Author Topic: Beans 6 years later  (Read 5526 times)

Offline littletea

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Beans 6 years later
« on: January 03, 2017, 08:59:07 AM »
6 years ago I packaged up 50 lbs. each of 4 different bean varieties.  During this time I've discovered that we just don't go through that much beans.  I have them in the pantry and rotate through but not fast enough I guess.  So as I've been try to use them up the last year  I'm having a really hard time cooking them.  Takes forever and they are still pretty firm in the center.  I know to add a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water.  Any other tips?  Anyone else have this problem with 6 year old beans?  I'm wondering if that's the norm or if the less than ideal storage during our relocation caused it.

Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2017, 09:28:53 AM »
I've found the same to be true.  On the most part we packed away beans for the "what if".  Having tested some of the beans recently, we now realize it will take a starvation situation to get them eaten. 

It's a catch 22; if you don't pack away more than you can eat in a year, you may find yourself out of a good staple if something terrible happens.  If something terrible happens, I guess I eventually won't mind eating hard beans.  If nothing terrible happens, they are pretty inexpensive to throw out and start over.

Offline Jeremy Downing

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2017, 09:43:31 AM »
Since beans are about the easiest things on the planet to grow, perhaps grow them every year. I wouldn't keep beans for a super-long time simply because you can normally always grow more.

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Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2017, 10:06:25 AM »
I've heard that not salting them until they are done cooking can help with that.  The last time I made beans (not years old) they were still a bit hard in the middle for some reason.  I think it may have been because I didn't boil them in straight water but instead cooked them with everything else I added with broth that had salt. 
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Offline Noah Darco

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2017, 10:13:44 AM »
When you say you packaged 50 lbs. of each kind, and rotated them, how did you package them, and what size containers did you divide them into?

One thing I've heard you can do with hard, old beans is to grind them up right before use into bean flour, but have never tried this. I seriously doubt that bean flour would work well as a substitute for whole beans in most recipes.

I've got Chef Keith Snow on the other line, and he suggests trying a pressure cooker if you have access to one, and says it's because of this problem that he recommends integrating canned beans into your food storage plan.

The longest my family of six has been able to keep dry black turtle beans on the shelf before using them up and rotating them out is about 2 years.

The Department of Nutrition at BYU released a study of the usablilty of pinto beans stored in #10 cans for 30 (!) years, that includes charts of something they call "Mean Hedonic Scores". It concluded that,

Quote
There was a loss of some aspects of quality in pinto beans
stored in restaurant-sized No. 10 cans in residential
storage throughout the time period studied. However,
even after 30 years of storage all samples were
considered acceptable for use in an emergency situation
by at least eighty percent of consumer panelists. Also,
protein digestibility was found to remain stable over time.
Pinto beans can be an important part of a long-term food
storage plan because of their sensory stability when
properly packaged and stored.

I find the 30 years hard to believe, unless they had some steel-jawed testers.
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Offline Noah Darco

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2017, 10:17:51 AM »
Also, while baking soda is supposed to help in the preparation of most beans, there are a few varieties for which you want to take the pH in the other (acid) direction by adding 1/2 cup of lemon juice, vinegar, or whey to the soaking water instead of baking soda. These are:

  • Black turtle beans
  • Lentils
  • Fava beans

Your mileage may vary as far as softening up old beans goes. I'd love to hear about it if you find an effective solution.
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Offline chefkeithsnow

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2017, 10:31:18 AM »
These are nice alternative to dry beans for long term storage....

http://shop.honeyville.com/refried-bean-flakes.html

Super simple...some boiling water, a few minutes...and done..ready for a burrito, with fried eggs, nachos, quasadilla etc., refried bean soup....I love these!

We are stocking these in quantity....long storage times..short prep time....realatively inexpensive....a winner in my mind.

I know they are not whole beans but they do provide protein and an abundant amount of usage options...

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Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2017, 10:36:13 AM »
When you say you packaged 50 lbs. of each kind, and rotated them, how did you package them, and what size containers did you divide them into?

One thing I've heard you can do with hard, old beans is to grind them up right before use into bean flour, but have never tried this. I seriously doubt that bean flour would work well as a substitute for whole beans in most recipes.

I've got Chef Keith Snow on the other line, and he suggests trying a pressure cooker if you have access to one, and says it's because of this problem that he recommends integrating canned beans into your food storage plan.

The longest my family of six has been able to keep dry black turtle beans on the shelf before using them up and rotating them out is about 2 years.

The Department of Nutrition at BYU released a study of the usablilty of pinto beans stored in #10 cans for 30 (!) years, that includes charts of something they call "Mean Hedonic Scores". It concluded that,

I find the 30 years hard to believe, unless they had some steel-jawed testers.

I believe the long term storage. The key is oxygen free, so how they are packaged and stored realy maters. You also must do an overnight soak, especially if older beans.

Little Tea, your older beans were likely just on the shelf in buckets or bags ? I wold grind roughly, soak and add to my chicken feed ration and buy new beans.

For new beans, buy prepacked in number 10 cans from LDS, these should last on the shelf and have less waste when opened than a full 50 lb sack.

I used to go thru 25 lb sack of beans quickly enough to just have in a bucket, but most of my kids are gone now, so I went to the pantry this fall and packaged up my dry bean rotation so I wouldnt waste them. I packed up in mylar bags ( 1 gallon) with O2 absorber, and put the excess packed like that in a cardboard box to protect the mylar. I now just keep 2-5 lbs of each bean type in a container on the shelf, and will open a 5 lb mylar bag of beans to refill when needed.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 10:44:38 AM by mountainmoma »
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Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2017, 10:40:37 AM »
These are nice alternative to dry beans for long term storage....

http://shop.honeyville.com/refried-bean-flakes.html

Super simple...some boiling water, a few minutes...and done..ready for a burrito, with fried eggs, nachos, quasadilla etc., refried bean soup....I love these!

We are stocking these in quantity....long storage times..short prep time....realatively inexpensive....a winner in my mind.

I know they are not whole beans but they do provide protein and an abundant amount of usage options...

Chef Keith Snow

I like these, LDS ( Mormon) cannery carries these too. But, they are only for 5 years I believe ? Not 30.

They are also realy good for regular pantry use as you dont have waste, cmpared to opening a can of prepared refried beans and only needing half for a couple burritos
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Offline Carl

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2017, 03:23:13 PM »
I like my beans when soaked in water for overnight and slow cooked all day in a crock pot. BUT my favorite way is as BEAN SPROUTS or as ground up and fried bean patties.
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Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2017, 03:53:10 PM »
I like my beans when soaked in water for overnight and slow cooked all day in a crock pot. BUT my favorite way is as BEAN SPROUTS or as ground up and fried bean patties.

What's the prep for the patties?

Offline littletea

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2017, 08:01:33 PM »
Ok y'all some good info here.  I will take into account the PH and try vinegar the next time around and report back.  I packaged up the beans in Mylar bag with O2 absorbers.  They are still tightly sealed so no air has gotten into them.  I have to say that the bean storage was my first jaunt into long term food storage, didn't know what I was doing so I went a little crazy on the beans lol!!  The good thing is that I have chickens and pigs so the beans can be used in their feed!! 

I'm not sure about 30 years for beans in a can.  The mylar with 02 absorbers are supposed to be close to storing in a #10 can, perhaps this study is   under ideal temperatures.  We moved so the food storage has spent some time in storage with no climate control.  Believe me I would eat these in a SHTF scenario...would just take a lot of time to cook and if energy is precious these beans wouldn't cut it.  I've realized the importance of having both dry and canned and recently have been adding canned to food storage.  The dry flakes would also round out my supplies.

It's been interesting opening up mylar bags 6 years later and going through the storage bins.   I'm reconsidering some of my food storage strategy!

Offline Stwood

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 08:10:15 PM »
We planted some old black beans this year in the corn. Didn't come up and didn't come up. After 3 weeks I checked and they were year 2000 seeds. So the scroungers we are, the wife tried cooking them. Lol
Finally threw them out to the critters.
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Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2017, 10:53:07 PM »
I have had mylar sealed, but with a small hole that you couldnt realy see, and the only reason I know this is I can now do this well enough that the O2 absorber pulls vacume (almost) so I had the mylar bag with all the air sucked in and hard as a rock around the beans, so you can see the shapes and indentations, and then it wasnt. It was all sealed up, but no longer hard as a rock. ANd, I figure this is because I had it out on the side table in the front room for a week, waiting to give to a friend, and I have cats. Same thing for a envelope of MilkMan dried milk left out in the house and out of its box. The darn cats can walk over and make a little hole you cant see with their nails. The Mylar is much more delicate than a number 10 can, and can be compromised and you cant realy tell. Mylar is best if it is immediatelly put into another hard container so no harm can come to it. For my compromised bag, I cut it open and resealed in a new mylar and immediatelly put it into a small cardboard box to keep it safe for my friend.
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Offline Carl

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2017, 04:58:25 AM »
  Grandma showed me to grind the beans in a mortar and pestle,but a fine to medium pass through a grinder or food processor will do,
and soak in 3 times (as the dry bean quantity) of water and a paste will form. Add an egg or two for binding ,corn meal for 'filler' as she never measured anything and spice (salt and pepper were her choice) then form patties or if too fluid...spoon on to hot greased pan to cook. Grandma did the same with dry corn,She was from from a tough generation and tough times . I still make foods as she taught me when I was a teen and spent summer school vacations with her so many years ago.I never claimed to be a cook,but I eat what I heat.

LOOK into " VEGGIE BURGER" for more modern,better detailed methods of preparation.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 05:11:39 AM by Carl »
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline littletea

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2017, 07:46:26 AM »
Carl - I'm gonna try that!! And report back when I get around to it.

Offline Carl

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2017, 07:48:37 AM »
Carl - I'm gonna try that!! And report back when I get around to it.

Just don't expect it to taste like 'real' meat...a little beef,or chicken, bouillon powder helps too.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

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If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

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Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2017, 09:19:07 AM »
  Grandma showed me to grind the beans in a mortar and pestle,but a fine to medium pass through a grinder or food processor will do,
and soak in 3 times (as the dry bean quantity) of water and a paste will form. Add an egg or two for binding ,corn meal for 'filler' as she never measured anything and spice (salt and pepper were her choice) then form patties or if too fluid...spoon on to hot greased pan to cook. Grandma did the same with dry corn,She was from from a tough generation and tough times . I still make foods as she taught me when I was a teen and spent summer school vacations with her so many years ago.I never claimed to be a cook,but I eat what I heat.

LOOK into " VEGGIE BURGER" for more modern,better detailed methods of preparation.

Thanks Carl.
My family loves a good kidney bean sandwich with nothing but mayo, salt, and pepper.  Even better when the bread is toasted.

Offline Carl

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2017, 01:43:59 PM »
Thanks Carl.
My family loves a good kidney bean sandwich with nothing but mayo, salt, and pepper.  Even better when the bread is toasted.

I just had a 'chick pea/Garbanzo' sandwich (mashed,then fried) with salt,pepper,and miracle whip...it's a great boost when hungry and in a hurry.
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2017, 03:02:03 PM »
I just had a 'chick pea/Garbanzo' sandwich (mashed,then fried) with salt,pepper,and miracle whip...it's a great boost when hungry and in a hurry.

Yum...  Fried hummus patties.

Offline rogersorders

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2017, 09:55:07 PM »
Thank God I came across this thread, I was wondering what was going on with my black beans. I soaked them and pressure cooked them and they were still hard. Then I boiled them (same batch) and they were still hard, I didn't think that was possible. I'll have to re-read through this for ways to use them up.
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Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2017, 05:48:05 AM »
Best results for me that I have found for white navy beans is to soak them overnight and pressure cook them for extended periods of time.

Even after 90 mins cooking under pressure they are a 'bit' firm, but not bad eating. 

Also note I am at high alt (7k); so that will make a difference in cooking time.

Water boils at about 204 based on my electric tea pot display.

Brad(bn4) - In Colorado

Offline Carl

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2017, 06:52:13 AM »
This is why most of my medium term storage is CANNED ,ready cooked,beans of all types as often there is not time or fuel for long term cooking.

(I don't plan on being the last man on earth,my preps are realistic short term disruption and ECONOMIC based (prices alway go UP.)

Dry beans are faster utilized when boiled 5 minutes,turn off the heat and leave to soak one to four hours,then add salt pork,bacon,whatever and simmer for an hour or two , I get much less cook time this way.

Also 'cracked' beans (or corn) can speed the above process when crushed or medium grind the beans soak ,and cook ,much faster.

Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2017, 11:12:59 PM »
OK, my daughter and I ran the experiment this afternoon evening. Little tea, I would check that maybe your storage conditions or packaging might have had a problem as yours were only stored for 6 years.

We opened a number 10 can from our Long Term Storage stash to get another data point for this thread on cooking old beans ( well, mostly realy because my girl wasnt feeling well and realy wanted spanish white bean and potato soup -- that moved the timing up, but I had been curious since this thread started and wanted to check our prep food)

These beans were bought from the LDS cannery, so a #10 can with an oxygen absorber, date on can was June 2012. So, that is 4 years 7 months old. And, this is from when the dry canning was done by volunteers at each place. These cans were stored in a house, under a bed. I dont have airconditioning, so it can get hot in the house, possibly under the bed is cooler. Indoors is generally up to the 80's and sometimes 90's in the summer. But, not as hot as the garage or an outbuilding.

I am a big believer in overnight soaking. But, today we did the "quick soak" method, that I never use. So, at around 3 pm the beans were brought to a boil in water, then the stove turned off, and left to soak for 2 hours while we watched episode 2 of the new season of Sherlock. No salt, no additives. We drained them, added fresh water, brought to a boil and simmered for 1/2 hour(still refraining from salt or additives), then used them to make the soup, veggies, salt etc... ( the soup itself cooked for 1 hour) Dinner at 6:30pm, beans were soft and tasty in the soup.

So, my thoughts are : I still think the number 10 cans are most reliable for bean storage (my opinion) and feel confident on our bean stores. These dried beans showed no signs of being older, they looked and cooked up as younger dry beans. So, I tend to believe the reports I have heard of properly packed food stores like this making the decades of storage and being useful. See my post up thread a bit, I have had mylar that was "failed" but looked sealed. the seal was fine but had a pinprick hole, one you realy cant see, unless the mylar is in a robust, hard container ( 5 gallon bucket), it can get a small leak. So, for sturdiness, teh number 10 cans win out for real long term, decades, storage.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 11:20:53 PM by mountainmoma »
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Offline Carl

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2017, 05:13:27 AM »
Great review MM
Stop complaining about life and start Celebrating it .

I've reached the age where there is little left to learn the hard way.

If you had only one year,one month,or one day...Would you live your life differently?

Radios are pointless without someone trained to use them.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 09:21:56 AM »
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Offline Redman

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2017, 08:34:35 AM »
We've had several pounds of dry pinto beans in 1 and 2 pound commercial packaging lying around for a year or so. I cooked a pound a couple days ago, soaking overnight which I never do and then cooking in plain water a couple hours before adding any seasoning. Cooked another 2 hours and they still had a little crunch. Usually I just sweat some onion then add beans, seasoning and lard, cook 4 hours and they are great.
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Offline ga-qhd

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2017, 04:30:34 AM »
I've had this issue: Pressure cooking works although the beans can still have a slight off flavor if old.  When old, I cook them far longer than typically called for with new beans--15 minutes vs. the recommended 3-6 minutes.  Even with fresh beans, I cook them for 12 and they turn out fine.  The total time under pressure ends up being longer, because after turning the heat off it takes about 25 minutes for the pressure to drop enough to open the pot.

I'd guess the BYU team did pressure cooking, although I don't recall if I have seen anything about how they prepared them... if they published it in an article somewhere the methodology would have been noted; I can check.  One thing I tried before getting a pressure cooker was freezing after cooking--that worked sort of one time and failed another.  I haven't seen it recommended, but freezing after soaking and before cooking might also work.

RE: dehydrated refried beans: I don't know how long they last, but I recently opened a absorber-packed can from 2/09 and it's fine.  My storage conditions are not ideal, because my house is near 80 in the summer.  I got a case and I'm rotating through them.


Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2017, 05:55:07 AM »
We've had several pounds of dry pinto beans in 1 and 2 pound commercial packaging lying around for a year or so. I cooked a pound a couple days ago, soaking overnight which I never do and then cooking in plain water a couple hours before adding any seasoning. Cooked another 2 hours and they still had a little crunch. Usually I just sweat some onion then add beans, seasoning and lard, cook 4 hours and they are great.

Do not store beans in the plastic bags they are sold in.

Even for shorter, medium storage lengths. These bags are not air tight. For shorter term bean storage, put the beans in a tupper ware container. Put them in an empty, washed, plastic container, like the ones they sell nuts in at Costco, or an empty plastic soda bottle. Put them in a half gallon or quart mason jar. Seal them with a seal a meal.

I also think these bags of beans can sometimes be sitting around before you buy them. Try to buy fresher dry beans. Were the beans bought in a store with high turnover or that checks the package dates ? Or, were they bought at a discount store and may already be old beans before you buy them ? I have had good luck buying a 25lb bag from my co-op of organic, dried pinto beans, putting into a bucket or tupperware, no sealing or mylar, no long term storage as this was in my day to day pantry, and taking 2 years to eat through them, and they cook up and taste fine. I always store in something other than the packaging they are sold in ! Beans want to have less exposure to air. You think the plastic bags keep the air away, but it does not, it is only meant to be a way to keep them together to sell them. Throwing plastic bags of beans into a container meant to organize ( such as a rubbermaid container or other organizattion bin) is hardly better than leaving them in the open. Put them in something else, like mentioned above: empty soda bottle; empty clear, hard plastic food container with screw on lid like a nut or peanut butter pretzel container from costco; Glass jar with screw on lid, such as an empty pasta sauce jar or mason jar for canning
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Offline 4Gators

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Re: Beans 6 years later
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2017, 03:19:46 PM »
I purchase bags of beans en'mass when they are on sale, I fill the gallon mason jars and vacuum seal with a vacuum sealer. 

I always do an over night soak, and always start early day by pouring boiling water into the pot of them and leave them to soak overnight.  If they are really old beans, I will rinse and do a second boiling water bath on them a couple hours prior to beginning the actual cooking of them.

Even with old beans (a few years old) they can sometimes get too soft with just one hot water soak. 

of note: when I soak my beans, I get a good pot of boiling water and pour the water into the beans and then wrap a couple of dish towels around them to hold the heat in while they soak. 

Just a thought. 

What about canning them in a pressure canner?