Perfectly Cooked Beans: Leave the Cover On or Off?

We've been getting into the habit of cooking our own beans, and we recently learned something interesting. Did you know it makes a big difference in texture if you leave the pot covered or not?

We picked up this tip in a blurb at the end of a recipe in one our favorite cookbooks, A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider:

If you simmer beans in an uncovered pot, they will end up firmer and more intact. This perfect for dishes where you really want the beans to keep their shape without smooshing, like salads and pasta dishes.

Beans simmered in a pot with the lid on but slightly ajar (which is how we normally do it) will end up much creamier, though more delicate and likely to break apart. These beans are great in soups, burritos, and bean spreads!

It's good to know that we have some control over the texture of beans based on how we cook them. We're excited to give this a try next time we cook up a batch and see if it really makes a difference!

How do you cook beans to get the texture you want?

Related: Good Question: Can I Freeze Cooked Beans?

(Image: Flickr member Tim Patterson licensed under Creative Commons)

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