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.

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

Choose your beans and how much to cook

Start with beans that are from recent harvests and ideally less than 2 years old. (If they are older than that, see our FAQs). This guide is based on cooking 1 bag of beans (16 oz/454 g), which we recommend, since leftovers can be repurposed in so many ways. One bag of beans will give you roughly 7 cups of cooked 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.

Flavor your beans (optional)

Adding flavor gives you a pot of brothy beans that can stand on its own. We like to keep vegetable chunks large, garlic cloves whole, and herbs tied together so that you can easily remove them once they’re done. Save other additions such as greens or roasted veggies for later. See our FAQs for recommended amounts.

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).

Add salt and fat early and liberally

Salt: We think 1-1⁄2 teaspoons coarse kosher 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.  

Fat: Try olive oil, rendered pork fat, or really any fat that works with your flavor profile. We like 1-2 tablespoons per pound or beans. Incorporating a healthy dose of fat early will create the depth of flavor you are looking for.

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 times are based on beans that are <1 year old, and may vary slightly based on water hardness and other ingredients added. Add ~5 minutes for every year thereafter.

Specific instructions by cooking method:

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 ;)

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