How to Cook Perfect White & Pinto Beans

Beans in Stainless Steel Pot

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Cooked, dried beans provide a substantial amount of fiber and protein as well as vitamins and minerals. Preparing dried white or pinto beans for cooking is easy, but it takes a little time. Once they’re cooked, the beans keep in the refrigerator for five days. Instead of buying canned beans, cook your own and store them in the freezer, where they’ll keep for several months. Use refrigerated or frozen white or pinto beans in your favorite recipes as you would canned beans.

Fast Soak

Sort the dried beans and rinse them under cool running water. When you sort, look for bits of stem and plant debris, and watch for small pebbles that sometimes slip through the screens during packing. Discard these foreign bits along with any discolored or shriveled beans.

Place the rinsed beans in a large pot and cover them with 6 to 8 cups of water per pound of beans. Bring the water to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover with a lid and let the beans sit for an hour. Drain off the soak water and rinse the beans.

Return the rinsed beans to the pot and cover them with 6 cups of hot water per original pound of dried beans. Bring the water just to a simmer and cook the beans until they’re tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The liquid level should just cover the beans. Check periodically and add more water if necessary.

Overnight Soak

Sort and rinse dry white or pinto beans, throwing away debris and blemished beans. Rinse them under cool water and place them in a large pot.

Pour 6 to 8 cups of room temperature water per pound of dry white or pinto beans into the pot. Cover the pot and let the beans soak for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and rinse them under cool water.

Place the rinsed beans in the pot and cover them with 6 to 8 cups of hot water per pound of original dried beans. Simmer them gently for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender.