Monday, January 13, 2014

Household Experiment: Making Beans in a Crockpot

Not too long ago, someone suggested doing beans in a crockpot.  Now dried beans and I have been having a battle for years; I can soak them and soak them and a lot of times they stay hard. Even after I start cooking them.  I even have a special Victorian era bean pot especially for soaking beans!  So I have used canned beans more often than not, because I don't want to keep on messing with the stupid beans that never cook.

So in my cupboard, for several years now, have sat two bags of mixed beans, called 16 bean soup mix. The bag says there are at least 16 of these varieties listed on the back of the bag:

Pinto beans
Black eyed peas
Navy beans
Large Lima bean
Small White bean
Red Kidney beans
Baby Lima beans
Great Northern beans
Speckled Lima beans
Green Baby Lima Beans (the others are white, green is what we commonly see and eat)
Black Turtle bean
Whole Green Pea
Yellow Split Pea
Pink bean
Cranberry bean
Small Red beans
Green Split Pea

What I could tell, with my not full knowledge of beans, was that this bag has lentils, green and yellow split peas, all the Lima beans, the small Red beans, Navy beans, Pinto beans, Black Eyed Peas, Kidney beans, whole peas and some others I couldn't identify.

To start, I rinsed the beans in a colander, then tossed them into the crock pot with eight cups of water.  One pound of beans, eight cups of water.  I then set the crockpot to a 10 hour cook, and walked away.

About hours 5, I went to look. This is what it looked like - hey, things are starting to cook! The lentils and peas have all disintegrated into soup. The package came with a ham flavor packet, so I tossed it in, as well as some chopped onions. An hour later, it tasted blah, so I tossed in some cubed cooked roast beef.
I let it cook the 10 hours, then let it cool and stuck the crock in the fridge. Next morning, I put it back on, but this time set it for the 4 hour fast cook, and added some beef soup base. At hour three, it was good soup!

I took about 2/3rd of it, along with some fresh baked bread to the neighbors as thanks for plowing out our driveway last storm.

Daughter says it tastes like veggie beef soup, but with beans.
Hey, nice lens fog!

So, this experiment? A success.  Next try? Red kidney beans - see if they cook up to chili quality or if the chickens get a treat again.

16 bean beef soup, white chicken chili made on the stove, and a loaf of garlic bread fresh from the breadmaker - those lumps are chunks of garlic!

1 comment:

  1. Great job - I have those same bags in my pantry...I'm gonna try your method. (CHoffman)