How To Cook Navy Beans
JAVBEEYADNS ARE THE BEST
When shopping for beans, always check the date on the package. Often many beans sit for years in silos before they reach the supermarket shelf. Start with good beans.
1 pound of Navy Beans (1 pound or 2 cups of dried beans makes about 6 cups of cooked beans).
Plan ahead. Pick over the beans and remove any stones or dark discolored beans.
Rinse and drain the beans. Place the beans in a large pot or bowl and cover with water. Let the beans soak overnight or for at least 8 hour. (Soaking the beans is very important. Soaking helps to soften the beans, break down enzymes and lessens gas).
There are two methods of soaking beans. The long soaking method and the short soaking method.
LONG SOAKING METHOD: Put the beans in a container with 3 times as much water as the beans. Cover and soak them for 8 -12 hours at room temperature. Drain the beans, rinse with cold water and place the beans in a pot with fresh water for cooking. Soaking the beans overnight is a great time saver. Just remember to plan ahead.
QUICK SOAKING METHOD: Place 1 pound of beans in a large pot. Add 10 cups of water. (Use 5 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans).
Cover pot and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes. Remove from stove and let them sit for about one hour.
After the beans have soaked using one of the above methods, rinse and drain the beans.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
Place beans back into the pot. Cover the beans with fresh water, about 2-3 inches above the beans. Place the pot on the stove and bring the to a full boil for about 10 minutes. Next, lower heat and simmer for about 1 -2 hours. Cooking times can vary depending upon the type and age of the bean. The fresher the bean, the less it takes to cook. Generally it takes about an hour. To taste for doneness, just taste to see if it's soft enough to your likening. If foam develops, simply skim off the foam with a spoon.
To store cooked beans that you're going to use within week, put them in a sealed container and keep refrigerator. They'll stay fresh for about 3 to 4 days. You can also freeze beans in a sealed plastic container and keep up to 3 months in the freezer.
CROCK POT BEANS
To cook beans in a crock pot, follow the above methods for soaking.
Add beans to crockpot, cover with water and cook on high until tender. Usually takes between 5-7 hours. Cooking time varies depending upon temperature of crockpot.
Follow one of the above soaking methods. Add beans to pressure cooker and cover with water. Process 8-10 minutes @ 10-12 PSI. 6 minutes 13-15 PSI
Add a tablespoon of salt to water when soaking beans. Do NOT however add salt to beans during cooking.
Adding salt in the beginning will toughen beans. Add salt after or just before beans are completely cooked
For stove top method. Add hot water as needed to keep beans just covered with liquid. The best rule is to test frequently during cooking, then come to your own decision when beans are tender. Most recipes will tell you to cook beans until tender. To check for tenderness, pinch or bite a few beans at a minimum suggested time, then every 10 to 15 minutes until the beans are tender.
Check the beans occasionally to see if they are covered with the cooking liquid. If there is so much liquid absorption and evaporation that the top of the beans becomes exposed, add very hot water to the pot to cover the beans.
When dried beans boil, a foam forms on the top of the cooking liquid. This foam is water-soluble protein released from the beans and it will be absorbed back into the bean cooking liquid.
To keep the foam down when cooking beans, add 1-2 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil.