Here is (literally) everything you need to know about cooking dried beans at home. With a few tips, beans are really so easy, and there are literally hundreds of ways you can use them! The texture can't be beat, and you can always freeze what you don't use.
- 1 pound dried beans, such as chickpeas, great northern, cannellini, navy, or black beans
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 Sort through the beans: Pull out and discard any small stones or wrinkled or broken beans.
2 Soak the beans (optional): Place the beans in bowl. Cover with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover and leave on the countertop until you are ready to cook them the following day. Drain the water. Rinse the beans.
Alternatively, you can quick-soak your beans or skip soaking altogether; see above for a breakdown of these options.
3 Cook the beans: In a large pot set over medium high heat, add the beans (either soaked or unsoaked) and cover them with water until it reaches about 3 inches above the beans.
Bring the beans up to a boil, then reduce the heat to gentle simmer. Leave the pot uncovered and cook.
4 Salt the beans: After about 40 minutes, check a bean to taste it. If it’s firm, but tender, add 4 teaspoons of salt. Give the pot a gentle stir.
Continue cooking until the beans are creamy, but intact, about another 20 to 50 minutes.
Note: Total cooking time will vary based on the type of bean, the age, and whether you soaked or not. See total cooking time estimates in the headnotes above.
5 Store or serve: If serving immediately, drain the beans through a fine mesh sieve and place them in a bowl. Season as desired (see headnotes for suggestions) and serve.
If storing, allow the beans to cool completely in their liquid, and then store in their broth in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to three months.