Someone asked about cooking beans in a rice cooker. I'm not sure this
would work, but thought I'd share my technique, gleaned from a Dairy
Hollow cookbook. I'll also add that while I'm mostly opposed to
appliances (and sold all of mine at one point), there are several that for
energy savings (mine and the environment's) and low fat life I''ve
discovered I can't live without: coffee grinder, small drip coffee maker,
small microwave with no fancy settings, rice cooker/veggie steamer, and
crock pot. I have thought of adding a blender, but mostly go along quite
nicely without one. I have never missed food processor/mixmaster.
Never fail bean cooking:
Upon arising in the morning, put beans in crockpot. I use an assortment.
The pot can be more than half full, but not totally full-they expand some.
Cover them with very hot water. Turn the crock pot on "high". Get
ready for work, however long that takes you. (at least 20 mnutes). If
you are worried about gas, it might help to drain the water at this point
and add fresh (hot) water. I never have the patience for that step.
Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. You can add spices, onions, bay
leaves, garlic. I've hear it's a bad idea to add tomato, so haven't tried it.
Then go to work. Whenever you come home, the beans should be done
and the house will smell GREAT. My cat has never bothered the cooking
pot, even though she loves beans, but when she was younger, I did
keep her out of the crock pot room while I was at work. I have not had
any problems otherwise, although I suppose there is some risk in leaving
the appliance on when you are away.
My aunt has also used this method overnight to get beans ready for
lunch. She added tomato sauce and had no problems.
If your rice cooker has high and low settings and is safe to leave running
for a long time, this would probably work.