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Slow cooked black beans that are as soft as canned beans!

How to make soft black beans in the slow cooker on Taste and Tell



I know what you are thinking – black beans? In the slow cooker? How hard could that be?

Well, truth of the matter is that I have been getting so frustrated. Every time I try to make anything with dry beans, I can never get them to get soft. Soaking, no soaking. Cooking on the stove top, in the slow cooker, by themselves, in a soup. No matter what I would do, my beans would still be semi-hard. Cook them for 3 hours, 8 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours. No such luck.

I was seriously almost ready to give up. I’m not against using canned beans – I have a pantry full of them – but dry beans are just so darn cheap, and I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I am making something completely from scratch.

But then I remembered something that I read somewhere. I don’t remember when, I don’t remember where, but I remember reading to cook your beans in distilled water instead of tap water, because sometimes, the tap water will have too many minerals in it, making it so that the beans will never soften.

It was a last ditch effort, but I had to try it. And guess what?

The best black beans I have ever had.

All because of distilled water.

I also decided to go a little different than the norm and cook the beans in the same water that they were soaked in. Some people will say that this causes the beans to cause a little more gas, (ahem), but I decided that it was worth the sacrifice for extra flavor.

2 other things that give them perfect flavor – adding in the onion and garlic to add some extra flavor, and not salting until the beans are almost done. Some people will say to wait until they are completely done because the salt will make it so the beans don’t soften, but I think that adding them in 1 hour before the beans are done makes sure that the beans are seasoned perfectly.

Slow Cooker Black Beans on Taste and Tell

This recipe is also an introduction to a new series I have been wanting to start for some time. I have so many go-to recipes that I use all of the time, but they are just basic recipes so I sometimes think that I don’t need to share them here. But really, I think those basics are the ones that are the most important – the ones we go to all the time, the ones we start with. So, from time to time, I’m going to start sharing them here.

This bean recipe is the perfect recipe to kick off this series. Black beans are very versatile, cheap, and taste great. And now that I figured out how to make them better than canned, I know I’ll be stocking my freezer with them!

Slow Cooker Black Beans

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Slow Cooker Black Beans

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 16 hours

Slow Cooker Black Beans

Slow cooked black beans that are as soft as canned beans!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry black beans
  • distilled water
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Sort the beans and remove any stones or broken beans.
  2. Place the beans in a slow cooker and cover by several inches with distilled water. Let soak overnight.
  3. Cut the onion into quarters and add to the beans, along with the garlic cloves. Add more water to the beans, if needed, and cook on low until soft, about 8 hours. When there is about 1 hour left for the beans to cook, add the salt.
  4. Beans can be used immediately or refrigerated for a couple days. To freeze, I like to divide them into portions about the size of a 15 oz can and freeze them in jars. I add the liquid from the beans for freezing. To use, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, or on defrost in the microwave.
http://www.tasteandtellblog.com/slow-cooker-black-beans/

Recipes that Use Black Beans:

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos with Avocado Pineapple Salsa | Taste and Tell
Chicken and Black Bean Burritos with Avocado Pineapple Salsa

Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad | www.tasteandtellblog.com
Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad

Chicken, Black Bean and Zucchini Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce | www.tasteandtellblog.com
Chicken, Black Bean and Zucchini Enchiladas with Creamy Green Chile Sauce

Around the Web:
Black Bean and Avocado Grilled Tacos from Bell’alimento
Oven Baked Black Bean and Cheese Quesadillas from Aggie’s Kitchen
Creamy Buffalo Chicken and Black Bean Quesadillas from Sweet Treats and More

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14 Responses to Slow Cooker Black Beans {Back to the Basics}

  1. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been wanting to try making black beans in the slow cooker so I’m so glad to have your carefully tested recipe. I love posts about making the basics, so please continue to share! I’m working on making more of our kitchen staples from scratch, as time allows of course. :)

  2. Cheryl says:

    This will be great as the base for gluten free brownies….I’ve been wanting to make some, but we rarely use canned foods.

  3. I haven’t heard that, but I’m intrigued!

  4. Joanne says:

    So crazy because I have never had problems cooking dried beans! Maybe it really is the difference in tap water?!

  5. We crockpot our beans all the time, but without seasonings! I’m going to add onions and garlic next time for sure!

  6. Claudia Rodas says:

    Hi, I live in Guatemala and black beans are our daily basis meal for breakfast and dinner time. If you allow me I can give you a little trick to make the beans softer. After cleaning the rocks and all you place them in a pot and cover them with water, place a third part of tablespoon with baking soda and let it stay during all night time. Next day, you throw that water and place a new one on the pot you are going to use to cook it. You can use a pressure cooker. You place a medium onion and a bunch of garlic cloves chop in half (to take them off, when done). It will cook for about 30 to 40 mins. Be careful w the pressure cooker. When done, they are going to be soft. If you desire you can fry some fine chopped garlic and onion and add to the cooked beans. Also you can ad if you like some: chopped cilantro, and fried bacon, sour cream and avocado… Is really yummy !!!! We have some many delicious and traditional recepies to enjoy frijoles negros… LOL…. Hugs.

  7. Emily says:

    I love black beans! Can’t wait to try these!

  8. Do you rinse the beans at any point to get rid of some of the yucky gases I’ve heard about?

    • Deborah says:

      I don’t rinse mine, because I like the extra flavor that you get by cooking them in the same water I soak them in. But some people say that if you rinse them after soaking that it will help with the gas.

  9. ANGEL says:

    TRY JUST COOK THEM IN THE PRESSURE COOKER FOR 20 MINUTES AND PUT 1/4 SMALL ONION OR GREEN ONION, 4 GARLIC CLOVES, DRIED OREGANO, BLACK PEPPER AND 1/2 BELL PEPPER AT THE BEGINNING. TAKE THE AMOUNT YOU NEED FOR SALADS OR TACOS AND CONTINUE COOKING FOR 10 MORE MINUTES UNTIL THEY ARE CREAMY. TURN THE HEAT OFF AND PUT SALT AND SUGAR TILL YOU CREATE THE PERFECT BALANCE. SALT CAN BE SUBSTITUTE FOR CHICKEN SEASONING

  10. Chels R. says:

    I’ve had the same problem in the past. I love black beans. I think it’s Chevy’s (not sure if you have one of those in Utah) but I think they make theirs with bacon…OMG-so good!

  11. Wendi Brewer says:

    Adding a small amount of a healthy oil, such as olive oil, will also make the beans get tender while cooking.

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