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Soaking

Q:     Do I have to soak before cooking the dry beans?
A:     Over the years, we have always recommended to soak our beans prior to cooking. However, this is not absolutely necessary and on our Slow Cooker items we actually do not include soaking in the instructions on the package. Soaking the beans is simply a way of beginning to rehydrate the dry beans and this can also be done simply by cooking the beans with enough water/broth in the recipe. Remember that acidic ingredients like tomatoes and lemon juice should be added after the beans are already tender. This is especially true if you do not soak the beans prior to cooking.

Q:     Are the beans old when the skin becomes VERY wrinkled when I soak them?
A:     No, if anything it shows the beans are not old. Beans that "wrinkle" are simply absorbing water.

Q:     Do the beans have to soak in the refrigerator or can they soak on the counter overnight?
A:     If you are going to soak the beans for more than 8 hours, you should place them in the refrigerator. Leaving them out can result in mold growing in the water. You would notice a very strong, sour odor. Do not use the beans if this occurs.

Q:     How can I speed up the soaking process?
A:     There are many ways to soak the beans:

HOT SOAK: The Hot Soak is the recommended method for soaking beans, as it reduces actual cooking time and produces consistently tender beans.

1.      Place beans in a large pot and add 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.

2.      Heat to boiling and boil for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

3.      Remove beans from heat, cover and let stand for 4 to 24 hours.

4.      Drain beans and discard soak water.

5.      Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

TRADITIONAL SOAK

1.      Pour cold water over the beans to cover.

2.      Soak beans for 8 hours, or overnight (in the refrigerator).

3.      Drain beans and discard soak water. Cold water starts the rehydration process slowly so beans will appear wrinkled after soaking.

4.      Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

      QUICK SOAK

1.      Place beans in a large pot and add 6 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.

2.      Bring to boil and boil for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

3.      Remove beans from heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.

4.      Drain beans and discard soak water.

5.      Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

MICROWAVE SOAK

1.      Place beans in a large microwaveable dish and add 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry beans.

2.      Cover and microwave on HIGH for 15 minutes or until boiling.

3.      Remove from microwave and let stand for 1 hour.

4.      Drain beans and discard soak water.

5.      Rinse beans with fresh, cool water.

 

Hurst Bean Buddies

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