How to Cook Beans

Have you ever wondered how to cook beans? The process can seem daunting to many. However, there is no real reason to be afraid and here we will give you plenty of tips to help you get started.

You may have made it this far by thinking that dry beans take a long time. However, with a certain amount of prep work, that is no longer the case! Dry beans first need to be soaked in order to reach their full potential. You just have to make sure that you plan for the soaking time before cooking them.

You can get two cups of dry beans and soak them, which will come out to six cups cooked. If you are using a recipe that calls for a can of beans, that is approximately fifteen ounces. You're going to want to have 1.75 cups of cooked beans ready. However, the first step is the soaking.

Soaking the Beans

You will want to soak the beans before you get started. You'll need to pick the type of beans that you want, whether navy, kidney, or another kind. Black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils do not require soaking time.

Take the amount of dried beans that you want and look through them, taking out any beans that do not look normal or have shriveled. From there, you're going to take a colander with holes small enough to prevent the beans falling through and rinse them under cold water for several seconds.

Next, you're going to soak the beans. There are different methods for this. The quick soak is going to get you the beans the fastest. Add two cups dry beans and six cups of water, turning on the stove. You'll want to heat up the water and then boil for two to three minutes. Take off the heat and cover the pot, letting them continue to soak for another hour.

The other method is hot soaking, a method that works and many like because it cuts down on cooking time while also giving you delectably soft beans. You will need a larger pot for this one. Add ten cups of water and two cups dry beans. Heat it up until it boils and then boil for two to three minutes more. Then take off the heat and cover, soaking for around four hours.

The last is the overnight soak. Place 2 cups of beans in a huge container and add ten cups of water. Then cover and put in the fridge overnight or for eight hours. You'll want to drain the beans the next day for all of these methods and rinse them with cold water before moving on to cooking them.

Cooking Your Beans

Now that you've soaked them, it's time to move on to cooking beans. For this, you'll need a regular pot with a lid or a pressure cooker, depending on which method you're using.

Cooking in a Pot on the Stove

When cooking on the stovetop, you're going to want a pot large enough to accommodate the beans. First, take your soaked beans and place them in the pot. Cover with water and turn on the heat. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn down the heat and cover the pot with the lid. You'll want to have the beans simmering gently.

Keep an eye on the beans as they simmer, making sure they're tender. You can sample the beans as you go. Black beans typically take an hour to an hour and a half, Great Northern beans 45 minutes to an hour, and kidney, navy, and pinto beans typically take an hour and a half to two hours. Beans should be removed when tender and if you have extras, they can be frozen.

If you want to add to your beans to make them taste better, you can add herbs and spices at the end so that the flavor doesn't wash out while they're cooking. Acidic substances such as vinegar and more should also be added once they're cooked so that the beans are able to cook all the way through.

Cooking In a Pressure Cooker

Put the beans in the pressure cooker. Make sure that beans are covered with four cups of water with at least two inches of it being above the beans.

Seal the cooker and turn on the stove. You want to go for beans that are tender. This will take roughly 20 to 30 minutes for black and kidney beans, 25 to 35 minutes for navy beans, and 15 to 20 minutes for pinto beans. Test before turning off pressure cooker to make sure the consistency is to your liking.

After cooking, be sure to give a regular amount of time for the pressure to release naturally, about twenty minutes. You can cook them for ten minutes more if the beans are not as soft as you think they should be. Once done, drain the beans and get them ready to eat and enjoy!