The precursor to what we know today as a crockpot was designed to cook beans and today’s modern crockpots are more than capable of doing the job. Beans take several hours to cook and a crockpot is great for cooking dried beans because you can leave them for hours without having to check on them.
Some of the best crockpot recipes contain beans, a lot of 4 ingredient crockpot recipes use this flavorful ingredient, and beans feature in plenty of healthy crockpot recipes, so it is important to know how to cook them properly.
Food experts recommend soaking your beans overnight before cooking them and if you want to prepare dried beans in a crockpot for your crockpot recipes, you can do this overnight in the crockpot.
Crockpot Beans – Step by Step
Pour the whole bag of beans into a colander and rinse them well under cold running water. Dried beans are not washed before they are packaged. If you see any skin floating to the surface or beans, which have broken in half, discard them. Pick out any shriveled looking beans. Put all the beans into the slow cooker and add enough water to cover them all. Then add two more inches of water.
Cover the crockpot but do not turn it on. Let the beans soak for between six and twelve hours. If you live somewhere hot, you can put the crockpot in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth.
Do not add anything acidic to the beans or any sugar or salt until they have softened. Let them soak all night then drain the beans in the morning. The water will be bean colored. Add clean water to cover the beans plus a couple of inches more water, cover and cook on a low heat for eight hours. When the beans are bite-tender, they are done. Drain the remaining water from the beans.
With some types of crockpot, you might find that the beans take up to twenty hours of cooking time before they are tender. The hardness of the water and the age of the beans also affects the cooking time. Some people like to cook the beans on high for three hours and then switch the crockpot to low and cook the beans on this setting until they are done.
How to Store Cooked Dried Beans
You can keep the cooked beans in the refrigerator for a week or in the freezer for six months and you can use them as you would use canned beans in your favorite easy crockpot recipes. You might want to put 1 2/3 cups of beans into each freezer bag because this is equivalent to one can. Remember you are using this quantity because you are not adding filler liquid like the cans would have.
Which Kinds of Beans Can You Cook in a Crockpot?
If you want to cook dried beans for making crockpot meals, you can use any kind of black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, navy beans, lima beans, butter beans, and kidney beans. Smaller beans tend to cook a bit faster than bigger ones. If you like to use beans in your crockpot cooking, you will find that cooking dried beans in your crockpot is easy and cooking a whole pack at once means you can store some in the refrigerator for salad toppers or a healthy snack and freeze the rest for your convenience.
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