Learn the dried bean basics of soaking, adding flavor, cooking methods and more!
Not only will dried beans give you control over taste and texture, but they are also more affordable than their canned counterparts!
SORT THINGS OUT
Start by examining the beans and removing any that are discolored, as well as any rocks or debris that managed to find their way into the bag. Next, add your beans to a large bowl and fill with water. Remove any beans that float to the surface. Drain water and rinse beans.
TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK
While not absolutely necessary, soaking dried beans will make them more tender, quicker to cook and easier to digest.
Add 1 lb. beans and 8 cups water to a large pot. Cover and soak a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
If you’re in a hurry, cover pot and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let rest 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
Want more flavor from your beans? Halved onions and chili peppers, garlic cloves and fresh or dried herbs are all great options. Now is the time to add them to the pot along with 6 cups water (or stock) and 2 tsp. salt.
Simmer uncovered until tender, 1-1 1/2 hours (2-3 hours for unsoaked beans). Add more water if necessary.
Take things slow
Dried beans also can be prepared in a slow cooker. Because they cook for a longer period, most varieties don’t need to be soaked. Add unsoaked beans and remaining ingredients to slow cooker and cook on low 6-8 hours.
Need beans ASAP? Add unsoaked beans, 1 tbsp. oil and remaining ingredients to multicooker or pressure cooker. Lock and cook on high 20-40 minutes (depending on type of bean). Let pressure release naturally before opening.