Cooking Dried Beans

Category Cooking Tips
Using dried beans can be much cheaper and healthier than using canned but they do take a bit more time to soak and cook. This is a page about cooking dried beans.
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May 5, 2009

Bulk beans are so much cheaper than buying canned beans, it always takes a little planning though, and in the past I'd always forget. Not anymore, I have a big yogurt container boldly marked "BEANS" that I keep filled with soaking beans in the refrigerator all the time.

When I make a pot of beans, I've made it a habit to clean the container, refill it with beans and water, then put it back in the fridge. In a few days when I want to make beans again, they are ready to cook.

Now, I make beans at least once a week, so this works very well, and the beans don't go bad. It's healthier too. I know what I put in my beans and don't have to read a label to double check ingredients.

I try to keep at least one cup of beans soaking, but usually two. Cover the beans with equally the same amount of water if not more. Sometimes after a couple days I will check them to make sure the beans haven't soaked up all the water and will add more.

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Here is my favorite easy bean recipe:

Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Rinse your soaked beans in a colander. Dump them into a large stock pot and cover by about an inch-two inches more of water.

  2. Boil on medium heat until soft, but not squishy. Usually for about an hour. Check on them occasionally to ensure water level stays above beans and that you don't burn them.
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  3. Put oil, all spices, and garlic into a frying pan on medium heat and fry for about a minute.

  4. Add diced onions and peppers to oil and fry for another minute or two until just soft, and remove from heat.

  5. Dump beans into colander and rinse again, then return to pot.

  6. Mix beans, diced tomatoes, and onion spice mixture together.

  7. Add rice or quinoa and one cup of water. Cover.

  8. Heat back to a slow boil for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally until rice/quinoa have cooked thoroughly.

Serve with chips as a snack, with tortillas and taco fixings, or eat as a main dish.

By Mara

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Most people love a great chili or baked beans, but most people don't know how to identify the beans in any dish. Beans are a great way to stretch your food budget and can feed a crowd.

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They are a great source of protein and when teamed with rice or other grains, meat, or cheese they make a complete protein. Beans are full of good carbohydrates along with being a great source for iron and calcium. With fiber galore, beans aid the digestion process. Beans are great for people who suffer from osteoporosis or anemia and because they slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal they are a good choice for diabetics. Beans are also high in antioxidants. This article is going to give you lots of good information on beans and what the different kinds are.

Bean Varieties

Adzuki: These beans are used in Asian cuisine and are popular in Japanese cooking for confections. These are small, reddish-brown beans, rounded in shape with a point at one end. They have a distinctive white ridge along one side. They have a strong, nutty, sweet flavor. Adzuki beans can be purchased whole or powdered at Asian markets and are used to make red sweet bean paste.
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Cooking Time: 3/4 to 1 hour

Anasazi: These beans are small kidney shaped purple and white beans in the same family as pinto beans. These heirloom beans are sweet, fast-cooking, and reputed to cause less flatulence than other bean varieties. They're great for making refried beans.

Cooking time: 2 hours

Black: These beans are small ovals with deep black skins they have a dark cream to gray flesh and have a mild sweet texture and taste. They are some times called Turtle beans. These beans are a staple of Latin American and Caribbean cuisine, where they're used to make side dishes, soups, bean dips, and salads. They have a strong, earthy flavor, so they're often combined with strong spices.

Cooking Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Black-Eye: These beans are kidney shaped and they have a white skin with a small black eye and have a flavor all their own. These are used in Southern cooking and African cooking. They are also called cowpeas or black eyed peas. These small beans cook quickly and require no presoaking.

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Cooking Time: 1/2 to 1 hour

Cannellini These are large white beans, about 1/2" long, with a firm texture and skin and a nut-like flavor. They are also know as White Kidney beans and can be used just like kidney beans. Cannellini beans are used in Italian dishes but are also great in bean salads or soups.

Equivalents: 1 cup dried beans yields 2 1/2 cups cooked beans

Cooking time: 1 hour

Cranberry: These beans are usually white or cream in color with deep red or cranberry marks that are distributed in different patterns on the bean that disappear on cooking. The flavor of this bean has a nut like taste that is comparable to a chestnut. These are use in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese food.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 3/4 to 1 hour

Garbanzo: These beans are beige to pale yellow but also can be green, red or brown. Garbanzo beans have a delicious nutlike taste and a texture that is buttery, yet somewhat starchy and pasty. They are also called chickpeas and are used in Middle Eastern, Indian dishes like hummus, falafels and curries.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Great Northern: These beans are a flat, kidney-shaped, medium-sized bean, that is white in color. They have a mild flavor that is delicate which takes on the flavors of other foods which they are cooked. They are used in French cooking in cassoulet, in soups and stews and are the beans used in Boston baked beans.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 3/4 to 1 hour

Kidney (Light Red): These beans are large and kidney-shaped. They have a full bodied flavor which is robust and a soft texture. These beans are popular in Caribbean cuisine and often paired with rice.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 to 1/2 hours

Kidney (Dark Red): These beans are large, kidney-shaped, deep reddish-brown in color. They have a robust full bodied taste with a soft texture. They are used in chili and 3 bean salad and are the beans used in red beans and rice.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Lima (Baby): These beans are flat shaped and creamy white in color and have a rich buttery flavor. They are used in southern cooking where they are a mainstay and in soups, stews and casseroles or can be cooked as a side dish cooked with herbs and spices.

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Lima (Large) : These beans have a flat shape and are ivory color in color. They have a smooth and creamy sweet taste. They are also called Butter beans in the south. They are a good substitute for potatoes or rice; excellent in soups, casseroles.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

Navy: These beans are small white ovals. They have a mild flavor and a powdery texture. They are also called pea beans and are used in pork and beans and baked beans but are most famous used in soups like Senate Navy bean soup.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Pink: These beans are small, pale-pink and turn reddish brown when cooked. They have a rich and meaty flavor and a slightly powdery texture. They are a relative of the kidney bean and are used in southwestern chili and any where a small bean is desired.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Pinto: These beans are medium ovals that have mottled beige and brown coloring that turn brown when cooked. These beans are used in Mexican cooking and can also be used to make pork and beans and refried beans.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Small Red: These beans are dark red in color and they are similar to red kidney but smaller. They also have a flavor similar to red kidney beans. These beans are also called Mexican red beans. They hold both there shape and firmness when cooked. They are used in soups and salads and chili and creole dishes.

Equivalents: 1 pound beans = 2 cups dried beans = 4-5 cups cooked beans.

Cooking Time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

This article can be printed out and put in a notebook for future reference. Hope you enjoy this article and I hope this helps you the next time you are in the store staring at all the different beans. Also try your health food or natural food stores they can some more unusual beans for you to try.

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June 8, 2004

Beans, beans, the frugal fruit, the more you eat them, the more you save money! Actually beans are a legume but there is no question that they are a frugal staple in any diet.

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March 17, 2013

This tip is so simple, yet it has saved me many dollars and much time.

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As a southern gal, I must have pinto beans every now and again cooked by me and not from a can. Since I got old and my hands became arthritic, it was difficult to rinse the beans and lift the slow cooker or large bean pot to pour off the water used for washing.

Cooking Pinto Beans

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Always clean and soak your legumes overnight. The next morning rinse, add water and bring to a rapid boil for 5 minutes then lower the heat to medium and let it cook. It cooks well. Don't add salt while it is boiling, because its delays the cooking process.

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January 10, 2005

Cut the cooking time way down on dried beans by soaking overnight, then freezing them in usable quantities. Then cook them by boiling them until soft. The freezing breaks down some of the cell fibers allowing them to cook more quickly.

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Meat is a delicacy in our house. It's better for our budget. This is how I make my weekly pot of beans. The recipe is vegetarian, but still comes out thick and gooey.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

June 17, 2020

Instead of using the crock pot to cook beans, can I use the "Little Dipper?"

Answers

June 17, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

The Little Dipper is a warmer, it is good for warming and low heating. Unless your beans are pre cooked, this warmer will not cook them from raw state. A average crock pot takes hours for cooking dried or fresh beans.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 17, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do not think it would be a good idea as it really is just a 'warmer'.
This container does not have a dial or gauge and heats to only one low temperature.

Here is a comment from their website.

"Little Dipper Warmer portable slow cooker gently heats dips and sauces to warm temperatures."

It can also be used to warm chocolate.

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June 18, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Litle dippers are not a cooker at all but were made to warm up food or keep food warm. They were not designed to cook beans in and would not work at all. You will either need to cook the beans in a crockpot or on the stove first then you can move them to the little dipper to keep them warm when serving them.

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What, in people's experience, is the best/easiest way to cook dry bulk beans so that they are actually soft? I'm trying to release dependence on canned goods because of the cost, but I get mixed results at best and it always seems to take for ages.

Thanks in advance.

Answers

May 14, 20181 found this helpful
Best Answer

As you transition from using canned beans to preparing dry beans, youll need to make some adjustments in your cooking style. While cooking dry beans takes more time than opening a can and pouring beans into a pot, much of the time is actually hands-free time. I have found that soaking the beans overnight, draining them and putting them in a pot to cook for 45 minutes or more is the best way to achieve soft beans. The precise cooking time varies and may take as much as an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. It will take approximately 8 hours to cook them in a slow cooker. When the skin on the beans splits and curls, youll know the beans are done. You can let the beans cool then put some in freezer bags for later use. Grabbing a bag from the freezer is almost as convenient as opening a can.

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Can I pre-soak dried beans and then can them for later use? It takes so long to soak beans but I like to make chili often. I'm looking for a way to speed things up a bit and I think this might do it

imama2many

Answers

February 19, 20080 found this helpful

yes you can pre soak beans.I have cooked them and froze them for a quick meal for chilli.
Worked good.

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By Anne (Guest Post)
February 19, 20080 found this helpful

I've also heard of dehydrating beans. It's quicker to reconstitute the dehydrated beans than to soak the dried beans. Check it out! Good Luck :)

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By Louise Z (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

What I do I saw in the Mennonite cookbook. Soak beans overnight and in the morning, drain them and place in canning jars, add boiling water, the lids, and the pressure can them. Do not fill way up to the top, as the beans will swell more as they cook in the canner. I have done several different kinds and now have beans whenever I need them without preservatives and salt. also saving the landfill of tins.

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By Dee. (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

I never soak the beans. My mother told me a faster way. Put them in a pot with hot water and boil hard for about 20-30 minutes, adding water as needed, with the lid off. After that, add enough hot water to the pot, bring to a boil, put lid on. Cook about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Much easier that soaking, and better flavor.

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By Winterbird (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

What I do when I go grocery shopping and buy dry beans. Once home the beans go to the freezer to stay until I am ready to use them. Then when ready I put the water on to boil. Once boiling I put in the frozen beans. It navy beans are done in less then a hour and the brown beans in 2 hours.

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I make a lot of soups that call for beans, all different kinds. It gets quite expensive to use the canned beans. I have tried dried beans and have never been able to get them to the consistency of the canned type. I have soaked them overnight and then cooked them. They seem to stay hard or fall apart. Does anyone have the secret for cooking dry beans?

By Rose Smith from Malvern, PA

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November 23, 2012

I've been using them for years, but it seems lately, I can't get the beans to the right texture. I've been doing the quick soak method. Should I try the overnight method? Any other suggestions?

I've seen some recipes where you use the crockpot when you make a bean soup. It calls for overnight soak and then cooking the beans with all the ingredients. I always thought that you needed to cook the beans separately until they were done and then add to the recipe. I make a lot of recipes with beans. Thanks!

By mindy from Terrebonne, OR

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December 17, 2013

Can I remove salt from a pot of cooked dry beans?

By Mavie

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November 30, 2012

Do you treat split dried pinto beans the same as you would regular pinto beans?

By Judy N

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May 19, 2013

This page is about cooking dried beans in a slow cooker. Crockpot cooking will help create a tender pot of beans.

Dried pinto beans.

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