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Thread: Kidney beans are splitting - why?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Kidney beans are splitting - why?

    Thanks to this BB, I now use dried beans almost exclusively. I bought some kidney beans at Whole Foods this afternoon, let them soak for about half an hour and then put them on to cook. When I went to see if the water was beginning to boil, I noticed a lot of the beans had split. Why? I've never cooked kidney beans before, but I'm sure this can't be normal.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I have had beans that split, shrivel and act normal...
    I've never paid much attention as long as they get tender once they are cooked.
    That is just me....I care less about visual appeal for beans.
    I would venture several guesses...
    very young beans? very soft water?
    if I find a website that comments, I'll link it here.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    My gut response is to ditto Wallycat, although I know it is frustrating. I am never certain when or why my beans will split.

    I do admit though I would be extra frustrated by splitting kidney beans.
    -Laura

    Muffins are for people who don't have the 'nads to order cake for breakfast.
    --Seth, "Kitchen Confidential" (the show, not the book)

    www.thespicedlife.com/

  4. #4
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    Apr 2006
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    beans can't handle bubbles

    Hey Canice-
    I'm by no means an expert....and I'm sure there is more help comming but I think beans are sensitive to anything more than a simmer -even for just a few minutes. Also, adding salt during cooking will cause bursting. I was just looking thru Cooks Illustrated at the bookstore -the most recent issue has an article on Tuscan bean soup and they address this problem. I think they start the beans on the stove top and then put them in the oven at 250 F. I'm intrigued by this but have not tried it. My favorite dried bean recipe is to puree white beans. Then no one knows.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, everyone. The weird thing is that they began splitting even before the water had come up to a simmer. Nothing in the water but a bay leaf. I have no idea whether our waters is soft, but I suppose it could have been a "fresh" batch o' beans. Fortunately they weren't going into a salad where you'd really notice - just into a big ol' pork stew with peppers. But I'm always curious to know why things happen.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Red Sox nation
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    Funny. May be it does have to do with their age or how the beans were stored (from harvest to store not by you). I've read that "fresh" beans are a lot better than some that have been stored for a year or more. But you don't really know when you buy them. Thats kind of a turn off with dried beans....it seems there are no guarantees. Anyway, a kidney bean salad sounds good with or without split beans.

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