Dry red kidney beans are easy to prepare in a crock pot, although they take several hours to cook thoroughly. Use any size crock pot you have available to prepare the desired portion of beans. As a general rule, 1 cup of dried beans yields approximately 2 to 3 cups of cooked beans. If you choose to make a large batch of red kidney beans in the crock pot, keep leftovers refrigerated for up to four days, or freeze for up to six months.
Spread out the dry red kidney beans on a clean baking pan. Sort through them with your fingers and remove any dirt, debris or shriveled beans. Transfer the beans to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold, running water.
Place the beans in a large stockpot for soaking. Cover them with 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of dried beans, or 10 cups of water per pound of dried beans. Allow the beans to soak overnight, or for at least eight hours.
Drain the soaking water from the dry red kidney beans in the morning. Place them back into the colander and rinse again under cold, running water. This will remove the indigestible carbohydrates present in the beans that cause gas.
Transfer the dry red kidney beans to the crock pot and add clean water to a depth of about 2 inches above the top of the beans. Place the lid on the crock pot and set the temperature to low. Cook for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beans are tender.
Drain any excess water from the beans once they are fork-tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and any other flavoring your desire. Stir to combine and cook for an additional hour to season. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.
- Iowa State University: Dried Beans, Peas and Lentils Can Help You Save Money
- Utah State University: Cooking with Food Storage Ingredients: Dry Beans
- “Easy Cooking for Special Diets: How to Cook for Weight Loss/Blood Sugar Control, Food Allergy, Heart Healthy, Diabetic, and "Just Healthy" Diets Even If You've Never Cooked Before;" Nicolette M. Dumke; 2006
- Onions, tomatoes, dried herbs and spices can all be added to the beans during the last hour of cooking. Use any of these ingredients your family enjoys. Oregano, thyme, parsley and garlic all complement red kidney beans.
- Dry red kidney beans can also be cooked until tender on the stove prior to cooking in a crock pot if time is an issue. After they're tender, transfer them to the crock pot, add seasonings or additional ingredients and cook for 1 to 2 hours on medium-low.
- Do not salt beans during soaking or before the last hour of cooking, as this can cause them to become tough and inedible.
Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.