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Old 09-16-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
Dr. Feelgood
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Default Do you know beans?

More specifically, do you know how long dried beans stay good after the container they're in has been opened? I had a really unfortunate experience with some elderly navy beans last year -- I boiled those suckers half a day and they stayed hard -- and tonight I boiled up some pintos I opened last spring. They weren't a total loss like the navies, but I had to simmer them twice as long as I usually do. They've been kept in a plastic jar with a screw-on top, so they haven't been exposed to atmospheric changes. Can anyone advise me about this?
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:57 PM   #2
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If you soak them overnight and then cook them longer than usual, it's probable that they're fine. They're not dangerous but there's a possibility they might be too dried out. Still, it's worth a shot, IMO.

If not, they're great as weights when you bake a homemade pie crust.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
More specifically, do you know how long dried beans stay good after the container they're in has been opened? I had a really unfortunate experience with some elderly navy beans last year -- I boiled those suckers half a day and they stayed hard -- and tonight I boiled up some pintos I opened last spring. They weren't a total loss like the navies, but I had to simmer them twice as long as I usually do. They've been kept in a plastic jar with a screw-on top, so they haven't been exposed to atmospheric changes. Can anyone advise me about this?
Dear Doc,

There's nothing better than a nice pot of beans simmering on the stove during cool weather. I too had the same problem as you did with some older beans last week. Mine were red beans and were still in the store bought bag - I put the bags in a larger plastic container to keep the weevils out and store them together.

Anyhoo, I boiled those suckers twice the time recommended on the bag. And also did a hot water pre-soak for one hour and discarded the soak water as the bag recommended.

Here's my first aid for getting beans to submit to the cooking process:
1. Double the cooking time if necessary (of course add extra liquid).
2. If beans still a little tough, take out half of them (drained) and mash with a potato masher by hand. This breaks up a good part of them and also gives the soup a thicker consistency.
3. If the beans are still too tough, I put the whole pot full of contents into my pressure cooker and fire it up. If you cook on high pressure for about 20 or 30 minutes you will have some softened beans. (Note: If you skip the other steps and just go right to pressure cooking, you may have to double the time.)

Note: I still use an old fashioned stove top large size pressure cooker. If you or your family is hesitant to use a pressure cooker, it might be easier to use an electric pressure cooker - they just don't last too much longer than a year or so.

I have also found a great new meat to add to the beans. Spam now comes in a bunch of flavors. I found that if you take the spam out and cut it into thick sticks and put all of them into an oven on bake for about 15-20 min the meat gets a good crispy texture and can be then diced and put into the beans.

I also add some chicken stock, a diced onion, some salt, pepper, some dried garlic, a little sugar and a little vinegar. A few drops of hickory smoke flavor doesn't hurt either if you don't have any hickory smoked ham hock to or bacon to add. Someone that likes 'em hot may want to add a few jalapeno slices or some juice from the jalapenos.
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Old 09-22-2012, 10:06 AM   #4
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I just finished up a bag of pinto beans i bought a year ago.. I soaked them for 6 hours and pressure cooked them at high for 10 minutes. They turned out creamy and delicious. I find soaking to be VERY helpful in the cooking process.
I looked it up that beans can be kept a long time: https://www.usaemergencysupply.com/i...e_of_foods.htm
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:03 PM   #5
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I've cooked some really ancient beans (well, over five years since they were bought, anyway).

I would definitely soak them overnight, but I always do that anyway -- they have a better texture that way.

- Jim
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