Baked beans won't soften! Help?

I was making baked beans for a friend's party - soaked them overnight in water, followed the direction precisely and they won't won't won't soften - have been cooking them for four hours! Is it the beans? They're from Whole Food's bulk section as opposed to Rancho Gordo, which is what I usually buy and have never had problems with when making simple refriend beans...was just trying to save some money this time. Is it the fact that I added them raw into an acid-y mix of ketchup and worcestershire and vinegar? That seems to be the norm in all the recipes for baked beans I see on here but I've heard that acid can really toughen the beans. Any advice?

  • Posted by: Jessa
  • May 30, 2011


Helen's A. May 30, 2011
4 hours isn't actually all that long for traditional baked beans. 6 to 8 hours is not unusual. I usually do mine in a slow cooker overnight, sometimes they still need more cooking after that. Make sure there is enough cooking liquid. I've had problems with undercooked beans when I haven't had them completely covered. Do you have a pressure cooker? You could always employ that as a last resort... Good luck!
boulangere May 30, 2011
Salt isn't the best thing for them either before the shell has softened. The go-to best way to deal with beans in whatever direction you plan to take them is to cook them first until the shell and bean have softened, but the beans aren't completely cooked through, drain them, sometimes saving some of the cooking liquid, then go on from there. Take heart! You've likely got abundant company in your pickle; most of seems to need to do this once before we figure it out.
Recommended by Food52