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How to: Quick soak dried beans

Posted by Jeanne on March 22, 2010

We eat a lot of beans.  Beans are good for you – full of fiber, high in nutrients, low in fat, blah blah blah.  They are also delicious and versatile.

However, dried beans also can take a bit of planning.  We buy a lot of beans from Rancho Gordo, and they are awesome and amazing – truly a world of difference between these and canned beans.  (Also, I swear I’m not on their payroll.)  But even if you don’t want to mail order beans, a bag of dried beans from the supermarket is a small and not very costly experiment.

If you are good at planning ahead, soak your beans for 4 to 8 hours, then cook gently another hour or two in lightly simmering water.

If you’re not good at planning ahead, read on.

Things you need:

A large pot with a lid

A working stove



A strainer

That’s it.  Seriously.

Add the beans to the pot and cover with water – there should be about two to three inches of water above the beans.  This works with any quantity of beans – just don’t crowd them, they need room to hang out.

Am I a reflection of the beans - or are they a reflection of me? Probably neither. Taking photos over water is cool though!

Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and cook for two minutes.

Turn off your burner and walk away for an hour.  Your quick soak is now complete.

Drain your beans, and cook as you normally would – I like to put them in a slow cooker (you had to know that was coming) with a couple bay leaves.  Cover with lots of water and cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.

I would have posted a picture of this part, but the photos have all the visual interest of a pot full of black coffee.

Once the beans are tender, you can use however you’d like – we’ll turn these black beans into a side to have with the last of the tamales.


2 Responses to “How to: Quick soak dried beans”

  1. SJS said

    Great tip! I always want to have beans, but decide that pretty close to when I want to eat them and blow it off because of the soak time. Thanks!

  2. […] a cup of raw cashews overnight (or quick soak them).  […]

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