8 Tips to Cook Beans
Once you know how to cook dried beans, you'll always have them on hand. They're cheap, nutritious, easy to make, and - most importantly - delicious! Canned beans are convenient, but in terms of affordability, taste, and texture, dried beans have them beat. If you’ve never cooked dried beans before, don’t let it intimidate you! My method for how to cook beans is an easy, hands-off process with a huge payoff. They come out soft and creamy, with a rich, aromatic broth surrounding them. Hot from the stove with a ladle of cooking liquid, they’re good enough to enjoy as a meal on their own!
1. Pick them over
Small stones or debris are often mixed in with dried beans, so sift through the beans before you cook them. Discard this debris along with any shriveled or discolored beans.
2. Soak It
Most beans must be soaked before cooking. Generally they should soak a minimum of four hours to ensure a shorter cooking time and prevent a loss of nutrients.
3. Skip The Soak
Some beans are ready to cook and don’t require soaking. If you want to cook right away, choose lentils or split peas.
4. Save The Salt
When cooking a pot of beans, wait until they are fully cooked before salting them. Salting early in the cooking process can harden the beans.
5. Thin Beans
If your pot of beans is too watery and thin, remove 1/2 cup of beans, mash them in a small bowl, pour them back into the pot, and stir to thicken.
6. Toss The Water
Throw out the water used to soak your beans and then use fresh water to cook them. This will reduce the risk of intestinal gas.
7 . Add seasonings & continue cooking.
When the beans have simmered for 30 minutes, season them with salt. Continue cooking until the beans are tender, adding more water if they begin to look dry. The cooking time could be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours more, depending on the size and freshness of your beans. I recommend checking them every 30 minutes.
8. Time to cook
Transfer the soaked beans to a large pot and cover them with 2 inches of water. If you’re using unsoaked beans, rinse them in a fine mesh strainer before you add them to the pot. Bring the water to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, discarding any foam that rises to the surface.