Cooking Dried Beans

  • Sort and wash beans, discarding any that look shriveled or discolored.
  • To shorten cooking time, soak beans in water overnight or at least 6 to 8 hours, changing the water at least once before cooking time.
    • To reduce the soaking time to 1 to 2 hours, start with boiling water
    • No soaking is required for lentils, black-eyed beans, or split peas
  • Drain the beans and put them in a pot with fresh, unsalted water. Add seasonings that suit your taste or are in your recipe.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and keep the water at a simmer, not a full boil, to keep the beans from breaking up.
  • Cook for 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the variety of the bean.
    • Soaked beans-about 90 minutes to cook
    • Not soaked-up to 2 hours
    • Black-eyed beans can be cooked in about an hour
    • Lentils and split peas are ready in about 30 to 45 minutes
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