Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kitchen Tips: How to Cook Beans in the Crock-Pot

Kitchen Tips: How to Cook Beans in the Crock-Pot recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Whether they are served with breakfast, lunch or dinner, beans are included in a great many of our meals. I bought the canned varieties for years, because cooking my own sounded overwhelming. Little did I know just how simple cooking beans really can be. I make several batches of them all at once and then just grab them from my freezer whenever I am ready to use them.

How To Cook Beans In Crock-Pot
(printable recipe)

First, I sort them. Just quickly look through the beans and make sure there aren't any tiny rocks or bits of anything else in there with them.

Kitchen Tips: How to Cook Beans in the Crock-Pot recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

After the beans are sorted, pour them into the crock-pot. You don't want your beans to fill the pot more than about a third full. They will expand greatly as they cook. Now, fill the pot most of the way with water and cover with lid.

Kitchen Tips: How to Cook Beans in the Crock-Pot recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

(Side note: Yes, I really do use all of these Crock-pots. I figure that the savings on my beans alone, justifies my having so many of them.) I cook up several different varieties of beans all at the same time, about every month or so, and then package them for the freezer. Did you know that in order to cook them for future use, you really don't need to season or do anything special with them at all? Just soak, cook and freeze. When you are ready to use them, that's the time to season and adjust them to your taste.

Soak the beans for 8-24 hours. I try to soak mine 24 hours most of the time. When you are ready to cook them, just drain the water, refill with clean water and turn the Crock-pots on to low or high depending on what works best for you.

I recommend cooking beans on low. I seem to get the best results that way. However, I have cooked them on high numerous times if I needed them to be finished in time for dinner that night. Either way works, just stay aware of how close to finished they are. It's easy to overcook when the beans are on high.

Different beans require different cooking times. Did you know that? I discovered the hard way when my great northern beans were consistently overcooked and mushy long before the black beans had even started to soften. I recommend cooking beans on low and after about 6-8 hours, start checking them every 30-60 minutes to see when they are soft.
Kitchen Tips: How to Cook Beans in the Crock-Pot recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Once they are cooked, simply pour them into a strainer and wait for them to cool. Once they are mostly cool, scoop them into freezer bags for later use. I store my bags flat in the freezer. When things are stored flat, it makes it very easy to thaw and use in just minutes.

12 comments:

  1. I can't believe you have so many crockpots you lucky girl. I really need to make my own beans instead of using canned.

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  2. I never thought about freezing them! Right now my freezer is full of 1/3 of a cow so I have no room, but I will def do that. Have you ever heard about soaking beans with yogurt to make them more nutritious? I always do it- it also makes them less gassy. Here's a good article. http://nourishedkitchen.com/soaking-grains-nuts-legumes/

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  3. Woww. your own beans. Thats awesome :D And gosh, you have a lot of crockpots. Woww.. I need to get one too :D

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  4. Quite a collection of crock pots. My NYC apartment prevents me from having too much stuff frozen (and certainly not that many pots LOL) but what a great idea. I find many canned beans to be very over salted.

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  5. Would you believe I've never used a crock pot. I'm inspired by you! Healthy and delicious.
    Mary

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  6. I love beans...we eat them all the time at my house. They are so versatile and awesome! I have never made them in a crockpot before, I will have to try this out soon.
    dagny
    http://whiskedaway2.blogspot.com/

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  7. I do my beans in a crock pot but have never frozen them. I am going to try that next.

    I had to laugh at all your crock pots.... I too have a lot. In fact, my Granddaughter came to me for a crock pot for her apartment. My Hubs told her it that one breaks, there are plenty more where that came from.

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  8. I don't have a slow cooker and have the darnedest time with beans. This almost makes me want get one! I swear, I soak them overnight and cook the living crap out of them, and they never seem to get soft. It's so maddening, and I can't handle how much more expensive canned beans are.

    Yet again, I just want to move in with you. And seriously? Look at all those slow cookers!! I swear, you are an absolute champion.

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  9. ok, so I cooked them ... now what do I do with them? Can I make them into refried beans? Am going to refrigerate what I cooked. How do you season them now that they are cooked? Do you always add them to something else, or do you use them as a side?

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  10. I just found out how to do this last week. It's super easy and saves a lot of money. If you have ingredients to spare, use 1/2 or all stock instead of water (I used homemade chicken stock), a few bay leaves, 1/2 an onion, some garlic cloves and if you're not vegetarian, a piece of bacon. It gives the beans A LOT of delicious flavor.

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  11. I always parboil the beans before adding to the crock pot, and I put in the salt before they are cooked. It takes too much salt after they are cooked. I also saute onion and celery and add during the last 30 minutes of cooking. My favorite way is to add smoked pork or smoked turkey when I start them cooking. We were raised on beans, taters, and corn bread.

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  12. I love that you have so many crock pots. I had six and recently bought the Ninja 3-in-1 cooking system, which I really like..giving me seven now! When I told my husband I wanted the Ninja he said he didn't mind but thought I might should get rid of the ones I don't usually use. That was fine with me. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. When my Dad was in HOSPICE CARE groups would bring food in for the families to have something to eat without having to leave. I took them to Hospice to give to one of the churches to use to bring soup and chili. They were so appreciative but not near as much as I was for what they do to help families during such a difficult time in their life! Love cooking beans in them! I actually like the juice from them and eat it like it's soup sometimes.

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