How to Reconstitute Dried Beans

by Morgan O'Connor

Reconstitute dried beans before using them to ensure they cook properly.

beans image by dinostock from Fotolia.com

Items you will need

  • Measuring cup(s)
  • Large pot with lid
  • Colander or strainer

Dried beans are significantly more convenient than the fresh version. They last for more than a year in their original packaging and take up much less space than fresh beans because they are no longer in their pods. You cannot simply stir dried beans into a soup a few minutes before serving it because the beans would not have time to soak up the liquid and they would remain hard. If you boiled the soup for longer, some of the beans would become soft and mushy while others remained firm. Reconstitute dried beans before using them to avoid these issues.

Long-Soak Method

Step 1

Measure the beans and then pour them into a large pot. Add water to the pot, using a ratio of three times the amount of beans. For example, if you are reconstituting 2 cups of beans, pour 6 cups of water into the pot.

Step 2

Soak the beans for overnight or for at least six hours. Pour the beans into a colander or strainer to drain off any remaining water from the soaking process. Rinse the beans well in cool, running water. Rinse out the pot and put the beans back into it.

Step 3

Add enough water to the pot to cover the beans completely. Cover the pot with the lid and bring the beans to a gentle simmer. Simmer them for two to four hours, or until they are tender. At this point, you have reconstituted the beans and may include them in other recipes.

Quick-Soak Method

Step 1

Measure the beans and pour them into a large pot. Add water to the pot, using a ratio of three times the amount of beans. For example, if you used 1.5 cups of beans, put 4.5 cups of water into the pot.

Step 2

Put the pot on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Boil the beans for one to three minutes and then remove the pot from the stove. Cover the pot and let the beans soak for approximately two hours.

Step 3

Pour the beans into a colander or strainer to drain off any remaining water from the soaking process. Rinse the beans well in cool, running water. At this point, you have reconstituted the beans and may include them in other recipes.

Warnings

  • Although the quick-soak method is significantly faster, the Utah State University Cooperative Extension states that using the quick-soak method is “not recommended due to the potential of foodborne illness bacterial spores growing. The heat activates the spores and the warm temperatures during cooling favors their growth.”

Photo Credits

About the Author

Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.