What you need to know about cooking dried beans

Oct 01, 2020

What You Need to Know About Cooking Dried Beans

Where to Start

  • Always sort through the beans carefully and discard any small rocks you might find.
  • An easy method to do this sorting is to put the beans on a baking sheet and go through them.
  • My mama would put a small handful of beans in the palm of her hand and slowly let them drop through her fingers into the pot while looking for rocks.

Next Step

  • Rinse the beans and put them in a bowl.
  • Cover with water by 3 inches.
  • Soak the beans overnight.

How to Take the Gas Out of Beans...Silencing the Musical Fruit

  • Add 1 tablespoon epazote to a large pot of beans during the cooking process. OR...
  • Add 1 teaspoon baking soda to 4 quarts of water.
  • Stir in the dried beans and bring to a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and let the beans soak overnight.

The Next Day

  • Cook the beans in a stockpot, covered in freshwater with half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic smashed, dried chile pepper and any other fresh herb that suits the recipe you will be using the beans in.
  • As an example, when I make cannellini beans I add a bay leaf, sage leaves, crushed garlic cloves and black peppercorns.

 Cook Time

  • Cooking your dried beans may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours, depending on the age of the beans. Old beans, maybe from last year's crop will take longer.


  • I always reserve some of the bean cooking liquid when draining the beans.
  • Continue with the recipe.


  • Use the quick-soak method for cooking dried beans.
  • Put the beans in a heavy pot, cover generously with water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for an hour.
  • Drain the beans, return them to the pot, and continue as above, cooking them with half an onion, etc.



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