Cooking Dry Beans

Clearly the answer to cooking dry beans is wine.


We buy our beans from the Mercat, and they are stored in oak barrels and weighed by the gram and placed in linen sacks" and tied.

Plastic is a killer for freshly dried legumes …

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Take me to your table!



Thank you for the compliment …

Right - seems to me that if you want to keep something dry but season it, use the powder.


Yep, that’s pretty much the dish.

Not a defense, but a possible explanation: Since starting Milk Street Kitchen, Kimball has moved from his signature finicky approach to fast, cutting corners with chainsaw dedication. MSK even sells its own packaged ingredients…
For busy cooks, that is a draw, and ATK may be trying to be popular as well.

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OK… but I love my TJ’s lemon garlic salt on my salads!

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The issue – nay, fatality! – caused by plastic being…?

I’ve definitely come across the “too-dried” dried beans issue. So obviously while I feel vaguely self-righteous about using dried rather than tinned, I’m obviously not doing it often enough to righteously be feeling righteous! Also if one did a carbon audit, I’m not sure what’d win, all that extra cooking time, vs the cost-to-recycle of the can. But I’m too stubborn to give up on any I happen to have, and I’ve had reasonable results with the “do it until” approach. Increase soaking times, boiling time, and simmering time according to best guess, and test as required.

I agree with the comments that the canners are getting a more consistent product through either “canning fresh” or some sort of unknown Big Food Science. But “it works”, to partially quote a notorious XKCD tagline. Some of the nutrients might leach into the packing liquid, but apparently some people just chuck that in too – problem solved! Your recipe and indeed preference may vary on the merits of that.


I defer to Barca, but I expect the answer will be condensation, mold, and mildew.

As Julia child said, in answer to someone who questioned her preference for parboiling broccoli, “eat more of them.”

That was a vague nagging doubt as well in my mind, but as usual, there is a counter: metal is easily recyclable (as opposed to plastic, which is not), and yeah, it costs - but it also provides jobs. I’m sure that everything we eat has a cost - and a benefit. I’m really not going to stress over the cost/benefit analysis of everything I eat.

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“I’m not Kosher.”

I don’t uderstand.

The meerkat is saying, “I’m not Kosher.”

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Yes, steel is readily recyclable – and crucially, easily separable for recycling – and pretty much close-cycle recycling at that. So essentially it’s just an energy cost. Throw in the ‘food miles’ for that metal and more significantly of the packing liquid itself, as opposed to the energy of cooking them at home. Much less the energy cost of cooking them at home after cooking them for much too long… @.@

It’s probably a doable calculation. But if I can’t be bothered googling it or doing it myself, I probably shouldn’t be worrying about it!

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With regards to canned beans, opened a can of black beans last week for a taco salad. For the first time in my experience, they were undercooked and unpleasantly al dente. Surprising, because they were a decent brand too - Bush’s. Haven’t had that happen before, even among the store brands! My strong preference is S&W, which are available at Costco usually, but in limited varieties. The chili beans in sauce are really good. All other varieties I rinse and drain, just to get rid of excess sodium mainly.

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I’ve looked high & low on the 'net and there doesn’t seem to be a source of fresh, vacuum-sealed beans. It’s either dried or canned.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold