatty enough to make one pound of beans go all soft and silky. There was more fat the other times I've made it.
Apr. 23, 2013 5:02 pm
You do not need fat to make beans soft. I would buy beans from a store that has a high turnover of their merchandise. Best of luck next time.
Apr. 23, 2013 11:41 pm
Okay. I'm going to stop beating a dead bean. I put the whole thing back in the oven for a few more hours. Announced "Dinner's Ready" and then left for a meeting at church. Come home 3 hours later and everyone had peanut butter and jelly. I give up. Time to find someone with a dog! Better luck next time.
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