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Operator Error!

by BC
(St. Louis, MO)

I decided to make Bean Soup in the solar oven today. First I boiled the beans for ten minutes on the stove, and then let them sit in the hot water for a few hours while running errands. This was a mistake. I should have gotten them going in the solar oven right away, because by the time I got home again and got them put out, it was already around 2 PM. They were in until 5 PM, which was not at all long enough. The beans were still too hard, and not enough of the liquid had been absorbed. The flavors also hadn’t had time enough to meld. Truthfully, the weather wasn’t very cooperative. Many puffy clouds moved across the sky all day, so the cooker was in the shade for up to 10 or 15 minutes at a time, and the temperature never got above 250 degrees F. I had to sideline this one for today and make chicken nuggets instead! But it should improve overnight in the fridge, and I can set it back out in the morning to finish all day. If the flavors are better, I will do this one differently next time!

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Jul 17, 2015
Beans 1.5
by: BC

I normally soak them overnight, but I read that if there are any red beans at all in the mix (which there are), they must be boiled for 10 minutes followed by the hot water soak for an hour to release this bean's toxin. That's why I did away with the overnight soak on this occasion. The good news is that they soaked in the fridge last night, and now they're back in the solar oven to finish up! And I'm leaving them in for about 6 or 7 hours! Should be nice and tender! ;) Now, if only the clouds would go away so I could get a total full sun! The cooker's moving up to 300 degrees, but it's struggling to reach it and maintain it with the clouds moving in and out. At least the local flooding is gone, for the most part! Wish we could give some of this rain to California!

Jul 17, 2015
Gotta soak them beans
by: Cal Griggs

Sorry about your soup delay.
We always soak our beans in water overnight. We've tried short cuts but the beans are always tough. When you soak them overnight they will absorb a lot of the water. Note also, if you have stored the beans for longer than a few months, soak them longer for best results.

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