Bean cooking guide

Behind every delicious pot of beans is a quality bag of dried beans and a few basic tips.

Bean cooking guide

Behind every delicious pot of beans is a quality bag of dried beans and a few basic tips.

Our method for quick, easy, and delicious beans every time.

The Primary Beans Way

1. Use a pressure cooker
2. Skip the pre-soak
3. Salt early and liberally

Choosing your beans and how much to cook

Choose your beans and how much to cook

For the freshest and most flavorful beans, start with beans that were harvested within 1 year, and at most 2. We recommend cooking the full 1-pound bag, since leftovers can be repurposed in so many ways. One bag of beans will give you roughly 7 cups of cooked beans.

Picking a cooking method for your beans

Pick a cooking method

There are 3 basic ways to cook beans. Pressure cooking makes a ton of sense for busy weeknights, and it’s almost always our preferred way of doing things.

Picking a cooking method for your beans
Flavoring your beans

Flavor your beans

Adding flavor through combinations of vegetables, herbs, spices and fat gives you a pot of brothy beans that can stand on its own. Use what you have on hand! Sautéing vegetables beforehand in the fat you are using gives them a chance to start releasing flavors, but you can also skip this step. See our FAQs for details on recommended quantities, how to render fat, and more.

Some flavoring ideas to get you started: 

Adding water to your beans

Add water (and be picky about how much)

Thick, full-bodied bean broth is magical. Aim for water to cover beans by 1-1⁄2 inches (pressure cooker) and 2 inches (stovetop and slow cooker), adding more water only as necessary to keep beans submerged. Feeling extra indulgent? Sub out water for stock or broth (make sure to adjust salt accordingly).

Adding water to beans
Adding salt to beans early and liberally

Add salt early and liberally

We think 1-1⁄2 teaspoons coarse salt per pound is the perfect amount to bring out the beans' full flavor without being too salty. Add salt to the cooking water at the outset, despite what you may have heard otherwise.  

Cooking beans until tender

Cook until tender

Cook beans until tender, not mushy. Always taste several beans to check for doneness. They should be tender without hard spots, and the skins should wrinkle when you blow on them.

Cooking beans until tender

Specific instructions by cooking method:

Enjoying beans or saving for later

Enjoy or save for later

Voila! Fish out any aromatics you added, and get ready to plate the beans as they are, use them in a recipe, or go off-script and create something new. The options are endless.

more ideas

Store beans in their own broth. Cooked beans will keep in a covered container for up to 5 days in the fridge. We can’t imagine you’d have any leftovers anyway ;)

stock your pantry