Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

No-soak beans, in the oven, in 90 minutes


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would definitely recommend, not just for these purposes but for all purposes and all cooks, getting an oven thermometer and ascertaining the actual temperature of your oven. The variations are amazing. If you set the oven to 250 but it's actually at 220, that's going to be a problem.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input. It was good to hear from Russ Parsons himself on this subject. I don't think my water in Denver is excessively hard, but maybe I should try bottled water and see. And I will try a more gourmet bean source. I just couldn't find any of the Bob's Red Mill variety when I was looking. Forgot to say I had a ham hock in the liquid and possibly too much liquid. Would that make the beans not cook?

Edited by Bonnie Ruth (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, you're right on the border with that temp. i usually cook them at 325 to 350.

I'm sure there's a wide range of oven temperatures that will work. Fundamentally, the beans aren't being cooked by the heat of the oven as much as by the water in the pot. So the issue is what oven temperature you need in order to keep the water at a nice simmer. My old oven needed a 325 setting to maintain a braise, whereas my current oven does just fine on 250. I think this is related to more than just the calibration of the controls. My current oven just seems to be really good at transferring energy. I have no idea why. Perhaps the pot one uses makes a difference too, though I don't really know why it would. People ultimately need to find the right temperature for their ovens. If your beans are just sitting there in water that's not hot enough, not much is going to happen. Meanwhile, you don't want to go to like 400 because then you'll boil the crap out of your beans. I'd suggest maybe starting with 275 and working up or down from there. The idea is you want some surface bubbles, like on a pot of simmering stock. It's nice to have a bean pot with a glass lid in order to make this determination.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

one thing with baked beans--the molasses really stops the softening dead. try this: cook the beans until they're soft before adding it. Add the acid and cook as long as you want. the beans won't soften much more at all.

Problem is it takes about 4 hours for the "sauce" to reduce to the proper pasty consistency anyway, so while it may be an interesting experiment, I'd ultimately just be lengthening the total cook time :blink:

I've never bothered soaking darker beans (though I absolutely rinse and sort them having found many a bean-shaped rock in my day), but the lighter varieties always seem to need a lot more time in the heat no matter what they're in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, you're right on the border with that temp. i usually cook them at 325 to 350.

I'm sure there's a wide range of oven temperatures that will work. Fundamentally, the beans aren't being cooked by the heat of the oven as much as by the water in the pot. So the issue is what oven temperature you need in order to keep the water at a nice simmer. My old oven needed a 325 setting to maintain a braise, whereas my current oven does just fine on 250. I think this is related to more than just the calibration of the controls. My current oven just seems to be really good at transferring energy. I have no idea why. Perhaps the pot one uses makes a difference too, though I don't really know why it would. People ultimately need to find the right temperature for their ovens. If your beans are just sitting there in water that's not hot enough, not much is going to happen. Meanwhile, you don't want to go to like 400 because then you'll boil the crap out of your beans. I'd suggest maybe starting with 275 and working up or down from there. The idea is you want some surface bubbles, like on a pot of simmering stock. It's nice to have a bean pot with a glass lid in order to make this determination.

Which brings us back to my elevation question and the lower boiling point of water. No matter where I set the oven temperature, the water can't get any hotter than boiling. I think I did have the kind of simmer you describe; probably I just needed to cook them a lot longer. And if darker colored beans cook faster, I might limit myself to them. I am going to do this again right away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

does anyone know at what temperature beans cook? how low can I go? I'm thinking I might be able to use the warming option of my rice cooker to make (slow) beans. Any advantages to low and slow?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sometimes buy canned black beans for making spicy black bean soup. I really like the taste of an organic brand (I think it's Eden Organic?). The beans have a savory, almost meaty flavor. Today I looked at the ingredients, and kombu is listed. This is a kind dried seaweed, correct? I would assume from the flavor profile that it's got a natural form of MSG in it. Does anyone have any experience using kombu in their dried bean cookery? If I could replicate that flavor, it would be substantially cheaper than buying these canned beans.

Also, what's a rough conversion for dried to canned beans? What volume of dried beans will yeild the same as a 15 oz can?

"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm so glad this subject came up just as my beans from Rancho Gordo had just arrived.

My first try took much longer, around 3 hours. I did those with straight beans(Good Mother Stallard) and water, adding the salt after about an hour. Then at the end adding smoked sausage. I can say the first thing I noticed about Steve's beans with just water, was the nice earthy smell that I've never smelled before in beans.

I hate to cook his product, the beans are just so pretty!!

Second try I had to add aromatics like garlic, onion, carrot and homemade chicken broth. This was a bag of storebought cannelloni beans. Took about 2 hours.

I still wonder if I am getting too much evaporation out of my LC pot. Or maybe the pot is just too big, and I should be working with a smaller pot.

Like FG said, a glass lid would be a big help to see what is going on in the pot without me peeking so much after about an hour and a half.

I'll keep plugging away with this!!

Jennifer

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Today I had a yearning for "Good Ol' Pinto Beans with Ham" and decided I would try this method.

I used a cast iron Dutch oven, put in a ham hock, 1/2 a chopped onion, a small bay leaf, and 1 clove chopped garlic along with beans and water to about 1 1/2-inch. No salt at this stage because of the ham hock. I brought it to a boil and put it into a 275ºF. oven.

After 45 minutes the beans still looked mottled so I left them for the full 1 hour 15 minutes. They still weren't done enough but another 1/2 hour seems to have taken care of that. I did add a pinch more salt at the 75 minute time.

275ºF. because, although my oven tests to be correct, it always is a tad slow.

As soon as they are cool enough to handle, I will remove them from the pot since I don't want them to start tasting rusty. Will take the meat off the bone and put it back in.

Mmmmm! Corn bread and beans for dinner tonight.

Edited by BarbaraY (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I had a yearning for "Good Ol' Pinto Beans with Ham" and decided I would try this method.

I used a cast iron Dutch oven, put in a ham hock, 1/2 a chopped onion, a small bay leaf, and 1 clove chopped garlic along with beans and water to about 1 1/2-inch.  No salt at this stage because of the ham hock. I brought it to a boil and put it into a 275ºF. oven.

After 45 minutes the beans still looked mottled so I left them for the full 1 hour 15 minutes. They still weren't done enough but another 1/2 hour seems to have taken care of that. I did add a pinch more salt at the 75 minute time.

275ºF. because, although my oven tests to be correct, it always is a tad slow.

As soon as they are cool enough to handle, I will remove them from the pot since I don't want them to start tasting rusty. Will take the meat off the bone and put it back in.

Mmmmm! Corn bread and beans for dinner tonight.

Was this with just one pound of beans? I'm never clear how much a ham hock flavors.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sometimes buy canned black beans for making spicy black bean soup.  I really like the taste of an organic brand (I think it's Eden Organic?).  The beans have a savory, almost meaty flavor.  Today I looked at the ingredients, and kombu is listed.  This is a kind dried seaweed, correct?  I would assume from the flavor profile that it's got a natural form of MSG in it.  Does anyone have any experience using kombu in their dried bean cookery?  If I could replicate that flavor, it would be substantially cheaper than buying these canned beans.

Also, what's a rough conversion for dried to canned beans?  What volume of dried beans will yeild the same as a 15 oz can?

The conversion ratio varies with the variety of bean; but, it's safe to assume around a 4x increase in volume from dry to cooked.

Indeed, kombu is a form of dried seaweed common in Japanese cooking. Kombo and dried bonito shavings are two of the main flavoring ingredients in the form of Japanese flavoring broth called Dashi. And, yes, natural MSG was first isolated from exactly that, the crystals left behind after evaporating a large amount of Dashi broth.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I had a yearning for "Good Ol' Pinto Beans with Ham" and decided I would try this method.

I used a cast iron Dutch oven, put in a ham hock, 1/2 a chopped onion, a small bay leaf, and 1 clove chopped garlic along with beans and water to about 1 1/2-inch.  No salt at this stage because of the ham hock. I brought it to a boil and put it into a 275ºF. oven.

After 45 minutes the beans still looked mottled so I left them for the full 1 hour 15 minutes. They still weren't done enough but another 1/2 hour seems to have taken care of that. I did add a pinch more salt at the 75 minute time.

275ºF. because, although my oven tests to be correct, it always is a tad slow.

As soon as they are cool enough to handle, I will remove them from the pot since I don't want them to start tasting rusty. Will take the meat off the bone and put it back in.

Mmmmm! Corn bread and beans for dinner tonight.

Was this with just one pound of beans? I'm never clear how much a ham hock flavors.

Yes one lb. beans. It wasn't actually a ham hock but a smoked shank. The ones I get are quite large so I have the meat cutter split them lenghthwise, probably about 1/2 lb. or a bit less. They are very meaty and have a better ham flavor then tha hocks sold in my local grocery store.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Today I had a yearning for "Good Ol' Pinto Beans with Ham" and decided I would try this method.

I used a cast iron Dutch oven, put in a ham hock, 1/2 a chopped onion, a small bay leaf, and 1 clove chopped garlic along with beans and water to about 1 1/2-inch.  No salt at this stage because of the ham hock. I brought it to a boil and put it into a 275ºF. oven.

After 45 minutes the beans still looked mottled so I left them for the full 1 hour 15 minutes. They still weren't done enough but another 1/2 hour seems to have taken care of that. I did add a pinch more salt at the 75 minute time.

275ºF. because, although my oven tests to be correct, it always is a tad slow.

As soon as they are cool enough to handle, I will remove them from the pot since I don't want them to start tasting rusty. Will take the meat off the bone and put it back in.

Mmmmm! Corn bread and beans for dinner tonight.

Was this with just one pound of beans? I'm never clear how much a ham hock flavors.

Yes one lb. beans. It wasn't actually a ham hock but a smoked shank. The ones I get are quite large so I have the meat cutter split them lenghthwise, probably about 1/2 lb. or a bit less. They are very meaty and have a better ham flavor then tha hocks sold in my local grocery store.

Thanks, getting too much flavor from the ham hock was my concern. I didn't realize you could get them split. I like shanks better, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I tried this method with excellent results. I know my Goya white beans were older because they took a whole hour extra to cook. Great bean making. I added andouille sausage at the end. I also made white bean and escarole soup from them. It would have made a killer bean dip.

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used this method to good success with some old Anasazi beans I've had sitting around. The beans took a bit more time (age, no doubt) to cook, but they cooked up nicely. I liked the results. Husband thought they were rather bland. He changed his tune by the time the beans had been added to roasted chicken, garlic, olives and oven-roasted tomatoes. Yum.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

This thread took me forever to find! Doing some black beans today. I will add some smoked paprika, cumin and lots of garlic. Later this week they'll become refried black beans with bacon for fajitas, and Cuban pork and black bean stew. Looking forward to it all.

Lisa K

Lavender Sky

"No one wants black olives, sliced 2 years ago, on a sandwich, you savages!" - Jim Norton, referring to the Subway chain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread took me forever to find! Doing some black beans today. I will add some smoked paprika, cumin and lots of garlic. Later this week they'll become refried black beans with bacon for fajitas, and Cuban pork and black bean stew. Looking forward to it all.

Thank you for resurrecting this thread! I had missed it the first time around.

Coincidentally, I was planning on cooking some Rancho Gordo Red Nightfall beans today. I'll give this method a try.

The only problem with Rancho Gordo beans is that they are too beautiful to cook. On the other hand, they are way too delicious to save.

pat w.

I would live all my life in nonchalance and insouciance

Were it not for making a living, which is rather a nouciance.

-- Ogden Nash

http://bluestembooks.com/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread took me forever to find! Doing some black beans today. I will add some smoked paprika, cumin and lots of garlic. Later this week they'll become refried black beans with bacon for fajitas, and Cuban pork and black bean stew. Looking forward to it all.

Thank you for resurrecting this thread! I had missed it the first time around.

Coincidentally, I was planning on cooking some Rancho Gordo Red Nightfall beans today. I'll give this method a try.

The only problem with Rancho Gordo beans is that they are too beautiful to cook. On the other hand, they are way too delicious to save.

pat w.

I am glad to find this thread resurrected, too. I tried the no-soak beans, using Rancho Gordos, when it was new. My beans were good, but they weren't done in anywhere close to the 90 minutes (at least twice that). I live in Denver and wonder if altitude has anything to do with it, but I corresponded with someone who wasn't at a high altitude at all who said hers never came out in the 90 minutes, either. RecentlyI thought about using the technique again when I was going to make a bean soup, but rejected it because I thought it would take too long. I'd love some thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His beans are definitely good, but the price is staggering. On more than one occasion I have stood at his stand in the Ferry Plaza, staring at the 1lb bags, wondering how I could possibly justify their price to myself.

Well, for us the beans were even more expensive (we're Canadian, so once the exchange rate was factored in, they were outrageously priced for us), but according to my mother, the flavour and texture more than justified the price. She used all hers up, but she still thinks about them, and dreams of when we can visit SF again, just to buy some beans from Rancho Gordo.

Ummm, now they're even cheaper than the US price. Plus, tax free since its food.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basic troubleshooting checklist for people who aren't getting the desired result: 1- heavy pot, 2- tight-fitting lid, 3- try a higher temperature setting.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Recently I cooked some beans this way at a friend's house and, as people usually do, he proclaimed it a miracle. It occurred to me then that I didn't have an explanation for why it works. And how could so many generations of bean makers be so wrong? Or have beans changed?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...