George, I learned my lesson the hardway. I entered a chili cook-off and wanted to use fresh beans, not something from a can. I soaked them over night and began to build my base. After simmering the ground chuck, onions, peppers and spices for nearly an hour I added the pre soaked beans and let them simmer for a couple of hours. Then i added the chopped tomatoes and cilantro and the rest of my ingredients and let them cook for 4 more hours. The beans were still crunchy, not all of them but more than 1/8th of them. I had another day to let them hold over in the fridge. The next morning I had to be at the cook-off at 11:00 A.M. I got up early, started my cauldron cooking again, 2 more hours and still crunchy beans. I was like......what the fark??????? are these beans old or something? So I ran to the modern encyclopedia ( Google) and discovered that when you add acid IE. Tomato based ingredients it retards the beans and they won't cook any further. I freaked, I moved my chili into a 3 gallon plastic container and put it in the Microwave in batches. The stuff was boiling like crazy and I thought, Ha..I have got it now, this sH$ts so hot now the beans have got to be cooked......wrong. I seriously wanted to pull a no show at the comp. I had spent over $100.00 in ingredients and the only prize was bragging rights. But, stubborn olde Jed had to go and show my face even if I knew my chit was crunchy. Maybe I could cull a couple of cups for the judges with cooked beans. Needless to say, I went, competed and lost, came in dead last.
Moral of the story.
Boil your beans separately until done then add to the mix. Pressure cooker works ideal, no pre-soak needed.
Sorry for the rant, and your obvious dilemma.
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