Is there anything that will help soften pinto beans while overnights soaking?

They are old beans, been in a plastic jar for over a year. Previous batch did not soften even after overnight soak and slow cooking for over 24 hours.

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8 Comments

Martin69 May 20, 2011
I don't know which did it, the bay leaves or the baking soda, but the beans cooked up nice and soft and delicious. Thanks for all the advice and help. I love this site (stay away from my bud light) hehehe
 
innoabrd May 20, 2011
A bit of baking soda might help, but really, if they wouldn't cook in 24 hours, you should just toss them and buy new beans.
 
Jean |. May 19, 2011
Martin, I say TOSS those old beans! If the pressure cooker works, fine. Otherwise, you have to waste too much time as well as gas or electricity.
 
Sam1148 May 19, 2011
Baking Soda. Just a pinch.
 
Sadassa_Ulna May 19, 2011
Pre-boil for five minutes before the long soak: boil the the beans in 1.5 times the amount of water for five minutes. Then let them soak for 2 hours or more. Drain and add back twice the amount of fresh water as beans and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover, cook 1 hour or until tender.
 
Martin69 May 19, 2011
Thanks!
 
Raquelita May 19, 2011
I recently learned that throwing a piece of sea vegetables (kombu or kelp are available in natural foods stores or sections of grocery stores) in the boiling water helps soften the beans up and adds amazing flavor. It's not during the soaking, but it accomplishes what you might be after. I had great success with black beans. See: http://www.ironboundisland.com/seaweeds/kelp/
 
sarah K. May 19, 2011
Wow, them are some old beans! I've had the same thing happen, only I found out that the beans were not just older than one year, but 20! Have you tried pressure cooking some?
 
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