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My bean cooking method is to soak overnight, then cook in a crockpot on low all day. By dinner time the beans are ready. I have only ever done this with a single type of bean at a time. However, I would like to make chili and I have two types of beans (white beans and red kidneys) and am wondering if this method would work if I mix the two types of beans together. Would this be generalizable to other types of beans cooking together, or more than two types of beans at a time?

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Given the nature of an all day cooking in the slow cooker, any bean is likely to be well into the "quite thoroughly cooked" zone. There is nothing in beans that I know of that would make them interact poorly. I don't see why it wouldn't work--the reason I am not typing this as an answer is because I haven't personally tried it. – SAJ14SAJ Feb 2 '13 at 1:59
I think that since your using the crockpot your going to be alright (maybe even overcooked?) but in more traditional cooking I've turned to putting individual beans in big canning jars with their own aromatics so I can remove them from the water individually when they are done. – Brendan Feb 2 '13 at 3:35
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Most beans can be soaked and cooked together with two exceptions.

The beans should obviously have similar cooking times. For example I wouldn't cook chickpeas with other, harder beans because the chickpeas would be mush. Most brand do have similar cooking times so this isn't often a problem.

Second, black beans shouldn't be soaked with any other beans because they will stain the other beans a very unappealing gray color. Admittedly this is cosmetic but I soak my black beans separately

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Are there any negative effects to soaking beans that don't require soaking (like lentils)? – mdegges Jun 8 '13 at 2:10
No, there are negative effects to soaking lentils, they cook faster like any other bean. Go for it. There are only positives to soaking lentils - less gas. ; ) I've also soaked black-eyed peas - same thing: cook faster, less of a party in the back. – Laura P. Jul 17 at 5:19

I'd like to mention possible 'gotchas' if you're going to do this --

  1. You want to use similar-sized beans. If you're mixing small & large beans, then they're likely not going to cook at the same time.

  2. Avoid old beans. They take longer to soften, and you don't want to find that one bean refuses to soften while the other has turned to mush.

  3. If you're cooking red beans or any kidney bean, you need to boil the beans for a few minutes at the beginning of cooking to inactivate the phytohaemagglutinin.


So, in this particular case -- you should not just soak & throw them into a slow cooker -- as you have red kidney beans, you'd need to boil them for 10 minutes before cooking. If you were doing this on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker, you'd be fine ... but not a slow cooker.

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Actually, the original poster said they were pressure cooking the beans - they had a history of using a slow cooker. Pressure cooking beans makes removing the phytates really easy, no guess work and no pre-boiling beans. – Laura P. Jul 17 at 5:21
@LauraP. : I see no mention of pressure cooking in the question posted. I see "soak overnight, then cook in a crockpot on low all day" – Joe Jul 17 at 13:06
Sorry, I got an answer and the question confused! : ) – Laura P. Jul 18 at 19:14

Any kind of beans can be cooked together. It's all about preference and your imagination. Try white beans, kidney, lima and pinto beans. They cook well together and make an awesome baked bean dish.

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