If you use a slow cooker, can you skip soaking beans? Like, from dry to done in 8-10 hrs of cooking?
It all depends on what kind of beans you're cooking. Garbanzos are notoriously long-cooking beans, although the slow heat of the pressure cooker might be ideal for them. I would think that soaking is unnecessary for this cooking method, although I have to say I've never tried it. I almost always use a pressure cooker for dried beans (confession: I don't soak them, though you're "supposed" to), but I can imagine that a nice slow cook would yield creamier beans.
Apparently, adding salt during cooking is a good thing. It causes the beans to cook slightly slower, but allows the salt to permeate the beans better, resulting in a better-tasting final product.
Your not supposed to cook kidney beans this way as it doesnt get high enough heat to break down a substance that is somewhat poisonous. other beans I believe isnt an issue.
@HurricaneLane That's not entirely correct. All slow cookers will eventually reach the boiling point; a properly filled (i.e. 3/4 full) 6 qt pot will reach the boil after about 4 hours on high, or 8 on low. Smaller pots, or less-full pots, will reach 212F faster.
@OP: Cook's Illustrated says "follow the recipe," under the assumption that it's been designed/tested. For their Slow-Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup, they want the beans soaked; for their Slow-Cooker Black Bean Soup, they don't. So it's still debatable.
@ChefOno: then the dish was undercooked. (You will note, I didn't say that kidney bean poisoning is impossible from a slow cooker. I said all slow cookers will reach the boiling point eventually. The question is whether you leave it there long enough to break down the hemagglutenin.)
8 to 10 hous cooking beans?WHY?Just soak it for a couple of hours and boile them for another 2 hours,stirring and adding more water every 30min.Only then you season it.You'll end up with a thick sauce and tender beans just like we do in Brazil in half that time!!!