View Full Version : OT: How do you soften beans?!

Emmas Mom
07-20-2006, 02:38 PM
I'm SOOOO frustrated. I was totally excited because I decided to make some Navy Bean Soup...never really attempted to make soup before (other than chicken soup...no beans). I soaked the beans overnight....like both the recipe & the bag the beans came in said to. Actually they soaked longer than overnight....maybe 16-17 hours or so. I FOLLOWED the directions. Boiled them & then let it simmer for 2 hours. They were still "crunchy". Then I let it simmer the rest of the night....maybe 3 more hours. They were STILL crunchy! I mean, they're soft enough to eat & the soup tastes good but the beans are not soft. I don't get it. There has to be a trick to this right? Someone PLEASE enlighten me cause right now I'm just so disappointed. :(

07-20-2006, 02:47 PM
2 things I can think of...

If they are old beans, they won't always soften up right. Sometimes if you buy in a bag, they've sat on a shelf in a store for a long time.

I also think if you salt them too early on they get tougher.

I don't make dried beans often but I have read that both things can cause them to not soften properly (I've had this problem in the past as well!!).

Emmas Mom
07-20-2006, 03:36 PM
Well I didn't put any salt in them so I guess they must've been old. Dang it! I think they should come with an expiration date!

07-20-2006, 03:43 PM
You can just boil them for five minutes or so and then let them sit for an hour before cooking.
I never have the patience to wait overnight.

07-20-2006, 03:50 PM
We leave them in water overnight.

07-20-2006, 03:56 PM
Do you have a pressure cooker? That would make sure they are soft and they cook quick!

07-20-2006, 08:19 PM
Salt is usually the culprit for me. Even using salted chicken broth can cause a problem.

Mommy to Matthew, 5/03

07-21-2006, 08:01 PM
I think navy beans don't always "soften" as much as other beans, anyway. At least, not the ones I've used in the past. So if they were old at all, combined with the type of beans they are, that's probably enough to do it.