ried beans are an affordable, pantry staple. They
expand when cooked, so you get more for less.
One pound ( 2 cups) dried beans makes about
6 cups cooked beans, the equivalent of a little
more than 4 cans of canned beans.
1. Rinse dried beans in a colander and check them for
any impurities, such as leaves, stones or twigs.
2. Soak your beans. There are three common methods of
soaking beans. The Traditional and Quick Soak methods
are on most packaging instructions, but if you buy in
bulk where you have no instructions on hand, it’s good
to know all three. Soaking has two major benefits: It
reduces the cooking time and it breaks down the
compounds in beans that cause flatulence. The longer
beans soak, the more the gas-producing compounds
break down. Depending on which soaking method you
use, your beans can triple in size, so it’s important to use
a large enough pot when soaking beans.
• Traditional Soak — Place beans in a large pot, cover
beans with cold water and soak overnight.
• Quick Soak — Place beans in a large pot and cover
using 6 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans.
Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat
and let sit for one hour.
• Hot Soak — Place beans in a large pot and cover
with 10 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans. Boil
for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for
3. Drain beans in a colander, rinse with cold water and
put in a heavy pot of a size appropriate to the amount
of beans you’re making.
4. Add water to cover beans by at least 2 inches. Bring to
a boil over high heat, skimming off the foam that rises
to the top.
5. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours.
Check occasionally and add more water if necessary.
(If water level is too low the beans on the top of the
pot will not cook as well as the ones on the bottom.)
Cooking times can vary according to the type and age of
the beans. To test for doneness, just eat a bean and see if
it’s soft to your liking.
If you are cooking beans to be used in soups, you will
want them to be tender, but not too soft. If you are
cooking beans to be used for hummus, you’ll want them
to be rather soft.
Save Money by