Friday, January 29, 2010

How to Cook Dried Beans

I will start by saying that I am in no way a bean expert. I just discovered how to cook 'em up about 6 months ago. When I was dreaming up my blog, this was number one on the list of things to write about. You are probably reading this thinking, wow, this girl is weirder than I first thought...what is so great about beans. Well, besides that fact that they are the magical fruit... canned beans can get expensive, and this tip can save you a lot of money!

Another plus is it will make you feel very homemaker-ish, at least it did me! I was so proud of myself for doing this. I think this would probably be second behind cooking "THE big meat". It's the small victories that excite me! The day I made my first pot of beans, I think I told my husband like 10 times what I had done...just waiting for some praise, thinking he would be really impressed this time. (I think he just thinks I am weird, too???)

Anyways, I cooked up black beans this time...since I needed them for my Mexican lasagna. Black beans are a little pricier than other beans, but they are still a steal! I paid $.99 for a 1 pound bag of dried beans...and it net about 5-6 cups cooked beans. Black beans run around $.79 a can here, and they contain approximately 1 1/2 cups of beans. So, I calculated that dried beans are roughly 1/3 of the cost. To me, that is worth the time. It takes a long time, but not a lot of attention. The best way to do it is to make several bags at the same time.

There are all kinds of methods to cooking beans, here is what works for me...

Empty beans into a colander and rinse, rinse, rinse!
Pour into a stock pot and cover with water (about 8-10 cups per 1 pound of beans)! Oh, and any beans that float need to be discarded.

Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Cover the pot and remove from heat! Let the beans sit for about 1-2 hours. (Now go paint your nails or something while you wait)

Drain the beans into the colander and rinse, rinse, rinse, again. Pour them back into the pot and fill up with water (a couple inches over beans).

Boil with lid tilted for a couple of hours, until tender. (you just have to try one to tell if it is right)
It will probably take 1 1/2-2 hours. that they are done...bag them up and throw them in the freezer. I measure mine in 1 cup portions because that seems to be the most common measurement I use.

This post is linked to Frugal Fridays at


Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for you to post about this girlie... I definitely think this is my "big meat"... my Nanny (grandma) ALWAYS buys dried beans and I never have watched her make them... So, I definitely want to make my own beans and impress her... AND OF COURSE, SAVE money! Thanks so much!

Misty said...

I forgot... does the cooking apply to all other types of beans too?

Katie said...

Misty,The cooking has been the same for all the beans I have cooked. You could even cook several types together if you wanted to use them in chili or taco soup!

~Alison~ said...

I just cooked dry beans twice in just the past couple of months. First I made pinto beans (in the crock pot) and the second time I made black beans (on the stove).

I love the satisfaction of knowing I can do this! My husband thinks I am nuts, he'd rather just buy the canned beans, canned broth, etc.

Jackie said...

I do the same thing with beans...for me, the trick to do the process right away, when you get home from the store, or I don't ever get around to it. :)

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