How to cook dry beans on the stove. (2023)

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Learn how to cook dry beans on the stovetop safely with this tutorial! Tips on how to use and freeze kidney beans are also included.

How to cook dry beans on the stove. (1)

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know how to cook drybeansIt's a great skill to cook for the front of the plant. Yes, canned beans are useful. But once you make your own beans from scratch, you'll see how delicious and creamy they can be. I find the whole process very satisfying for some reason.

I've experimented with different ways to prepare beans, and this tutorial will focus on how to cook dried beans on the stovetop. It's not the only way to cook kidney beans, but it's super easy and doesn't require an Instant Pot or pressure cooker.

Before we get to the tutorial, let's discuss some common questions about kidney beans. You may have questions about their toxicity, how long they take to cook, and how to tell if they're really cooked.

Are red kidney beans toxic?

In their raw form, beans can be poisonous. They contain a compound calledPhytohemagglutinin, which can cause severe vomiting and diarrheaif it is not destroyed by cooking. This is why it is so important to fully cook kidney beans before consuming them.

Do I have to soak the beans?

Experts suggest mainly for dry beansSoak for at least 5 hours.before cooking Whether or not you should soak beans in general is always up for debate. Some claim that soaking makes the beans easier to digest, while others claim the opposite.

I personally like soaking the beans because it promotes even cooking and reduces cooking time. When I make beans ininstant potbut I don't water them.

How to cook dry beans on the stove. (2)

How long does it take to cook the beans?

Kidney beans take between 45 and 90 minutes to cook on the stove. However, depending on the soaking time and the age of the beans, it may take less time to cook. They finish cooking when they are soft and with a creamy texture. It is normal for some grains to pop while others hold their shape.

(Video) How to Cook Dried Beans - The Right Way - For Maximum Nutrition

Cook beans safely

The bean preparation process includes sorting, soaking, cooking, draining, and storing. It takes a while, but it's super easy! Here is everything you need to know about how to cook dried beans.


You will need a large bowl for soaking. For cooking, use a strainer, Dutch oven, or large pot, and a wooden spoon. You may also want to pull out some containers for storage at this point.

soak the beans

Before soaking, examine the beans and remove any wrinkled, damaged, or broken pieces. Then place the beans in a large bowl. Make sure the container is large enough to accommodate the beans that expand during soaking.

Add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. For 1 cup of dry beans, use 4 to 6 cups of water. For a pound of dry beans (about two cups), double this amount. Soak the beans for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Boil the beans on the stove

Drain the beans from the soaking water. Place them in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 10 cups of water when cooking a pound (about two cups) of beans. Add two bay leaves, if desired.

Let the pot boil for a few minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer for about 45 minutes and up to 90 minutes. You will know the beans are done when they are soft and creamy. Some of them may burst.

Be sure to stir the beans occasionally to promote even cooking. After 30 minutes, check the cooking time, as cooking time can vary based on soaking time and the age of the beans.

I like to add a teaspoon of salt about 10 minutes before removing the beans from the heat. Some people claim that the salt prevents the beans from softening during cooking, so I add it last just in case.

How to cook dry beans on the stove. (3)

Cooked Bean Storage

Drain cooked beans or use a slotted spoon to transfer beans to storage containers. I like to use a slotted spoon to scoop up some of the liquid with the beans, but that's up to you. I like how creamy they are when stored in liquid. If you decide to chill the beans before storing, rinse them under cold water in a colander.

Since most recipes call for beans in 15-ounce cans, I like to save cooked beans in 1 ¾ to 2-cup (about 15-ounce) servings. This makes it very easy to add them to future recipes.

You can store cooked beans in the refrigerator for up to a week. They last up to 3 months in the freezer in airtight containers orSilikonbeutel. Frozen kidney beans usually do not need to be thawed before adding them to recipes, as they are commonly used in soups, chilis, and other stew recipes. I do not recommend using frozen beans in cold recipes like salads.

How to cook dry beans on the stove. (4)
(Video) How To Cook: Dry Black Beans (step by step tutorial)

Ways to use red kidney beans

You can use baked beans in soups, chilis, tacos, and salads. They also make a great base for bean purée sauces and the main ingredient in red bean and rice recipes!

For more ways to prepare dried beans, check outInstant Pot PintobohnenmiSlow Cooker Black Beans with Chives. MeinBBQ Lentils with Shredded Carrotsare another reader favorite.

I would love to hear how you like this recipe! Please rate/star review in the recipe card or in the comments and follow Veg WorldYouTube, Instagram,Facebook, miinterest. Looking for something completely different? navigate throughrecipe library.

How to cook dry beans on the stove. (5)

Baked beans on the stove

Learn how to cook dried beans on the stove, including tips for freezing them.


PressStandto evaluatesave not computer

Setup time:5 min.

Time to cook:45 min.

Dive time:5 Standard

Total time:5 Standard 50 min.

(Video) How to Cook Pinto Beans | Step by Step EASY Instructions

Servings:6 bags


Author:Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN


  • big bowl

  • clean

  • Dutch oven or large pot


  • 1 Libra dried red beans
  • 2 bay leaves-Optional
  • 1 teaspoon Sal
(Video) How to Make WHITE BEANS Cooked With BACON | Granny's Old Fashioned Recipe


  • Sort the beans and remove any wilted or broken beans.

  • Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with 10 cups of water. Set the bowl down on the counter and let it soak for at least 5 hours or overnight. The beans will increase in size as they soak, so be sure to use a large enough bowl.

  • Drain the soaked beans and place in a Dutch oven or large pot with 10 cups of cold water. Put the bay leaves in the pan.

  • Let it boil for about 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the beans for 45 minutes, up to 90 minutes, until soft and tender. Add the salt about 10 minutes before you think they are done cooking. Some beans may burst during cooking. Depending on the soaking time and the age of the beans, they may only take 30 minutes to cook, so check to see if they are done. Stir beans regularly while on the stove to promote even cooking.

  • When the beans are done, remove them from the heat. You can drain them completely or transfer them to storage containers with a slotted spoon. I like to add a bit of liquid to my beans when I store them, so I use a slotted spoon. If you want to cool the beans before storing, drain and rinse them under cold running water.

  • Store beans in 1.75 to 2-cup servings (equivalent to a 15-ounce can of beans), as this makes them easier to add to recipes that call for a can of beans. They last a week in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.

  • Please leave a review or comment by tapping on the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comment section (at the bottom of the post)!


  • It is very important to fully cook the beans. They contain a compound that can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea if it is not destroyed during the cooking process.
  • Use the ratio of 5 cups of water to 1 cup of dry beans for soaking and cooking. So for a pound of dry beans (about 2 cups), you need 10 cups of water.


Part:1taxes|Calories:255kcal|Carbohydrates:46GRAMS|Protein:17GRAMS|Fett:1GRAMS|Saturated fatty acids:1GRAMS|Polyunsaturated fat:1GRAMS|Monounsaturated fatty acids:1GRAMS|Sodium:397milligrams|Potassium:1028milligrams|Stages:12GRAMS|Zucker:2GRAMS|Vitamin A:2THAT IS TO SAY|Vitamin C:3milligrams|Soccer:63milligrams|Eisen:5milligrams

(Video) Cooking Dry Beans - Stovetop Method

you made this recipeSign@its_a_vegworld_afteralland follow me today!

Enjoy your beans! -Genoveva


How to cook dried beans on the stove? ›

Stovetop Instructions

Place beans in a large pot; cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until beans are tender but firm. Most beans will cook in 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the variety.

How do you know when beans are cooked enough? ›

We usually start with 30 minutes on the timer, and then we start tasting them. If the beans are still hard or chalky inside, set the timer for 10 to 30 more minutes, depending on how hard they are. Check them at regular intervals until the beans are tender but still firm. They shouldn't be falling apart.

Do you cover beans when cooking on the stove? ›

To cook on the stove, bring the pot of beans (soaked or unsoaked, with olive oil, salt, and any seasonings plus 2 to 3 inches of liquid covering them) to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so that your beans are barely but steadily simmering and cover with the lid.

How to quickly cook dry beans? ›

Cover the beans with water in a large pot, bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, set aside for at least an hour. When you're ready to cook the beans, drain and rinse, put back into a pot, cover with water again, add salt and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.

What happens if you don't soak beans before cooking? ›

If you're the impatient, bean-hungry type, you can cook your beans from dry without any soaking at all. Here's the thing: Beans that have not been soaked ahead of time will always take longer to cook, but they will, indeed, cook.

How long does it take to cook dried pinto beans on the stove? ›

Bring beans to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (I recommend checking them at the 2 hour mark and giving them a taste. They should be tender and fully cooked through, but still a little firm and not mushy.

Why won't my dry beans get soft? ›

Dried beans typically have a moisture content of around 16%. However, as they age, moisture evaporates, giving pectin time to age and harden the skin. These beans can often take much longer to soften while soaking and cooking, up to twice the time!

Why are my beans still hard after cooking all day? ›

If water cannot enter the bean during cooking, it will not soften; even if you cook the beans for an extended period of time, they will not soften. If you don't believe your beans are old, you may have a problem with your water. Hard water will never soften beans, so they should not be cooked in it.

What happens if you eat beans not fully cooked? ›

Eating raw or undercooked kidney beans can lead to food poisoning, including symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Only a few beans are needed to cause poisoning. Kidney beans, or red beans, contain a natural protein, Lectin, that is found in many plants, animals and humans.

Should I simmer beans with lid on or off? ›

After rinsing (and, if you choose, soaking) beans, add to a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Is it better to cook beans with lid on or off? ›

However, the flavor of the lid-off beans was vastly better. Without a lid, the cooking liquid is able to reduce at a faster rate, creating a more flavorful bean broth that coated each pinto. Takeaway: Leave the lid off.

Do you cook beans on high or low? ›

One of the best ways to guarantee perfectly cooked beans — ones that emerge creamy and tender instead of crunchy or mushy — is cooking them ever so gently over low, steady heat.

How do I cook beans in 30 minutes? ›

Drain and rinse well. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

How long to cook pinto beans on stove without soaking? ›

Method 1 – Cook beans without soaking on the cooktop

Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the beans and simmer approximately 2 hours. The bigger the bean, the longer they need to cook.

How do you cook pinto beans fast without soaking on the stove? ›

How to cook dried beans without soaking
  1. Rinse dry beans and place in an oven-safe pot.
  2. Fill water to cover beans by two or three inches and add salt.
  3. Cover with a heavy lid and bake for 2 hours at 375°.
  4. Check for doneness with a taste-test; bake longer, in 30-minute increments, if needed.
Mar 4, 2020

What to do if you forgot to soak beans overnight? ›

If you forgot to soak your beans the night before you plan to cook them, the hot soak method can come to the rescue. Cover the beans with water, bring to a boil and boil for three minutes. Remove them from the heat and let them soak in the hot water for an hour. Then drain, rinse, add fresh water and cook.

What beans are toxic if not soaked? ›

Consumption of common beans (e.g. green beans, French beans) and other beans (e.g. red kidney beans, white kidney beans) without proper processing may cause poisoning due to the naturally present toxins lectins (e.g. phytohaemagglutinins). Acute poisoning symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.

How do you get gas out of beans? ›

Simply place dried beans in a container, cover them with water and let them soak. They'll need to soak eight to 12 hours, but the key to eliminating the gas is draining and rinsing every three hours. Yup, you read that right. Drain, rinse and start soaking again every three hours.

Can you overcook dried beans? ›

Dried beans tend to take a long time to cook, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't worry about overcooking them. Overcooked beans are perfectly safe to eat, but while they may be edible, they'll be less pleasant to consume. Signs that your beans are overcooked include them being very soft and mushy.

How long do dried beans need to soak before cooking? ›

Soak the beans a minimum of 6 hours and any time up until 10 hours. What you are really looking for is the skin to easily slide away from the bean and to be able to squeeze the bean and have it be somewhat soft and ready to cook. This quick soaking method makes prepping dry beans a breeze.

What is the ratio of water to dry pinto beans? ›

Cover with 3 cups of water per 1 cup of beans. Use 10 cups for a 1 pound bag. Do either a short soak or a long soak. Short Soak – Bring beans to a boil, boil for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat, and let stand covered for 1-4 hours.

Why are my beans taking so long to cook? ›

If you've ever cooked beans for hours without them softening, it's probably because you're using old beans, or you've got hard (mineral-rich) water, or there's an acidic ingredient in the pot, which can slow down cooking.

Why are my beans taking so long to soften? ›

Just because you bought the dried beans from your store last week doesn't mean they are new. As dried beans age, the pores through which the water enters tend to close, and the outer coating may change, too. If water can't get into the bean, they won't soften no matter how long you cook them.

Is adding baking soda to beans a good idea? ›

Your Beans Will Cook Faster

Well, creating an alkaline (or basic) environment by adding a small amount (about 1 teaspoon per cup of dry beans) of baking soda to your soaking/cooking water can actually help your beans cook faster.

Can you simmer beans too long? ›

Stop the cooking too soon, and you'll end up with over-firm beans, especially if you refrigerate them after cooking (cooked beans become more firm once chilled). But let them go too long and you'll have a pot full of mushy, broken beans.

How soft should beans be after cooking? ›

You can “bite test” beans for tenderness. Beans should be tender, but not mushy. If beans are not tender after the specified cooking time, the reason could be altitude, hard water, or the age of the beans. Keep cooking and “bite test” again in 10-15 minutes for tenderness.

Can you eat beans that are still hard? ›

If your beans are still hard, don't eat them.

If you don't soak and cook your beans for long enough, you could get ill. Soaking your beans before cooking them is an essential part of the process to ensure you remove the lectins, but soaking by itself is not enough—you must also cook them thoroughly.

Why do you tilt the lid when cooking beans? ›

If you simmer beans in an uncovered pot, they will end up firmer and more intact. This perfect for dishes where you really want the beans to keep their shape without smooshing, like salads and pasta dishes.

How do you not overcook beans? ›

Give them the space to simmer, move, and express themselves (beans do that, right?), and add enough water for them to do it in. You've probably also heard that you should cook in heavy-bottomed, good quality pots: This goes double for beans.

What is the effect of adding salt at the beginning of cooking beans? ›

The food scientist Harold McGee wrote in these pages in 2008 that salting beans at the beginning of cooking does slow down the cooking somewhat, but won't stop them from softening. He also suggests salting the soaking water, basically making a brine, if you plan to soak your beans overnight.

Do you have to rinse beans after soaking? ›

So after the beans have soaked for a while, the soaking water now contains these elements that you are trying to eliminate by soaking the beans in the first place. And this is why the bean water is discarded. So it is best to drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking.

Does salt make beans tough? ›

Far from causing beans to stay tough, the editors at Cook's Illustrated explain in their recent book The Science of Good Cooking that a combination of brining and salting are key to helping beans cook more quickly and more evenly. First, they suggest brining the beans overnight by adding a salt to their soaking water.

How much salt do you put in beans? ›

Long story short: For the best, creamiest, most flavorful beans, season your bean-soaking water with one tablespoon of kosher salt per quart (about 15 grams per liter), rinse the beans with fresh water before cooking, then add a pinch of salt to the cooking water as well.

How do you flavor beans when cooking? ›

Add Aromatics (and Some Salt)

We're talking onions, shallots, garlic, and chiles. Or maybe some fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, bay leaves, and thyme. This is where the flavor really starts to build. Salt the liquid again (lightly) after about an hour of simmering.

Can I soak beans too long? ›

Yes, it is possible to oversoak beans. If left to soak too long, they can grow harmful bacteria. Even if they are still safe to eat, soaking beans too long can deplete their nutrient content. Because of this, it is best to soak beans no longer than 12-24 hours at room temperature or 2 days in the fridge.

Do dry beans get bigger when cooked? ›

The good news is, while the conversions aren't perfectly consistent, they're close enough that we can come up with a handy rule of thumb: Most dried beans slightly more than double in both volume and weight once cooked.

Can you cook beans in 3 hours? ›

Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to cook through. Be patient. Keep the beans at a gentle simmer and taste frequently as they start to become tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged, and stir occasionally.

Does putting a potato in beans reduce gas? ›

Soaking beans in water, baking soda, potatoes, and other ingredients can help to reduce the gas in beans. A potato technique involves soaking beans for an hour in a pressure cooker with fresh water before cooking them. It not only boosts the sizzle of the veggie, but it also reduces the risk of gas formation.

Can you cook beans in 10 minutes? ›

The electric pressure cooker is a bean-cooking dream. A “rapid soak” of just one minute at high pressure eliminates the overnight soak, and an average cook time of 10 minutes for most beans means that you can have a fresh pot in less than an hour. Here's how to do it.

What's the fastest way to cook pinto beans? ›

This is the fastest method. In a large pot, add 6 cups of water for each pound (2 cups) of dry beans. Heat to boiling; boil for 2–3 minutes.

Does soaking beans speed up cooking time? ›

While soaking also breaks down those gassy compounds, it simultaneously leaches out water-soluble nutrients and flavor in the process – a high price to pay! If you're short on time (or, don't have a pressure cooker – we'll get to that in a moment), soaking beans can speed up cooking time by up to 75 percent.

Do you have to wash pinto beans? ›

Unless the recipe tells you to keep the canned beans in their liquid, you should drain your can and give the beans a good rinse before using. This will improve the flavor and texture of your finished dish.

Can you cook dried beans without soaking? ›

How to cook dried beans without soaking. Rinse dry beans and place in an oven-safe pot. Fill water to cover beans by two or three inches and add salt. Cover with a heavy lid and bake for 2 hours at 375°.

How long do you soak dried beans before cooking? ›

Overnight Soaking

To soak beans the traditional way, cover them with water by 2 inches, add 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt (or 1 tablespoon fine salt) per pound of beans, and let them soak for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Drain them and rinse before using.

Do you have to rinse dry beans before cooking? ›

Rinsing and sorting beans is the initial step in cooking dried beans. This simply involves rinsing your beans, peas or lentils in a colander or strainer to get rid of field dust and dirt, and then sorting – moving them around with your hands to remove any stray pebbles, twigs or imperfect beans.

How to cook with dry beans? ›

How to Cook Dried Beans
  1. Sort and wash the beans. Pick through the beans and discard and shriveled beans or debris you find. ...
  2. Soak the beans. ...
  3. Drain the beans and add them to a pot with aromatics. ...
  4. Simmer the beans until they're tender. ...
  5. Cool the beans and store them in their cooking liquid.

How long does it take to cook dried pinto beans without soaking? ›

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer until the beans are tender. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender and creamy, 1 hour 15 minutes to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the age of the beans. Add more water if needed to keep the beans submerged by at least 1/2-inch.

Why are my beans still hard after soaking and cooking? ›

Dried beans typically have a moisture content of around 16%. However, as they age, moisture evaporates, giving pectin time to age and harden the skin. These beans can often take much longer to soften while soaking and cooking, up to twice the time!

Does it matter how long you soak beans? ›

Beans should soak for 8 to 10 hours overnight. If they are soaked for longer than 12 hours, they can lose their familiar flavor and become overly mushy. For the best result, refrain from soaking them for too long.

Do you cover beans when soaking? ›

Next, place the beans in a large bowl and cover them with two inches of water. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and let the beans soak at room temperature for up to eight hours, or refrigerate them for up to 24 hours. Drain the soaked beans in a colander or fine-mesh sieve. Discard the soaking water.

What can I put in beans to prevent gas? ›

Soaking overnight and then discarding the soaking water leaches out sugars in beans that are responsible for gas production. But if you don't have time for a traditional overnight soak, a quick soak is just as beneficial. Rinse the beans and then place them in a pot with three cups of water for each cup of dried beans.

Why add baking soda to soaking beans? ›

Bottom Line. If beans make you uncomfortably gassy, sprinkle a little baking soda into their soaking water. It will reduce the volume of gas produced by the legumes, plus, they will cook quicker. If you're even shorter on time, you may want to try some of our favorite recipes to make with a can of black beans.

Why do you put baking soda in beans? ›

The addition of baking soda to the cooking water does two things: It adds sodium ions that weaken the pectin as explained above, and more importantly, an alkaline environment causes the pectin molecules to break down into smaller molecules that greatly weakens the pectin causing the beans to soften much more rapidly.


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