Bean Cooking Basics

Ever wonder how to cook your beans? Women’s Bean Project has you covered. Here are some bean cooking basics from our friends at Kelley Bean Company:

Slow soak: Soaking dry beans in water overnight isn’t really necessary.

Fast soak: Boil dry beans for a couple of minutes and let them soak for one hour before cooking.

Faster soak: Boil dry beans over medium heat for 10 minutes. Soak, covered, for 30 minutes. Cook.

Cooking: Drain well. Add 2 cups water per 1/2 cup presoaked dry beans. Cook for about 1 hour. If the beans aren’t presoaked, lengthen the cooking time by 1 hour. Skim off the scum that surfaces during cooking.

Exceptions: Lentils and split peas don’t need presoaking. Just wash and drain, then follow cooking instructions as directed.

Crockpot Method: This is a great method to cook beans. No soaking necessary! Place washed and sorted beans in the crockpot with enough water to cover the beans by at least three inches. For all day cooking, cook on low. For half day cooking, cook on high. Season the beans before you cook them (if desired) but do not add tomatoes (or any other acidic ingredients) until the beans are cooked.

4 Comments: View or leave one of your own!


  • Jill says:

    Made this and it was delicious, thank you!

    • Scott Anderson says:

      We’re so glad that you found this helpful and it led to deliciousness Jill!

  • Debbie says:

    I could never cook tender beans to my satisfaction until I took a cue from America’s Test Kitchen and brine the beans in a little salt with a first soak (however long I have), then, rinse off the salt and place in the pot with liquid to cook. Great every time. I love beans!

  • Cathy Hubbard says:

    I did the 2 minute boil last night but then left them to soak overnight before fully cooking today. Is that a problem? They smell a little stronger even after the rinse.