3 Simple ways to cook dry beans from scratch using the stovetop, slow cooker, and Instant Pot.
Pour dry beans into a colander or mesh strainer. Rinse under running water, then pick through them in case there are any small rocks or weird, shriveled beans. I'm not sure why we still have rocks in our beans in 2019, but let's just call it "more natural."
Transfer beans to a large bowl that is roughly three times the size of the beans. This will give the beans room to swell as they soak overnight.
Cover the beans with 3-4 inches of water. Cover, and let beans soak 8-12 hours.
OPTIONAL: If you can't cook them right after 12 hours you can soak them longer (see also de-gassing beans above). Simply strain, rinse, and fill the bowl with fresh water every 12 hours. I have soaked beans for up to 72 hours this way.
Strain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink. Pour them into a large stock pot and fill it with water or bone broth, covering them with 1-2 inches of liquid.
Bring beans to a boil on medium-high heat. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes, using a slotted spoon to skim off and discard any scum that rises to the top.
Cover stockpot, reduce heat, and simmer. The simmer should be very steady with plenty of small bubbles breaking the surface (but not a boil). Cook 1-3 hours (time depends on the kind of beans and age of the beans - check diligently after 1 hour), until beans are soft and can be easily mashed with the back of a fork. You may need to add more liquid as the beans cook, so check the pot regularly. Add the salt towards the end of the cook time.
Turn off the stove, remove the stockpot from heat, and let them cool.
Strain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink. Pour them into a large slow cooker and fill it with water or bone broth, covering them with 1-2 inches of liquid.
Cover the slow cooker and cook them on high for 6-8 hours (time depends on the kind of beans and age of the beans), until beans are soft and can be easily mashed with the back of a fork. You may need to add more liquid as the beans cook, so check the pot regularly. Add the salt towards the end of the cook time.
Unplug the slow cooker, and let the beans cool.
TIP: If the smell of cooking beans bothers you, some people plug the slow cooker into their garage or a spare room where it can cook without offending anyone. I have also found that adding plenty of onion and garlic helps add flavor to the beans and makes the smell more appealing.
Strain and rinse the beans in a colander in the sink. Pour them into the Instant Pot fill it with water or bone broth, covering them with 1 inch of liquid. The beans and liquid should not exceed the halfway mark on the inside of the Instant Pot insert.
Seal the Instant Pot, set to Pressure Cook Manual setting, and follow the recommended cook time in your Instant Pot Recipe Booklet or Owners Manual, as times vary with each type of bean. Cook for the recommended time and allow the pressure to release naturally.
Turn off the Instant Pot, and let the beans cool. Stir in the salt.
Use homemade beans cup for cup like canned beans. Rinse in a colander if necessary (according to the recipe you are using). Store cooled beans in glass jars or plastic containers in the fridge.
You will probably need to add more salt to the recipe you are using. Home cooked beans have far less salt than canned beans, so always taste test when using beans you cooked yourself.
Freeze beans with liquid in 2-cup portions. Use glass jars, plastic containers, or quart-size freezer bags.
If using jars or containers, leave at least two inches of space between beans and the top of the jar. This allows the liquid to expand while freezing without cracking the jars.
If using freezer bags, squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing. Freeze flat for easy storage.
When ready to use, thaw in the fridge overnight, then use according to the recipe.
Double, triple, or half this recipe as needed!
Here is our stupid-easy bone broth recipe.
Cook Dry Beans: 3 Ways https://www.cheapskatecook.com/learn-to-cook-dry-beans-3-ways/