Dried beans can be soaked and then boiled, or boiled from dry. Soaking beans before boiling them is preferable because it reduces cooking time, ensures the beans are cooked-through evenly, preserves the nutritional value of the beans, and prevents intestinal discomfort or gas.
Beans can be cooked in a pressure cooker or regular saucepan. Using a pressure cooker has the advantage that it significantly reduces the required cooking time.
Materials & tools needed
- 1 cup dried beans
- 3 cups fresh water for soaking
- 4 cups fresh water for cooking
- Large Saucepan OR Pressure cooker
- stirring spoon
- Soak beans in water for approximately 8 hours.
- Discard liquid.
- Put beans and new water in a large saucepan and boil for 40 minutes (regular saucepan) or 15 minutes (pressure cooker) or until cooked. (Note: Cooking time varies for different types of beans; test beans every now and then to see if they are cooked (soft, like beans out of a can)). If cooking in a regular saucepan, leave the lid on during cooking, stir occasionally. If cooking in a pressure cooker, follow the instructions for your pressure cooker.
- Drain liquid.
- Use beans in a recipe, just as you would use canned beans (e.g. cook with spices or add to a soup).
Energy saving trick
- Soak beans
- Discard liquid.
- Put beans and new water in pot/container with lid and boil. (Have cardboard box filled with balled up newspaper as insulation) Carefully place pot with lid on into the box surrounded by the insulation. Close the box and open it an hour or two later.
- If still not fully cooked, some heat and water can be added.
- Advantage of method is not having to worry about burning the beans, saving energy, and not making the kitchen so hot.