Dried beans are super cheap, and they look so nice sitting in jars on your counter. If you’re like me, that’s all they do. Recently, I made a goal to learn to cook beans, and I am loving the results. They have a fresher taste when you make them at home, and the process is pretty simple.
Basically, you can do this one of two ways:
Overnight soak: To do this, just put your beans in a pot, cover them with water, put the lid on, and leave them. When you wake up, you’re ready to skip to the cooking process.
Quick soak: This is my preferred method, since I never remember to put the beans on the night before. To quick soak, place your beans in a pot, cover them with water, and bring them to a boil. Allow them to boil for 1-2 minutes, then cover them and leave them for an hour.
After soaking, you need to drain your beans and rinse them. I dump them into a colander in my sink and run cold water over them.
Next, put them in a very big pot. For 1 lb of dried beans, I use my largest soup pot. If I were making any more than 1 lb, I would need something more like a stock pot. This is because you need to add 6 cups of water for every pound of bean. You can also add a tsp of vegetable oil to keep the pot from boiling over. I don’t like the taste the oil gives the beans, so I just put a wooden spoon over the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over. Bean juice on the burner will make your entire house smell nasty!
This is also a good time to put in any seasonings you may want. Peppers and onions go great with pintos, and garlic and salt are good bets with any type of bean.
Your next step is to bring the beans to a boil, then boil them for the times below:
Black beans: 45-60 minutes
Great Northern beans: 45-60 minutes
Dark or Light Kidney beans: 60-90 minutes
Pinto beans: 45-60 minutes
Red beans: 45-60 minutes
Keeping the boil low will prevent the skins splitting. You may need to add water as you go to make sure you don’t burn your pot.
Beans are done when you can smoosh them either with a fork or between your fingers.