From the Good Eats episode on Chickpeas is the recipe for Slow Cooker Chickpeas. Truthfully I have never been much of a slow cooker fan. Probably due to growing up with too many soups made in them as a kid….
When Kirk and I got married we received a massive one that within a couple uses the crock part split and ended up in the garbage can. But I was determined I would eventually figure out something that would make me love slow cookers – and when I saw a deal on the Crock-Pot 4-Quart, I picked one up a couple months ago. Then it sat and collected dust on my counter until we watched said episode. I had poked around and found garbanzo beans for 70¢ a pound in the bulk section at our local Fred Meyer’s so I stocked up. I had time this weekend so I tried out a 1 pound batch to see how it would work. I figured that 70¢ of beans, 7 cups water and tiny bit of baking soda wasn’t a huge investment if it flopped.
And yes, it worked perfectly (but then…Alton’s recipes usually do work having been developed with science mixed in). The pound of beans produced 6 cups of cooked beans, so smooth in texture I crushed them with my fingers and Walker nibbled on them. 6 cups is about 3½ cans of beans so do the math and you see the deal (a can has about 1¾ cups beans). Add in that the beans are nearly sodium free and preservative free, well….maybe I just found something to use my slow cooker for. That and it didn’t stink up my kitchen, which is reason #1 I despise cooking beans on my stove!
For a firmer texture you might consider cooking them only 3½ hours, though I really loved the smooth and creamy taste. We used a cans worth in our dinner, rounding out an Indian inspired curry, which was so delicious. The rest I have plans for – though if I didn’t they can be easily frozen for later use (pack up a cans worth and pack flat in quart freezer bags).