How to Cook Beans

How to Cook Beans. Although preparing dried beans can take some forethought (they usually need to be soaked before cooking), they are tastier than their canned cousins and don't really require any work on your part ... just time.

First, sort and wash the beans. Discard any shriveled or broken ones.

Soak most beans in three times their volume of cold water for six hours before cooking. (You can cook beans without soaking, but it takes longer, and some people think the beans taste better when soaked.)

Drain and rinse the beans, and then put them in a large pot. Add water to come an inch or two over the beans. Do not add salt!

Bring the beans to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender. (Check your package of beans, as cooking times vary for different varieties. But also check the beans occasionally, because sometimes the beans will cook more quickly than the package says.)