The Trick To Cooking Beans For The Creamiest Results

Making beans from scratch is worth the time and effort for numerous reasons, the most important of which is superior flavor and texture. Not only will scratch-made beans taste fresher than canned beans, but they also let you manipulate their flavor and texture. The way you cook your beans helps determine their texture and, consequently, the ease with which you incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

If you're looking for creamy, soft beans the trick to getting the creamiest results is by cooking them mostly covered. Recipes for whole, firm beans recommend simmering beans uncovered, which allows a portion of the heat to escape as vapor, reducing the cooking liquid while cooking the beans more slowly. Covering beans almost entirely with the top only slightly open will trap the water vapor that would've escaped if left uncovered, allowing beans to steam and boil. This two-in-one cooking method will make the beans softer and creamier.

This trick works with any type of bean, but you should keep in mind that cooking times vary depending on the size and composition of the bean in question. Larger beans like kidney beans or fava beans have much longer cooking times than small varieties like lentils or black-eyed peas.

How to use creamy beans

Firm beans aren't without their merits; they're great for sprinkling over fresh salad, roasting for a crunchy, seasoned snack, or enjoying in a brothy bowl of charro beans. However, creamy beans have many more uses; they're delicious whole, but it's also easier to incorporate them into soups, spreads, dips, or patties.

Creamy pinto and black beans are the best candidates for refried beans which are delicious as a side dish, rolled into a burrito, or incorporated into a seven-layer dip. Creamy navy beans are the pinnacle of British comfort foods, featured on a breakfast fry-up or atop bread for the famous beans on toast. Other white bean varieties like cannellini or gigantes are excellent creamy additions to soups and stews.

Creamy beans are the foundation for countless spreads, from creamy hummus to fava bean dip. If you're making a bean-based patty or fritter, creamy beans will provide a great texture and are easier to mix and mold. Even lentils will benefit from covered cooking in a dish like creamy Indian dahl. Other hacks for creamier beans to try in conjunction with the lid hack are hot soaking and brining beans. These methods ensure that even old dried beans will cook thoroughly and achieve the desired creaminess.