Did you know that depending on how long a dried bean has been stored affects it’s cooking time? The fresher the dried bean the shorter the cooking time.
This could explain why your baked beans, vary in cooking length. It’s not you, it’s your beans.
I have a professional home economist plan that works every time, not matter how old your beans are.
The answer is to use a multi purpose slow cooker/pressure cooker. Often referred to as an Instant Pot (which is a brand name) I have a similar kitchen toy that isn’t an Instant Pot, and it too works miracles in the world of cooking beans.
This recipe requires two methods of cooking using that magical pot.
First you pressure cook the beans using the Pressure Cooker mode. Cool and then using the same pot, you switch to the Slow Cooker mode. See below for my professional home economist tips if you don’t have the pressure cooker feature.
It’s been a bean game changer in my house, making the pressure cooker/slow cooker one of my favourite kitchen toys.
The end result using this method is super soft creamy baked beans, rich in flavour and a flashback to my childhood when my dad served baked beans on toast for Sunday lunch.
Recipe for the pressure cooker feature:
2 cups dried small white beans or navy beans
6 cups cold water
Recipe for the slow cooker feature:
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 onions, diced
1 cup boiling water
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup molasses
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Rinse beans well and sort through to make sure there aren’t any small pebbles.
- Place in slow cooker/pressure cooker. Add the water. Cover and follow the directions for your appliance as per the manufacturers advice. Set the appliance to Pressure Cook mode. Mine takes 25 minutes with Medium Pressure. Let cool naturally. When it has cooled release any leftover steam following your manufacturer’s instructions. You want the beans to be just begining to get tender.
- Drain the beans and lightly rinse. Set aside.
- Add the oil to the same pot and switch to Sauté mode. If your appliance doesn’t have this feature use a separate skillet on the stove. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Mix together the boiling water, ketchup, molasses and Worcestershire sauce.
- When the onions are ready add the ketchup mixture and the beans right into the pot and stir well.
- Switch to Slow Cooker mode and cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 8 hours or until done – you know your slow cooker better than me and all of them are slightly diffferent. Check them around hour 4 just to be safe, you don’t want mushy beans.
- Serve with Cole slaw and roasted sweet potatoes if desired.
Professional home economist tips:
Don’t have an instant pot? Soak beans over night or for at least 12 hours. Drain, rinse and place in a large saucepan. Cover with 6 cups of water, bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook until tender. The amount of time to reach just getting tender will depend on how dried the beans were. It could be anywhere between 4-12 hours. Check to make sure they don’t dry out. And more boiling water if they are looking dry. When just starting to get tender, drain and proceed with the recipe above using your slow cooker instructions.