Yesterday we talked about some of the reasons you might want to use dried beans, or even grow your own. Today I’ll share three methods for cooking dried beans. They’re not as time consuming as you might think, and the taste and texture is definitely worth it!
The Slow Cooker Method
I have made beans using the boil, drain, and cook again method (which I’ll describe in a minute), but this time I decided to try the crockpot method. After Googling around I decided to use the directions found at the blog A Year of Slow Cooking.
- The night before, dump the bag of beans in the slow cooker and cover with water to two inches above the beans. Let set overnight.
- The next morning, freak out because you put two packages in thinking it didn’t seem like that many beans and wonder how much bigger they’ll get. Drain and cover with water again plus 2-3 inches. Cook on low for 8 hours. Hope all day during work that they don’t escape.
- Sigh with relief when you get home. When the beans are “bite-tender,” drain and use right away or store in the refrigerator for a week or the freezer for 6 months.
The Traditional Method
From Simply in Season: Put the beans in a big pot with a ratio of 1 cup beans to 4 cups of water. Boil for 2 minute and let sit for an hour. Then, bring to a boil again and simmer until tender (about an hour and a half or so . . . I lost track of time). Voila! Beans ready for chili or the freezer.
Pressure Cooker Method (my favorite!)
Source: The Everything Beans Book
- 1 lb (about 2 1/2 C) dried beans
- 9 C water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp oil
- Rinse beans and place in pressure cooker with the rest of the ingredients.
- Bring pressure cooker up to pressure on high; start timer. In the case of white beans, let cook for 32 minutes. (Consult The Everything Beans book or Google for other bean type times)
- Let pressure release naturally (this can take another 15 minutes or so).
This results in a firmly cooked bean. Very nice!
Want to learn more about cooking and using beans? Check out The Everything Beans E-Book (affiliate link).