Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans
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  1. #1
    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Dried Beans vs. Canned Beans

    ---------------------------------//---------------------------------
    Canned beans
    -can weight 15 oz, actual amount of beans, drained, 1.5 cups
    -costs about $.60 can, which would be $.40 per cup

    Dried beans
    -1lb dried, about $1.20 bag
    -soaked, cooked and drained yielded 8 cups beans, which is $.15 a cup

    ---------------------------------//--------------------------------

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    Thanks for the calculation. I keep canned beans for one quick skillet dinner I make occasionally, but otherwise, it's dry beans all the way. They are so good!

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    But don't you have to count the water and the energy to cook the beans too? Even if you throw in the water as freebie, I'd bet with the current cost of energy, it isn't cheap, unless you do it in a crockpot or some such.

    What do you think?

    Judi

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I suppose you do have to calculate the energy in, but when I pre-soak them they cook in about an hour (more or less depending on the kind). And I cook them on low since they just need to simmer slowly. I don't think it would be enough to offset the difference.

    I usually get canned beans on sale for .25 or .30 a can, and dried beans here aren't quite as expensive as for nuisance26 - at least in the fall when I last bought them for the stockpile I was paying .90 - 1.00 for a pound package. Ocassionally pintos (not my favorite, but I use them) are on sale and very cheap. So both types are really quite inexpensive to use.

    I just prefer dried beans because I can add all the seasonings I like as I cook them, and I prefer them a little firmer than canned beans usually are.

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    Moderator nuisance26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi Dial View Post
    But don't you have to count the water and the energy to cook the beans too? Even if you throw in the water as freebie, I'd bet with the current cost of energy, it isn't cheap, unless you do it in a crockpot or some such.

    What do you think?

    Judi
    ~Soaking overnight and then cooking in a crock pot is most likely the cheapest way to cook the beans. It would add just pennies to the overall cost.~

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    Registered User missyali's Avatar
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    Mine never are done after soaking overnight & then cooking for HOURS in the crockpot. I want to use them more as they are WAY more economical.

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    Registered User dcompton's Avatar
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    I do them on the stove top and have never tried them in a crockpot. A pressure cooker is the quickest way, and would also use little energy, though you have to be a little careful with beans.

    I'd like to hear others' experiences using the crockpot for dried beans.

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    Registered User spyzvixxen's Avatar
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    Thanks! I've been debating whether to start cooking my own since I'll be home now and making every penny count.

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    You can also use a Thermos for "cooking" beans (as well as grains and oatmeal).

    http://www.ehow.com/how_2275972_cook...rgy-money.html

    Sometimes I need to add the boiling water twice to get them done, but it's a much better use of energy for cooking beans. I also cook beans in my solar oven - zero utilities.

    missyali - If you have extremely hard water, that can interfere with beans cooking properly.

    (source: http://www.centralbean.com/storeandsoak.html)
    Hard Water

    If you consistently have problems cooking beans to the desired tenderness within the specified cooking times, it is possible you have hard water. Another sign of hard water is the appearance of a thick white or gray residue on the inside of your teakettle every time you boil water. This is caused by the presence of excessive amounts of certain minerals. High concentrations of these minerals interfere with chemical and physical changes that are supposed to occur in beans during soaking and cooking.

    Some cooks suggest adding a small amount of baking soda to the cooking water to soften it. We don’t recommend this because baking soda may give the beans a soapy flavor and its ability to improve the bean cooking process has not been proved. Amounts of baking soda over 1/8 teaspoon per cup of beans may destroy the thiamine (Vitamin B1) in beans. Thiamine is a valuable nutrient and one reason why beans have a reputation for being nutritious. If you have hard water and are in doubt as to whether or not to use baking soda, buy purified bottled drinking water – not distilled water – for soaking and cooking beans.

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    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    I was soaking black beans last night when I read this thread. I usually pressure cook them, but decided to try them in the crockpot. I followed the directions on the crockpot everyday blog and it didn't work. The beans are still hard and now I have to go throw them in the pressure cooker.

    Hopefully this info saves someone else a hassle.
    Last edited by The Muse; 01-25-2009 at 10:17 AM.

    100% debt free in 2015... in strategic, mindful debt since 2017. Not all debt is bad
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    Registered User cheles2kids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcompton View Post
    I'd like to hear others' experiences using the crockpot for dried beans.
    Donna, this is the way that I always cook my beans.
    I've never had any problems that alot of other people talk about, such as them never getting soft, or having to cook them all day?

    I'll try not to ramble too, too much, but I can't promise anything.

    I always, presoak my beans overnight.
    Whenever I get up in the morning, I rinse them and throw away the soak water.
    Dump them into my crockpo and add enough water to cover them by about 3-4 inches.

    This is when I add my seasonings (nothing with salt however) such as:
    dried onions or fresh, diced onions
    cumin
    cayenne pepper
    green peppers, diced
    (These are the four that I use most often)

    I then turn my crockpot on high for the first hour, then I reduce the heat to medium for the next 2-3 hours.
    I stir them about every hour and that's that.

    After they are done I will then add in either some salt or Tony Chachere's creole seasoning and stir them up.

    I think the main problem people are having cooking them, is that they put them in first thing in the morning and turn them on high and leave them cooking all day.
    You cannot do that with any of the newer crockpots, they just cook to high.

    If you aren't going to be at home to monitor them, you need to cook them on *low* for 6-8 hrs., not medium and especially not high.
    I would even consider adding another inch of water in them if a person will not be home for an extended period of time (just to be safe).

    I'm not sure of the problem of people not being able to get them to soften up, unless their beans are already old?
    But even then they should still get soft after 6+ hrs.

    The Muse, I'm more than happy to help you troubleshoot the problems with your beans if you can give me more details about how you went about cooking them?

    If anyone else has any questions, just lemme know.
    Last edited by cheles2kids; 01-25-2009 at 11:36 AM.

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    I say pressure cooker all the way! BTW I never buy canned beans because pressure cooking is so easy. Now I know that they are cheaper too! Thanks for the calculations.

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    Registered User jayneluvsmickey's Avatar
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    i was just wondering this today, actually

    i've never had a problem with beans not cooking right either on the stove or in a crockpot unless i didn't soak them the entire night before

    when i used to cook them on the stove when i was sahm, i simmered them on low all day and added water as needed

    now i use the crockpot for the same effect

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    Registered User fixer's Avatar
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    I have never had a problem with soaking beans overnight, then cooking in a crock pot. When someone is home, we cook for three hours on high, then another three on low. These numbers are approximations since we have done it so long. Our crock pot is twenty-five plus years old and get extremely hot. When I have tried to boil on the stove, it seemed as though it took forever. To each his/her own I guess.

  16. #15
    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    I've only had pinto beans that didn't cook. They were very old! Another good reason to rotate!

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