A question about a recipe: Slowcooker Hoppin' John

I have a question about step 1 on the recipe "Slowcooker Hoppin' John" from Hilarybee. It says:

"Rinse the peas under cold water and pick out any stones or discolored peas. Bring the peas to boil in a medium saucepan full of cold water. Boil the peas for 10 minutes. As the beans cool, start chopping the vegetables. If you are planning to simmer the stew all day while at work, skip boiling the peas."

If I want to start this before going to work and I skip the initial boiling, how long should I set the slowcooker on low? Only four hours and then let it just be on "keep warm" until I get home? Or set on low for the whole workday?

  • Posted by: askann
  • April 10, 2011
Slowcooker Hoppin' John
Recipe question for: Slowcooker Hoppin' John


Hilarybee April 11, 2011
It's very forgiving! You'll be fine. I've let it go longer than 6 hours on warm before and nothing serious happened.

I hope you enjoy it!
askann April 10, 2011
Thanks Hilarybee!
I think I'll try to do the boil before work, cook on low for six hours in the slow cooker, which will revert to "keep warm" automatically afterward and hope that I won't be kept late at work.
Hilarybee April 10, 2011
I boil the peas for ten minutes for two reason. (1) I do it to soften the peas so that you can simmer the hoppin john longer at a lower temperature. I have found that this prevents the peas from becoming too mushy, and the peas retain their shape.(2) I also like to use a few ladles of the pot liquor from the boil and add it to the slow cooker. After I published the recipe, I discovered the pot liquor trick, and it really adds a depth of flavor to the Hoppin' John.

Four hours will not be enough time if you skip the boil. The optimal cook time is about 6 hours on low, with the initial boil. if you are planning to simmer the peas for a long work day (like 10 + hours) you should not boil. The peas will lose their shape and become extremely messy. Simmer on low if you are going to leave the mix in the slow cooker for more than 8 hours. Always rinse the beans with cold water, and make sure to pick over the beans, there are always duds.

I know the boil seems silly, but I find it to be a beneficial step.
Sam1148 April 10, 2011
I can't comment on the recipe linked, but I've found frozen black eyed peas superior to dried. They cook up very nicely and don't take long to cook, and tend to stay intact instead of mushing up with the long slow/dried beans tech.

Dried peas are very forgiving in the slow cooker method tho..so whatever you decide it should be fine. A longer cooking might give you more mushy peas, but a lot of people like that for black eyed peas and rice. There are lots of variables, the freshness of the dried peas, And the brand (China Girl is good for dried BE peas, and the additions you add to the cooking mix..etc. Four hours would be a good starting point, however most soak their peas overnight and do four hours low slow.

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