Slow Cooked Beans
Dried beans are inexpensive and easy to prepare. They take time, but they’ll taste much better than canned. Cook one pound then freeze it in batches of 1-3/4 to 2 cups, which is equivalent to a standard (15-ounce) can of beans. Depending on the bean, 1 pound of dried beans (about 2-1/2 cups) cooks up to make 5-1/2 to 7-1/2 cups.
Servings Prep Time
6cups 5minutes
Cook Time
2 to 8hours
Servings Prep Time
6cups 5minutes
Cook Time
2 to 8hours
Ingredients
Optional:
Later:
Instructions
To soak beans:
  1. Sort beans, removing any pebbles, shriveled-up beans, or other foreign objects. Place in a pot and add about 10 cups water. Allow beans to sit out overnight and until ready to cook (but not longer than 24 hours).
To cook in a slow cooker:
  1. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a slow cooker. Add 5-1/2 cups water (or 6 cups if you want more juice).
  2. If desired, cut onion into large chunks and add to beans, along with oil (to prevent foaming), red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. DO NOT add salt yet.
  3. Cook on high about 4 hours, or until beans are soft. (Alternatively, cook on low 6 to 7 hours.)
  4. Once beans are soft, add salt. NOTE: Beans will not soften if salt is added too early.
  5. Cook on low another 45 minutes or longer. If needed, add extra water to keep beans covered in liquid. Remove bay leaves before serving.
To cook on the stovetop:
  1. Drain and rinse beans. Place in a large saucepan (at least 4-quarts) or soup pot. Add 5-1/2 cups water (or 6 cups if you want more juice). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to keep at a gentle boil about 10 minutes (uncovered).
  2. If desired, cut onion into large chunks and add to beans, along with oil (to prevent foaming), red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. DO NOT add salt yet.
  3. Turn heat to low and keep at a very gentle simmer. Place a lid on the saucepan, leaving it slightly ajar to prevent the liquids from boiling over. Continue cooking until beans are soft, about 1 hour.
  4. Once the beans are soft, add salt. NOTE: Beans will not soften if salt is added too early.
  5. Cover and continue cooking 45 minutes or longer — up to 4 hours total time. If needed, add extra water to keep beans covered in liquid. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Recipe Notes

You can also use the quick-soak method for dried beans (instead of the overnight method mentioned in the recipe). Here’s how:

Place beans in a large saucepan, and add about 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans. Bring water to a full boil and cook uncovered 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover with the lid, and let stand 1 to 4 hours.

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