My ultimate guide on cooking dry beans + an unpopular trick
Many people, me included, prefer canned beans instead of cooking dry beans. It saves a lot of time and effort, no doubt about that. Instead of soaking and boiling, just open a can and you’re good to go. I know, we’ve all been there.
These are drawbacks to cooking dry beans. However, there are also three reasons to choose them.
- First off, it’s cheaper. No doubt about it. You can buy a pound’s worth of dry beans for the price of a can.
- Also, it’s healthier. Avoiding preservatives is always better.
- Lastly, you have much more variety. Canned beans are offered in only 3-4 types, as opposed to tens of dry beans available out there – red, white, black-eyed, green, etc. Many different kinds of beans add much needed protein to your diet.
You can also see more info in The Beans Institute article on Dry vs Canned beans.
Do I have you convinced? I would say it’s worth a try. So, without further ado, this is my ultimate guide for cooking dry beans.
Step 1 – Rinse
You absolutely must rinse any type of dry bean you buy before cooking. You don’t know where they’ve been stored and in what conditions. Rinsing will remove any harmful dust or dirt and prepare you for the next step. I usually rinse my beans a couple of times.
Step 2 – Soak
There has been some debate on the soaking part recently. Some people say that it’s a waste of time and makes the whole process much more complicated.
Honestly, I do not agree. Soaking is one of the most importants steps in cooking beans and should not be skipped. It helps de-gas and makes cooking dry beans faster.
How to soak beans?
Soaking is a simple, but important step. You will need a clean pot, preferably with a cover, beans and cold water. Pour your beans in the pot and fill up with enough water to cover the beans and at least a couple inches on top. Soak anywhere from 3 hours to overnight.
After soaking, the beans will have doubled their volume and will be softer and easier to cook. You may also be able to peel them if you wish.
Don’t forget to rinse well again after soaking. This is crucial in removing any bloating or gas-causing chemicals in the beans.
Step 3 – Secret trick – change the water in which the beans are boiled
This is my unpopular trick. It’s very important not to skip this step.
When your beans are soaked and rinsed, you can put them on the stove and start boiling. For now, no need to add any salt or other spices, as you will be changing the water in which they’re boiling.
I strongly recommend to change the water the beans are boiled twice. Bring the water to boiling and leave for 30 mins. Then remove from the stove, pour away the boiling water (careful!) and rinse. Pour fresh water to cover the beans fully and repeat the process.
Step 4 – Final cooking and seasoning
Now that you have changed the water twice, you can season with salt, herbs and vegetables. Finish cooking your beans to your liking. Soups, stews – there are so many options!
Need ideas? You can check my recipe for bean soup:
Did you make this recipe? Show me your photos in the comments below or share with your friends!