Bean Basics Article - Allrecipes.com
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Bean Basics

Beans have so much going for them. They're easy to prepare, healthy, and go a long way on not much money.




Canned vs. Bulk Beans

Canned beans offer the convenience of being fully cooked and ready to add to any recipe--perfect for the busy home cook. And you can modify your recipe to account for any seasonings canned beans may contain (check the labels to see what's been added).

When you scoop beans in bulk, you'll often have more choices than the canned offerings. You'll also have control over how your beans are cooked: Canned beans usually contain salt and other spices or seasonings.

Store dry beans in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.


Soaking Beans

For the best results, soak your beans overnight.

Full Soak 

  • Rinse beans in cold water, picking out any shrunken ones as well as pebbles or grass (beans are very much a product of the earth and even the highest-quality brands may have dust and little rocks in them).
  • Place in a pot with at least three cups of water for every cup of beans--refrigerate overnight.
  • Discard any beans that float to the top--these are most likely hollow or damaged in some way. 


In a time pinch? Do a quick-soak about an hour beforehand.

Quick Soak:

  • Rinse and pick through beans, then place them in a pot with enough cold water to cover them by two inches.
  • Bring to a boil, cap the pot with a snug-fitting lid, remove from the heat and let sit for one hour.
  • You can either keep the cooking water and proceed with your recipe, or you can drain the beans and start again with fresh water.

Note: The exception to the soaking rule is lentils. These are so small that they don't need to be soaked at all. Just rinse and cover with plenty of water, then simmer for about half and hour.


    Cooking Beans

    When you're ready to cook the soaked beans, drain them, and cover them with fresh water.

    • Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
    • Check periodically and keep enough water in the pot so beans are always under at least ¼ inch of liquid.
    • Once soaked, beans will take between one and two hours to cook, depending on their size.

    Bean Recipe Collections:

    Comments
    SALLY 
    Jun. 27, 2009 8:11 pm
    Thanks Allrecipes.com for being ever so reliable with your information. I am about to make lentil soup tomorrow and went blank on the rinsing and storing process. It's wonderful having you at my finger tips.
     
    Jul. 9, 2009 4:55 pm
    Thanks for the tips. I couldn't remember the ratio of water to beans.
     
    vidyakrao 
    Aug. 9, 2009 6:44 pm
    I use a pressure cooker and it cooks the soaked beans in 15minutes, but the you will have to let the pressure cooker cool down slowly. At least it is economical because you are not cooking for 2 hours.
     
    Loco1 
    Aug. 15, 2009 7:54 am
    Your quick tip about volume of dry beans to use rather than canned beans has answered my question. Thanks Loco1
     
    ALTAG 
    Aug. 26, 2009 9:21 pm
    When cooking beans, quarter a couple potatoes and cook with the beans. When the beans are done remove the potatoes and discard. There will be little to no gas from eating the beans.
     
    Lee 
    Oct. 25, 2009 6:25 pm
    ALTAG, thank you!! I have been trying to remember some way to take gas out of the beans. Thank you!!
     
    Audrey 
    Nov. 26, 2009 10:01 pm
    I want to use dried beans in a crockpot but don't know if I need to cook them before they go in. I believe I have to soak them but do I also need to cook them?
     
    Dec. 10, 2009 2:30 pm
    I was scared to death to use a pressure cooker because I was afraid of it blowing up on me. Then a friend of mine showed me how to do it. She was making beans and ham and when it was done, she turned off the burner, picked up the pressure cooker and ran some cool water over the whole pan. As the pressure went down, the water got colder until all the pressure was gone. Amazed the heck out of me! Now I don't have a very large pressure cooker, and neither did she. It works very well and is faster than sitting there waiting for it to cool off on it's own. Mine is large enough to make enough green beans for two people. That's about 6 cups of water. My green beans turn out really nice. I hope this helps "Vidyakrao" with having to wait for the pressure cooker to cool off.
     
    Dec. 10, 2009 2:40 pm
    Audrey, When I make my beans in a crockpot, I have done it one of two ways. 1)soaked the beans all night, then added them to the crockpot with whatever I am cooking in them and 2) rinsed them off and added to crockpot and whatever I am cooking. What makes the difference for me in which way to do it, is how much time I have. If I am going to be gone 8 hours or more, I do # 2 and I cook them on high. If I want them, say in 5 hours, I do #1. I have never had to cook them before putting in the crockpot, unless I don't have at least 5 hours. Oh yes, if it's 5 hours I cook then on low. I hope this helps you.
     
    Dec. 13, 2009 4:41 pm
    My Mom cooked soaked pinto beans every week in her pressure cooker. So when I got married in 1971, she gave me a pressure cooker. I still cook many foods including beans in my pressure cooker. Although I did finally buy a newer cooker as it became difficult to find replacement rings for the old one.
     
    Jan. 3, 2010 6:55 pm
    Where can you buy a modern pressure cooker? I'm scared of pressure cookers myself, but my husband has one that's about 12 years old and he makes meals with it.
     
    Beth 
    Jan. 12, 2010 8:07 pm
    Every time I cook beans they turn out horrible. Dry grainy inside, skins not soft... But I follow the package directions which are essentially these. What am I doing wrong? I'd like to try in the crockpot. Any instructions on that. I'm hesitant to waste another pound of beans.
     
    janet 
    Jan. 13, 2010 1:45 am
    after cooking can beans be frozen I live alone like beans but can not eat a whole bag myself
     
    Kay 
    Jan. 13, 2010 7:04 pm
    Beth, the beans may be old. Even dry beans age, and can't be cooked to a good consistency. I've had my best beans when I buy them just a few weeks before using them.
     
    Kathi 
    Jan. 13, 2010 11:46 pm
    Janet, I cook large amounts of zesty black or pinto beans in my pressure cooker and then I put them in 2 cup containers to freeze and use later for burritos & tacos instead of opening up a can of refried beans. My family loves the flavor, they cost about fifteen cents instead of a dollar and I control what goes in them. I've even thawed and consumed beans that have been frozen for over a year that haven't been compromised on flavor or texture at all.
     
    Lores 
    Jan. 14, 2010 12:15 am
    I have been cooking dry beans for 50 years and never drain my soaking water. I pick and wash them 2 to 3 times before I cover them to soak. I have never understood why discard this water as I feel that it has nutrients from the beans. Is there a reason to discard the water if the beans are already clean?
     
    bidaoiz 
    Jan. 14, 2010 7:32 am
    For the people to scare used the pressure cooker they can use the slow cooker over night. The beans will be soft and ready to use on any recipe in the morning.
     
    MistyK 
    Jan. 14, 2010 8:26 am
    Kathi - I love your idea about cooking and freezing beans instead of buying the expensive refried beans. You said "zesty" - what seasonings do you use in cooking the beans? I always use my crockpot for cooking beans - scared to death of pressure cookers, I remember once, when I was pretty little, seeing my mom's stew stuck to the ceiling...LOL
     
    Frances 
    Jan. 16, 2010 6:22 pm
    I put the dry beans and water in the slow cooker at night with some chopped onion. In the morning I heat a can of Rotel (tomatoes with chiles) in the microwave and add to the beans with some bacon and a bit of salt. I've always heard to not add anything cold to the pot while it is cooking and don't add salt while soaking. Old wives tales, maybe, but I am an 80 yr old wife. LOL
     
    danab 
    Jan. 21, 2010 7:55 pm
    I cook my beans overnight in the crockpot (on low) - just mix handfuls of different types and cover very well with water - they will expand about 3-4x their starting size. I do drain the water in the morning and add whatever I intended for the meal (if it is soup, or chili) and cook in the crockpot on low all day. One thing I don't do is add any salt in the first cooking of beans (the overnight) as it does harden the skins quite a bit. The beans never get thoroughly mushy this way (in crockpot) having a firm but cooked consistancy. You can definitely freeze beans after that first overnight cook and use later as "instant" beans in recipes. I love the crockpot for cooking dried beans - and as a working single mom of 3 growing preteen/teens - it can be a real time/work/money saver!
     
    Kimberley 
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:10 pm
    Thank you for the info, I have made baked beans before. Then I started reading a book that clearly is influencing me to look at what I am actually eating. I see that it is important to obtain the minerals and fibre, etc. from our beans. Dried beans are such a great product, full of goodness and great on my pocket book. Thanks again.
     
    terry 
    Feb. 5, 2010 1:10 pm
    I am looking for a good recipe for leftover ham&bean soup if anyone has one i hate throwing them out i notest that when you leave the beans set all the liquid comes to the top i read alot and use alot of recipes that all of the people send they are the best thanks terry
     
    jake 
    Feb. 9, 2010 10:40 am
    these beans are scrumdiddlyumptious. they dont call them the musical fruit for nothing. goodbye
     
    Kate 
    Apr. 21, 2010 6:11 am
    I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong since the directions for soaking beans are so simple. I soaked a cup of black beans in 4 cups of cool water but did not refrigerate...after 24 hours there were still hard. It seemed all the soaking did was leach the color from the black beans. I wanted to use the beans for a fresh salad so no cooking would be involved. Do soaked beans usually need to be used in dishes that require cooking?
     
    May 19, 2010 12:01 pm
    Kate, Even soaked beans have to been cooked. The soaking just helps speed up the cooking process.
     
    thirdredwall 
    Jun. 11, 2010 9:49 am
    If you cook your beans with a 2-3 inch strip of khombu (seaweed) it will eliminate gas. Seaweed is a mineral-rich super food that you can also cook with your pasta & rice to make it more healthy. It doesn't have any taste & you can throw it out after cooking, or I like to chop it up & leave it in my stews and soups :)
     
    Cher 
    Aug. 28, 2010 5:00 pm
    khombu isn't an ingredient one can readily find at the supermarket. use a cut up potatoe instead. potatoes are EASY to find at the supermarket and they serve the same purpose with beans.
     
    Sep. 13, 2010 6:23 pm
    Is there such a thing as soaking the beans too long? What would happen if I left them soaking for 20 hrs?
     
    Sep. 14, 2010 8:58 am
    Usually when beans turn out bad it's because you've added salt to the soaking water! When you do that you toughen the skins and the water is unable to penetrate the beans!
     
    Sep. 14, 2010 8:59 am
    They should be fine avoncalling!!
     
    LKLM 
    Sep. 19, 2010 10:59 am
    I just purchased a digital pressure cooker for cooking beans quickly!! But, do I have to soak the beans before cooking in the pressure cooker? The instructions with the appliance say 'yes soak' in one section and say 'no' in another section?! Which is it?
     
    Elaine 
    Oct. 6, 2010 6:39 am
    LKLM You can cook soaked or unsoaked beans in a pressure cooker. Soaked beans will take only 1/3 to 1/2 the time of unsoaked ones. I can cook 1 cup of unsoaked beans in my pressure cooker in 10 minutes (start timing once the pressure gauge pops up), not including cool down time. If I soak the beans, I cook them for 5 minutes and then rapidly cool down the pressure cooker by running it under cold water.
     
    Judy A 
    Oct. 8, 2010 2:15 am
    A healthy pinch of nutmeg added to the beans while cooking brings out the flavor.
     
    justagirl 
    Oct. 14, 2010 3:31 am
    One small comment about not cooking the dry beans that you add to a slow cooker recipe - kidney beans should always be boiled for at least 10 minutes due to a toxin in the bean. It won't kill you but it could make you sick so kidney beans have to be cooked for 10 minutes before going in a slow cooker.
     
    dancindoc 
    Dec. 17, 2010 2:56 pm
    i will confirm that kidney beans must have some kind of toxin. i was soaking them for about 4 hours and they looked so good i ate about a dozen, like eating a handful of peanuts,and they tasted good,,,but omg, i was very sick about 6 hours later :(
     
    Dec. 27, 2010 3:10 am
    I cook dried beans all the time and have never ever soaked them. Takes a little longer to cook but the taste and texture are the same.
     
    Dec. 27, 2010 9:38 am
    I sort and rinse my beans then put them in a pot and cover with at least two inches of water. I add about about a tablespoon of baking soda to the water and bring the beans to a boil. Boil for two minutes. Then I add cold water (so I don't scald myself with the steam on the next step) and drain the beans and rinse to remove any skins. I repeat this process two more times. This takes out the gas and replaces the soaking process. (It also maybe takes out the kidney bean toxins? I have kidney beans in all the bean mixes I make and have never had any issues with illness.) I also always put the beans in the crockpot with fresh water after boiling and rinsing them and bring them to a boil on high and then adjust them to low and cook them overnight (I do this whole process after the evening meal).
     
    Dec. 27, 2010 3:37 pm
    I've had this on the blog but did not get an answer. My hubby has kidney disease and is diabetic. We are waiting for a kidney transplant. In the mean time my hubby can't eat beans. I love beans and miss them very much. When a recipe calls for beans is there a substitute I can use? Thanks
     
    Dec. 31, 2010 11:52 am
    Thank you all recipes and everyone! I soaked my beans first; then I cooked them in the pressure cooker (I was afraid they would bubble over) and they coked fantastic when I have time I will put them in the slow cooker and give it a try.
     
    lechef 
    Jan. 1, 2011 4:45 am
    Happy New Year!!! There really isn't any need to soak beans prior to cooking them. Give it a try some time.
     
    Jan. 1, 2011 9:38 am
    Lechef, I don't understand, it softens the beans to soak them overnight or atleast 6 hrs. They puff up and make it easier to cook with them and NEVER! I repeat NEVER add salt to the beans as they cook, it will stop their softening process! Enjoy! Your creative offerings and HAPPY 2011~ EVERYONE! Be CREATIVE!
     
    DeborahM 
    Jan. 1, 2011 10:40 am
    I discovered that cooking the beans on low heat rather than high actually makes them cook FASTER. Also, beans cooked slowly in a cast iron dutch oven taste better than in a crock pot.
     
    Jan. 1, 2011 1:35 pm
    houndawg, I don't know why your hubby can't eat beans, but you might try subbing Hominy for beans in some recipes. Or maybe use lentils for the beany taste. Because beans are mostly used for their starchiness and protein, think starch when trying substitutes, like potatoes, corn, etc. I hope this helps. You might even try edamame beans, which are actually soy beans. This might be acceptable because while they are legumes, they come from soybean plants. Not sure about that so you should check with a nutritionist on what could substitute.
     
    givememore 
    Jan. 1, 2011 6:54 pm
    I'm so glad for all of these tips because I just cooked beans for my chili and the beans were so hard. Next time, hopefully they would be so much better.....Thanks everyone and HAPPY New YEar!!!!!
     
    Sarah 
    Jan. 3, 2011 8:46 am
    My dad has polycystic kidney disease and has to avoid food like beans because of their high potassium content. I've inherited the PKD, but so far my kidneys work fine. I'm curious as to what I can use in place of beans when the kidneys go south, and I'll miss them, too. I'll be hunting on the internet for info on this today, just so I'll know. If I find out something useful, I'll comment later on it. It stinks that so many of my favorite foods are so high in potassium (beans, coffee, chocolate, etc.) and will one day be verboten or at least severely limited.
     
    Sassy 
    Jan. 10, 2011 3:11 pm
    With kidney disease it takes awhile to get to know the renal diet. It almost seems like it is completely opposite of the regular diet. A lot of the things that are good for you are actually bad for the renal patient. High potassium, high phosphorus, whole grain, calcium, lots of water,...all bad for kidney patients. Try info at the website, DaVita.com. Hope this helps.
     
    BrenRN 
    Jan. 11, 2011 10:57 pm
    When using dried beans in recipes calling for canned beans (w/o draining them) how do you know how much liquid to add to the recipe? I really don't want to use canned beans, but don't want to end up w/gloppy chili b/c of not having enough liquid. Never made chili before - so I'm going out on a limb here - even taking it to work party... HELP!!! :)
     
    patsgirl 
    Jan. 12, 2011 5:35 pm
    Cans of beans only have about 1/2 Cup of liquid in them so as long as you add some salt or boullion to the water they should be okay.... Good luck!
     
    3dogmom 
    Jan. 22, 2011 4:42 am
    Help..I made a 17 bean soup, followed the directions, soaked, rinsed and proceeded to adding ingredients and cooking for an hour or til soft. I turned off after an hour, refrigerated after cool, and the beans are hard. I ham putting them back on stove to cook some more, will they get soft?
     
    geronimo 
    Jan. 28, 2011 6:18 am
    I grew up watching my mother make dried beans (no good Southern woman used canned beans!). She soaked them, or sometimes didn't, added cold water and cooked the until soft. Her beans always had a kinda thick water left and the beans were always perfect. I've tried so many differnt times and different beans but I can't get it the same. I just threw out a pot of beans this morning that didn't ocme out right. What could I possibly be doing wrong? Help!
     
    Feb. 18, 2011 8:07 pm
    Someone mentioned cooking a potato with the beans. I believe you can also cook them with some ground ginger?
     
    Aldinsgirl 
    Feb. 18, 2011 9:37 pm
    Add a small cayenne pepper to a pot of beans when they start to cook. It makes almost any bean taste better! A ham bone that was frozen from the last ham dinner adds much taste. When beans are almost done if you didn't use the ham bone with a bit of meat left on the bone for the great flavor, you may then season with sea salt or whatever pleases your palate.
     
    Jo 
    Feb. 19, 2011 6:14 am
    After doing extensive research onpressure cookers, I found the best one for my needs is "Fagor". Of stainless steel construction, the cooker is non-electric, which means I can adjust the heat, using either high or low and it works just as well on electric or gas stove tops. The lid locks in place and there is no danger of a "blow up". You can check it out at the web site:www.fagoramerica.com.
     
    Feb. 19, 2011 1:42 pm
    I have a Fagor pressure cooker and I love it. I can cook a roast, for pot roast, and it only takes about 45 minutes (for well done and you can cut it with a fork). You can also broast a chicken (just like KFC) in oil without the mess. I would highly recommend this cooker to everyone. It is more pricey than the others, but well worth it. I dropped my lid and broke off the handle. I called the company and they sent me a new one in 4 days. No problem getting parts. You also don't have to wait for it to cool down, you can open the lid immediately as it has a locking lid and is curved down so all the steam goes downward away from you. The best!
     
    Shirlyn 
    Feb. 20, 2011 12:09 pm
    I would like to get the recipe pictured next to the bean basics info. I can't seem to locate or download it, it looked like it had white rice, black beans, red beans & tomatoes (side dish?) or if you have something similar please and thank you!!!
     
    sheila 
    Feb. 22, 2011 8:18 am
    I have a secret - you see, no one in my home cares for beans - well maybe if they must in one of my soups, and hotdogs and baked beans seem to be ok - but other than that it would take a miracle for any of 'em to eat a bean of any kind. So, my secret? Beans go into nearly everything - I mash them, they go into meatloafs, lasagna's, hamburger nights, heck white beans even get mixed into mac and cheese! They stretch my meat dollars, they add nutrition, and as my family proudly proclaims (now this is the best part for me *tee hee*) - nothing tastes as good as when Mother makes it.
     
    biglizqotwf 
    Mar. 24, 2011 10:50 pm
    i'm hoping you guys can help! growing up, my mom always made these bean concoctions that i hated. the house would end up smelling dusty, and even the beans tasted dusty. when my bf tried his hand at making beans, same thing. have you guys experienced the dust taste, and how do you avoid it? i'm wanting to make bean and bacon soup so i can make a pork-free version for my fav meal.
     
    Apr. 19, 2011 1:10 am
    One reason to drain your soaking water and start fresh is this: As the beans soak, most of the complex sugars that can contribute to gas and tummyache leach out into the water. Drain it away and start with fresh water for your comfort, as well as those around you. *^_^*
     
    EclecticCook 
    Apr. 27, 2011 1:03 pm
    Some recipes say to cook beans in the soaking water, others say to pour it off and cook in fresh water. My experience is that draining and adding fresh water (no matter what the recipe says!) helps a lot with the gassiness factor.
     
    May 3, 2011 3:56 am
    Thank you so much!! :)
     
    Jul. 18, 2011 10:09 am
    have a question.. is there a way to soak beans and cook in crockpot all at same time? During hte week I do not have time do soaking and then cooking of beans. Would love to be able to put them in crockpot and let them cook while I am at work, only thing is they would need at least 8 hours. Is this possible without winding up with mushy beans? Thanks!
     
    Aug. 30, 2011 9:16 am
    I found this very ueful info for degassing beans and have used it all the time! It really works! We have incoorporated beans into our diet at least three days a week. "DE-GASSING BEANS The USDA has done a lot of research to try and get the gas-causing element out of beans. And British agriculturists are trying to breed a new variety of beans with the same goal. USDA work has led to a really simple procedure that eliminates fully 80% of the source of the problem. One of the complex sugars in beans is not broken down in the human stomach. It continues on to the lower intestine, where it causes the problem. The cooking technique for its removal is marvelously simple. Select a large enough pot to hold at least 3 to 4 times the volume of beans comfortably. Bring the water to a rolling boil while you are picking over the beans, removing pebbles and spoiled beans. Wash the beans and add to the kettle. Boil for only two minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and
     
    M Sharon 
    Jan. 4, 2012 8:49 am
    Cooked ham bone, removed bone and cooked soaked beans till soft. Now what kind of seasoning do I use? Sure wish my mom was still alive, and would love to ask her, i loved her beans.
     
    MZNANCY 
    Feb. 7, 2012 11:00 am
    Easy control of gas.........A tablespoon of peanut butter added to pot when starting final cooking. Horst Mager (famous German cook) shared this tip on his tv show.
     
    vmarker 
    Mar. 25, 2012 7:48 pm
    I know nothing about pressure cookers, but wondering about doing it because our foster kids get so many beans every month and I need to be able to make the equivalent amount to a can. Any suggestions as to how to get that would be great
     
    Apr. 18, 2012 8:20 pm
    I have cooked soaked beans in a crock pot for many years with great results, but have trouble with beans being uneven--some soft and some hard. Specific on times and amount of water to put soaked beans in the pressure cooker would be appreciated! Thanks.
     
    TangibleChaos 
    Sep. 13, 2012 9:45 am
    I often soak my beans overnight in my crockpot, and then in the morning drain and rinse my beans and put them back into my crockpot so they cook while I am at work. Hope that helps!
     
    captsteve 
    Nov. 1, 2012 12:56 pm
    Try this tip the next time you cook beans and dont want the uncontrollable embarrassing gas that follows that great meal. Soak your beans in pineapple juice for about two hours before cooking.
     
    Meem 
    Dec. 26, 2012 8:22 am
    Can I put a ham bone in my pressure cooker with the beans and liquid?
     
    LLTFKL 
    Jan. 1, 2013 7:18 pm
    do NOT ever run water over a pressure cooker to cool it that is just plain stupidy someone will get hurt badly move it off the burner and let it cool naturally
     
    trueandtried 
    Jan. 2, 2013 6:33 pm
    LLTFKL..........that his how the manuals of most if not all pressure cookers tell you todo for a quick cooldown to halt the cooking process.
     
    tlm41 
    Jan. 2, 2013 6:33 pm
    I cook beans in my pressure cooker. It's an electric one with choices of low pressure, high pressure, brown and saute. Just put the beans in with liquid and seasonings set the timer and walk away. Love doing it this way!
     
    Jan. 3, 2013 9:41 am
    when cooking beans I dont use the soak water, I always discard. personaly, I think doing that helps to cut down flatuance
     
    Jan. 21, 2013 4:27 pm
    i'm under the impression that 1 teaspoon of baking soda in the last boiling water in beans does away with the gas problem
     
    emma 
    Nov. 24, 2013 2:09 pm
    Cooking time also depends on your altitude. At sea level beans cook quicker than they do in Denver! Not sure if that applies to cooking them in a pressure cooker as well but suspect it does not.
     
    Joan 
    Dec. 29, 2013 1:44 pm
    FINALLY some one says you don't have to drain the water off of clean soaked beans. Been doing it for years but everyone seems to think it has to be drained.
     
    DarleneWhite 
    Apr. 28, 2014 3:40 pm
    Pouring off the original bean cooking water means pouring off the gas igniter. Start over cooking in fresh water.
     
    leoday 
    Apr. 29, 2014 4:13 am
    After sorting and rinsing the beans I put them in a slow cooker with a ham bone or I use low salt beef or chicken broth with added spices. I cook slowly until the beans are soft which removes the (gas) and adds flavor to the beans. Then I add the other ingredients.
     
    Marion 
    Apr. 29, 2014 5:53 pm
    I do it like Mama did. I soak pinto beans overnight after rinsing and sorting. Morning I pour off the soak water. Put in to large pot with a ham bone with lots of ham. NO spices for the first two hours on simmer. After they're going good and the beans are soft I add pickled sliced jalapeños with a little vinegar and about 1/2 cup of fresh salsa and dried parsley then cook on low about another hour. Add water if it starts to get too thick. We like our beans soupy. YUM
     
    meyati 
    Apr. 29, 2014 10:27 pm
    Don't add salt until the beans are thoroughly cooked, when at high altitude like the Rocky Mountains.
     
    Savta Patricia 
    Apr. 29, 2014 11:52 pm
    Just remember when cooking beans not to add salt because this makes them go hard. Add salt at the end once they are soft. I often soak my beans overnight and then freeze them until ready to be cooked.
     
    Apr. 30, 2014 7:21 am
    this also works for the dried John Copes corn used for instance in their baked corn casserole. Btw, I don't girnd the corn as the recipe suggests; I just put in as is. Soaked that is.
     
    May 12, 2014 9:51 am
    To remove about 80% of gas when I cook my beans, I put 2 Tablespoons of baking soda in the start of cooking. If I do not overnight soak them, I put them in a crockpot on hi for 3 hrs then turn them to low until done usually 3-4 hrs. I just recieved my new pressure cooker and am looking forward to cooking beans in it. Good luck to everyone!
     
    cookygramma 
    Jun. 21, 2014 9:24 am
    Thanks for the side note about lentils. I haven't used them for years and forgot if they need to be soaked before cooking . . . and how long to cook. Lots of Greek and East Indian recipes call for them and I want to get it right. Thanx again.
     
    tamara 
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:25 am
    You can add a few pinches of baking soda while cooking them in the crockpot, if 'dry inside' after cooking, just add baking soda and cook on low for another 45 min. (better than trashing the beans). Some people add a pinch or two to their beans to cut to the aftermath ("the gas").
     
     
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