How To Prepare Dried Beans

Before I started eating clean, I always just bought canned beans.  However, once I finally took the plunge over to dried beans, I never went back.  Dried beans are very budget friendly.  Since I get asked so many questions on how to prepare dried beans, I thought I would write this handy tutorial.  I was once very intimated by the whole process myself.

Dried vs Canned

Dried beans are so much cheaper and they taste cleaner as well.  With canned beans, you get added sodium, BPA and other additives.  Sure there are BPA free canned beans, but they can be pretty pricey.  Dried beans are free of all of those things and they are very inexpensive.  Especially when you buy them in bulk like I do.  In their dried form, they last for quite some time.  I store mine in glass jars in my pantry.  One thing to remember, dried beans are not salted at all, so you will most likely have to add salt to the dish you are making.  When you buy dried beans, they look like this.

Black Beans Tutorial FG

They are very hard.  So they need to be soaked overnight.  I use this old cookie jar to soak mine.  It’s just the right size.

Beans 2

Beans double in size after soaking, so it’s a good idea to fill the container pretty high with water.  So if you add 2 cups dried beans, you will have close to 4 cups after soaking. Once the the dried beans have soaked overnight, drain and rinse them well.

Beans 3

I apologize for the awful photos.  My kitchen has zero natural light.  But you can pretty much get the idea.  Once they are drained and rinsed.  Fill a large pot with brand new water and add the beans in.  Set the stove on high and bring to a boil.  Once the water starts boiling, a foam will start to appear on top of the water.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the foam.  This actually reduces the amount of gas in the beans.  Some beans take longer than others to soften.  Chickpeas take the longest.   If you get a pressure cooker, you can prepare dried beans in a much shorter amount of time.  I am still trying to convince my husband why we need yet another appliance. LOL.

Beans 4

This picture was actually taken after my beans had been boiling for about 15-20 minutes.  Once you have the beans soft, you can drain and rinse again.  Now the beans are ready to use.  They will only last 4-5 days in the fridge.  However, you can freeze them for longer.  This is what they look like after they are done.

Beans 5

As you can see, the process is pretty simple.  I hope you find this post helpful.


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70 thoughts to “How To Prepare Dried Beans”

    1. Yes. That is after they have been soaked overnight. Some beans take longer than others. Black beans take about 20 minutes. Chickpeas take a long time. About 45 minutes.
  1. Thanks for all your recipes. As regards a pressure cooker, do yourself a favor, like the slow cooker is an electric appliance you now get an electric pressure cooker. I have to tell you it a fabulous compared to the old fashioned ones. Very little mess!!!
    1. You are so welcome. I really need to. Maybe I will next time I get a 20% off from Bed Bath and Beyond. I can expense it and write it off. :) Can you recommend a good one?
      1. Hi. Melissa, I am from South Africa. My daughter, Bridget Stone introduced me to your blog. Bridget lives in Myersville, MD. I have an AEG pressure cooker which I bought about 4 years ago. Bridget checked the web some time ago and found a few makes that are available in the USA. They look similar to the one I have Thanks for your posts, I look forward to opening my mail each evening after work just to see what you are up too.
  2. This tidbit will force me to finally make the switch. I've wanted to for some time now. The few occasions I have tried, I prepared too few or too many beans for the recipe.
  3. Growing up (outside the U.S.) all I ever knew was dried beans--mung, chickpeas etc. When I came to the U.S. it took a while to get used to canned beans and veggies. I always thought it was odd that Popeye has spinach from a can:)
  4. I always love reading your blog. :) Last fall I bought a pressure canner and last week I used it to can my own beans for the first time. I did kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas and mixed beans. I rarely think ahead to soak my beans so this way they are just like store bought only healthy and they are ready to go. I can do seven quart jars or 14 pints at a time too. For anyone else that pressure cans they suggest throwing in a jar of beans any time you don't have full canner.
  5. Great tutorial. I also do the same for kidney, pinto and white beans. Usually all at the same time. After all my four pots of beans are done boiling, cooled and rinsed, I usually freeze them in 2 cups quantities. Needless to say, this saves time when I want to make one of your recipes! Just pull the bag of beans out of the freezer and cook! I even threw frozen beans straight into the slow cooker when I forget to defrost it, and it cooked just fine (:
  6. I often try to use dry beans but they usually take MUCH longer than 20 minutes bi have heard this might be older beans. Is there a way to tell if they are old when I purchase them?
  7. Do you have to boil them if you are going to use them in one of your slow cooker recipes? I am going to try your black ben soup recipe this weekend.
  8. I am a little confused...when you pressure can dried much water do you put in the jar? How exactly do you do this? Thanks
    1. I don't have a pressure canner. I am just soaking and boiling beans. I know you can do this process much faster in a pressure cooker, but I am not sure of the logistics.
  9. this is a nice guide on beans. May I add sprouting as an added step to increase nutrition? I have been very inspired by your blog and started my own on healthy cooking with many vegetarian Indian recipes. I have followed some "tips for bloggers" from your blog, and would like to thank you for that!
  10. I just found your blog after I looked at several recipes I found on Pinterest and they all came from you! Beans are one of the few canned items I still use and I have been waiting to make the switch to dried for awhile, but I have definitely been intimidated. I'm hoping this helps me make the leap!
  11. So I am doing this right now and using Black Beans I bought yesterday and they have been boiling for 45 minutes already and still not done, did I do something wrong??
  12. So I just finished cooking my black beans and it took me a little over an hour, did I do something wrong?? I just bought the beans I used yesterday so they were not old (that I know of!).
  13. You do make this seem easy. I was so intimidated by the dried beans preparation process until I tried it with no soaking, straight into the slow cooker. It's amazing how much money dried beans save! Especially if you consider organic cans versus organic dried beans! Spices are another super bulk food deal at Whole Foods, where I get most of my dried beans at the moment. In case anyone is curious about dried versus canned conversions, I made a comparison here:, along with a homemade refried beans recipe, yum! Good night!
  14. If I wanted to make a chili with different types of beans (like kidney, canellini, and black beans) would I need to cook them all separately or do they have relatively similar cooking times?
    1. If you were planning on making them in the slow cooker, they just need to be soaked overnight. You can soak them in the same container.

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