I made some refried beans in a slow cooker, loosely following the recipe from my cookbook. The recipe says to cook the beans with ½ teaspoon of salt. Is this necessary to properly cook the beans? I am starting from dry beans.
I actually used ½ tbsp of soy sauce instead of plain salt and the beans tasted fine, but I would rather add no salt or soy sauce.
I see from this question that salt can affect the softness of the beans, but it seems like the beans should soften eventually either way. Since I am making refried beans, I only need the beans to soften enough for me to break them apart with a hand mixer, and then I can continue cooking them until they’re ready.
This post at the New York Times only discusses using salt to add flavor to the beans, but I am not worried about that. If I make a salt-free batch of beans and don’t like the taste, I can always go back to adding salt next time.
So will the beans cook properly in a slow cooker without adding salt?