Cooking may vary with different types of beans, but this is a simple approach to cooking your beans and bringing out the best quality in the beans we all love!
- 1 pound dried beans, any kind
- 2 to 3 teaspoons salt (more to taste)
- Flavors added (optional): examples include bay leaf, garlic cloves, onion
- Soak the beans overnight, with an inch of water covering the beans. 12 to 24 hours is ideal for the beans.
- Drain the soaked beans, and gently rinse with water.
- Transfer beans to a cooking pot of choice such as a Dutch oven or other heavy cooking pot. If you are using added flavors add them now.
- Cover the beans with an inch of water. Bring them to a boil over medium-high heat. Once water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the beans to a simmer. *(Check notes for lid usage).
- Cook the beans for one hour, and then check for doneness. Beans will take between one hour and three hours depending on their age, size, and variety of the bean. Have patience. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged, while stirring occasionally.
- Add the salt towards the end of the process, when beans are just barely tender. Don't add salt at the beginning. Continue simmering until the beans are as tender and creamy as you like them. Add more salt to taste.
- Allow the beans to cool and add to recipe of choice. Store leftover beans in refrigerator containers with liquids to ensure proper storage and quality. Refrigerated beans will keep for about one week; Frozen beans will keep for about three months.
One pound of dry beans makes about five cups of cooked beans, equivalent to about 3 cans of canned beans. Leftover liquid from beans has useful flavors and nutrients. Use this liquid for storage purposes and as a base for soups and sauces.
*If you simmer beans in an uncovered pot, a more firm ending product will be made. This perfect for dishes like salads and pasta dishes.
Beans simmered in a pot with the lid on but slightly ajar are great in soups, burritos, and bean spreads, and will end up with a creamier finished product.