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I am planning to cook beans in an halogen oven i recently acquired. Where i am in an office, I have no gas cooking facilities and don't want to venture into electric cooking to weight on electricity bills.

I was reading on various methods of fast cooking dried beans. but couldn't get any

What is are your experiences? I thought of soaking dried beans, bake in the halogen oven before cooking. Earlier, i tried cooking with 250Degrees after over-night soaking which took a bit longer to cook.

  • You soak the bean to get it hydrated. I think baking prior to cooking is a bad idea. Why would dry out the bean bean prior to cooking? – paparazzo Aug 14 '16 at 12:24
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    Ummm - a "halogen oven" is an oven using an electrical halogen lamp as a heating element, so I'm unclear that it's saving a thing on electricity bills. It IS electrical cooking. Since most appear to be poorly insulated countertop designs, they are probably less efficient than a well insulated "normal electric oven." – Ecnerwal Aug 14 '16 at 16:05
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The only way I can think of to cook beans faster is in a pressure cooker.

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From what I've read, the halogen oven works basically like an oven, perhaps cooking faster because it heats up faster, and brings the food up to temperature faster, but fundamentally oven-like in its results. If you're interested in cooking beans in your halogen oven, I suggest you look for oven recipes for beans - baked beans come to mind very quickly, but you can probably find a variety of recipes.

If you are interested in cooking beans faster, then soaking should help, since the bean is then hydrated and ready for cooking. I don't see any benefit to baking the beans before boiling (or otherwise cooking) them, I don't see it in regular oven baking and I doubt that it will make much of a difference in your halogen oven. Boiling is already faster than baking, baking is slower but used because the oven has more even heat, less need for attention, and the benefits of longer cooking times. You might be able to cook beans in the oven (plain, I guess, or lightly seasoned), because it doesn't require much supervision, and then use the cooked beans in other dishes - something like pre-cooking beans in a pressure cooker, only working with what you have. It seems like extra work to me, though, and I'm not sure how much benefit you'll actually get.

What might help speed cooking up, a bit, is boiling before baking your beans - since baking tends to be holding the dish at a lower, even temperature and boiling brings to high heat and cooks more quickly, having the beans partially cooked before baking should shave time off your dish. Using parboiled beans should a) have your beans already nearly to temperature, b) have them already partially cooked, so they need less time baking, c) might replace the need to pre-soak your beans (holding the beans at a boil of a half hour or more (depending on type, age, etc) can substitute for an overnight soak).

You should be aware that using a halogen oven might affect the flavor of your bean dishes - many baked bean dishes take advantage of the longer cooking time to meld and develop flavors, and it is commonly held that (like stews) a longer cooking time will improve the flavors in a dish. The halogen oven may heat the food and hold the temperature better, but even if it acts like on oven perfectly other than reducing the cooking time, the loss of that time may affect your flavor even if the dish is cooked through. Alternatively, you may get "similar" flavor development faster, so that the flavors continue to develop over time just as in the oven, but since the overall process is faster, it takes less time to get the same results - so even if it still takes more time to develop flavors than to just cook the beans, it takes less "extra" time in the halogen oven than a regular one. I don't know which way it will go, go forth and experiment.

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