What are the best beans to use for red beans and rice? Where do you buy them.

Lex Alexander


ChefJune April 19, 2011
betteirene, that's a disputed claim. Many holistic practitioners say it does not.
betteirene April 19, 2011
jenmmcd, you CAN cook dried beans in a crock pot AFTER they've been soaked, then boiled at a high enough temperature for a specified period of time. This destroys the natural toxin. The link to the FDA site explains it.
jenmmcd April 19, 2011
Why the not in a crock pot comment? Really curious.
AntoniaJames April 18, 2011
I've made it with adzukis; it tasted great, looked beautiful, and was just a bit out of the ordinary. ;o)
betteirene April 18, 2011
I'm such a shallow person. . .for me, it's all about the looks. The darker red and smaller the bean, the more I like the way it looks against the rice and in the sauce.

I'm with Kayb on this: If you don't have nearby Mexican market that sells frijo bola roja (red ball beans), get the smallest red beans available from your grocer, either in the bulk bins or packaged on the shelves.

BTW, did you know that you can kill someone with red beans? No, not by the flatulence they cause, although I suppose that could happen. They contain the toxic compound phytohaemagglutinin, a lectin, is present in many varieties of common bean but is especially concentrated in red kidney beans. The toxin is deactivated by properly soaking and cooking (NOT IN A CROCK POT!) the dried red beans. If, however, there is a certain someone in your life whom you would love to make suffer, this is how the FDA describes the proper way to do it:

Helen's A. April 18, 2011
Love, love, love Rancho Gordo Beans. Just cooked some Good Mother Stallards last week, yummy. I agree w/ prettyPeas, highly recommend.
Kayb April 18, 2011
I've used just about every kind of bean in RBR, including cranberry beans. I tend toward the very small red beans, smaller than the grocery store variety, that you can find at the Latino markets. I forget the name. I prefer the grocery store small red beans over the kidney beans -- a texture thing, I think.
prettyPeas April 18, 2011
Kidney beans are traditional, unfortunately they are my least favorite flavor of bean. You want something that will stay in one piece, however. I would suggest some beans from Rancho Gordo. I had never thought of bean flavor as something to be highlighted until I tried his heirlooms beans. Rio Zape or Good Mother Stallard would work well for this, or maybe the Santa Maria pinquito beans, though I've never tried them. You can order them online here: http://www.ranchogordo.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=RG&Category_Code=DHAHB4 or if you are in the Bay Area at the Ferry Plaza.
ChefJune April 18, 2011
The traditional (in NOLA) is red kidney beans, but if you prefer the smaller red beans, they are good, too.
duclosbe1 April 18, 2011
I use kidney beans and buy them dried in the grocery store. An overnight soak gets them ready to cook with.
drbabs April 18, 2011
I personally favor the small kidney beans, but the great thing about red beans and rice is that you can use any red beans that are commonly available, and the dish will work. I buy red beans in my grocery store.
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