HOW TO COOK DRIED BEANS
- Pre-soak the dried beans (see our How to Soak Beans Guide for step-by-step instructions). After the beans have soaked for a sufficient amount of time, drain and discard the soaking water.
- In a large pot, add enough fresh water to the pre-soaked beans so that the water level is a few inches above the beans. A general rule of thumb is 3 parts water for 1 part beans.
- Bring the beans to a full boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Skim off any foam on the water surface with a spoon.
- Cover half of the pot with a lid, and let simmer for 1-1.5 hours. Check the water level occasionally to make sure there is still an adequate amount of cooking water. Add fresh water if the water level looks to low. If you think the beans are cooking too slowly, try adding a cup or two of water.
- Turn off the heat when the beans are finished cooking. You may leave them in the cooking water until you are ready to use them. You can also refrigerate them for up to two days in their original cooking water (allow them to cool before placing in the refrigerator
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Adding onions, hot peppers, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, olive oil, and herbs to the beans while they are cooking can greatly enhance their flavor. Try sauteing these things with a dash of oil in the pot before adding the water and pre-soaked beans.
- Do not add salt to the beans while they are cooking. Not only will this cause the salt flavor to concetrate and make the beans taste too salty, but it can make them tougher. Season with salt only after the beans have finished cooking.
- Cooking beans as slowly as possible produces a richer flavor and better texture.