Dried beans have been getting a bad rap for a long time because of the lack of cooking methods. There are several methods to utilize. These methods will work for some cooks and would not work for others. Do you believe it’s about the ingredient and seasoning?
I am about to share a method that has always worked for me as long as I am not experimenting with an unknown beans brand. Yes, it is true!
I am sure you have thrown many beans pots away just because the beans either took too long to cook or turned into a porridge-like substance. I have been there. And it is frustrating when you feel that you are throwing money away.
Unfortunately, I cannot convince you that the beans brands I used have worked for me. I can share that brands like Goya Foods, Nature’s Promise from Stop&Shop, and 365 Everyday Value from Wholefoods have not let me down yet.
How to Cook Beans from Scratch
Cooking dried beans from scratch is not a science. You want to make sure that whatever food you are cooking is tasty.
Every time I watch the Cooking Chanel of Food Network, a chef is cooking pasta, and they will tell you that you need to season your pasta. By seasoning your pasta, they mean to salt the water. Well, use the same concept here, but not the salt.
Soaking is not always required. Cooking dried beans in a crockpot might be the easiest way if you make bean soup, for example. But if you have an excellent dutch oven pot or a stockpot you are in business.
I truly do believe in a dutch oven pot because the heat is evenly distributed. The heat does not have to be high. As long as you have the heat under the pot at low to medium heat you should be fine.
There are three steps to cooking beans from scratch.
- Sort the beans and remove any debris if any, rock or bad looking beans discarding any discolored or shriveled beans.
- Wash beans under room temperature water and drain
- Soak or cook immediately
Soaking or not soaking the Beans
There are 2 ways to soak the beans. A quick soak or overnight soak will work. Whatever method you choose will depend on the recipe and also the types of beans.
One important thing you must remember is never to add cold water. This might affect the cooking process of the beans.
Tips for Cooking Dried Beans and storing
There are a few things to remember when cooking beans from scratch.
- always clean and rinse the beans
- use a large pot with fresh water for boiling
- do not add salt to boiling water, the beans will be tough
- you may add parsley and garlic to boiling water
- cover and simmer the beans until tender but firm
- do not rush cooking by increasing the heat under the pot
- taste test or mash a couple of beans to make sure that they cook evenly
- most beans will cook 45 minutes to 2 hours
- if making beans puree, make sure beans have cooled off before pureeing in blender or food processor
- any boiled or cooked beans can be frozen up to one month.
- store in a freezer bag, BPA free plastic container or glass container