Jump within page to...
Soaking Dry Beans
- Soaking Dry Beans
- Cooking Times
- Cooking Cracked Beans
- Cooking Lentils
- Cooking Beans in a Crock Pot
- Cooking beans in a Pressure Cooker
Dry beans, whole peas, and split peas (unless used in soup) need soaking before cooking. Lentils do not. Overnight soak: Wash and sort beans; place in large sauce pan with 6 cups of water per pound of beans. Let stand overnight.
Whole, soaked beans can be cooked in a variety of ways, or frozen to speed cooking time even further. Cook soaked beans slowly over low heat to prevent broken or floating skins. A tablespoon of oil or butter added during cooking reduces foaming and boil-overs.
- Quick soak: Follow above instructions, but bring beans and water to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, let stand 1 hour.
- Cracked bean Quick soak: To 2 c. of beans that have been coarsely cracked using a hand grain cracker, blender, or small coffee grinder, add 4 cups boiling water. Cover and let stand 5 minutes; rinse (in strainer) and drain.
Cooking Times These times are approximate. They differ according to altitude, age and moisture content of beans, and soaking method. The following list is a fairly complete list of average cooking times for soaked beans:
Note: Old beans ground to a flour still cook in only 3 minutes for soups. If using very old beans, make a small amount of soup to test for bitter flavor before using in soups or breads, etc.
- Black beans - 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
- Black-eyed peas - 1 to 1 1/2 hr.
- Garbanzo beans - 2 to 2 1/2 hr.
- Great Northern beans - 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
- Kidney beans - 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.
- Lentils - 30-45 min. (NO soaking required.)
- Limas, baby - 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
- Pink, pinto and red beans - 1 1/2 to 2 hrs.
- Soybeans - 3 to 3 1/2 hrs.
- Split peas, green and yellow - 35 to 45 min. (NO soaking required.)
- White beans (navy) small - 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
Cooking Cracked Beans
Place soaked cracked beans in saucepan with hot water to cover. Bring to a boil; cover pan, then turn heat to medium-low and cook for 15-25 minutes, depending on texture desired (firm for stir fry or to mix with cracked wheat or pilaf, soft for creamy soups, casseroles or loaves).
- Cracked soaked beans are excellent to add to stir fry. Cook in a small amount of oil until lightly browned.
- Add soaked, drained cracked beans to soups and cook for 20-30 min.
- Cook soaked, drained cracked beans with equal parts rice for pilaf.
To cook lentils, combine 2 c. lentils and 5 c. water in a saucepan. Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover tightly, and boil gently for 30 minutes.
Lentils do not require pre-soaking. Cook sprouted lentils only 5-10 min.
Cooking Beans in a Crock Pot
Place washed and sorted beans in boiling water (enough to cover) and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain off water. Then place beans in crockery cooker and add 6 cups of water per pound of beans and add seasonings to taste. Cook on low 12 hrs.
Cooking beans in a Pressure Cooker
Soak washed and sorted beans by either the overnight or quick method.
Drain and rinse. Place in pressure cooker (cooker should be no more than 1/3 filled to allow for expansion). Add water to cover and 1 T. of oil to reduce foaming.
Cover; cook at 10 pounds pressure 10-20 minutes, depending on size of bean.
OR, place washed and sorted beans - unsoaked - in pressure cooker with 3 times as much water as beans and 2-3 teaspoons of oil or butter. Cover; cook at 15 pounds pressure for 30 minutes for small beans, 40 minutes for large beans. Variance in time is due to the inherent texture of each different variety of bean.
For more information and nearly 400 bean recipes (with over 120 FAST bean flour recipes!), see my book, Country Beans.
Copyright 1999 by Natural Meals Publishing. The information in this section may be freely used for non-profit purposes as long as the book source and author remain intact. Express permission of the author, Rita Bingham, must be received for commercial profit.
Updated: 24 Mar 99