Re: What's the best way to cook these beans?
I prefer the crockpot. Here's some suggestions...
Drain and rinse the beans. Normally, bubbles and maybe a little scum appear on the top of the soaking water — rinse this all away. The beans should smell “beany”. If they smell rotten, rinse them really well, and then smell them again. If they still smell rotten, they probably are. Unfortunately, you’ll have to toss these beans and start again.
Cover the beans in the stockpot or crockpot with water. The amount of water should be about double the volume of the beans, due to the beans rehydrating during the soaking.
In the Stockpot: Bring the bean/water mixture to a boil, then cover all or partially as the boil reduces to a constant simmer. Watch for foam, and skim as it appears. Boil gently until beans are tender --about an hour for soft beans, or an hour and a half for harder beans. Turn off the heat. Drain. The cooking water may be used, such as in soups.
In the Crockpot: Turn the crockpot to high for one hour, then turn down to low for the duration of the cooking time. Skim foam occasionally, but quickly so as not to lose much heat. Cooking time depends on the crockpot’s heat output, but generally 8 to 12 hours cooking time is sufficient for most hard beans; soft beans such as lentils and peas will take less time. Turn off crockpot. Drain.The cooking water may be used, such as in soups.
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