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How to Cook, Store, and Use Beans

Beans are not only nutritious, but they are inexpensive, versatile and very filling!  We have compiled all of the information you will ever need to know about beans for you! Read on to become a bean master......

 The information in this chart has some of the most popular and commonly used beans.  

 

Alternative   Names

Cooking Method Time                          Shelf-Life Best Uses

Black Beans

Turtle Beans,

Black Spanish Beans

-Stovetop: 60-90    minutes
-Oven: 75 minutes
-Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 22-24 mins
Soaked: 4-6 mins

*Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years


*Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years

*Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years

 

 

 Good with ground beef, Soups, Stews, Mexican dishes, Dips

Black-eyed Peas

Cow peas,

Cherry beans

-Stovetop: 1/2 hour
-Pressure Cooking: 

Unsoaked: 6-7 mins
Soaked: 3 mins

*Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years

*Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years

*Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
Soups, over rice, Oriental and Mediterranean dishes

Great Northern Beans 

 

-Stovetop: 45-60  minutes
-Oven: 75 minutes
-Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 25-30 mins
Soaked: 6-8 mins

  •  Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
 Baked beans, soups, stews

Red Kidney Beans

 Adzuki

-Stovetop: 90-120  minutes
-Oven: 90-120 minutes
-Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 22-24 mins
Soaked: 5-8 mins

  •  Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
Meaty flavor, Chili, soups, salads, casseroles

Lima Beans

Butter beans,

Madagascar beans,

Fava Beans

-Stovetop: 90-120 mins
-Oven: 90-120 mins
-Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 12-15 mins
Soaked: 5-7 mins

  • Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
 Succotash, casseroles, soups, salads

Pinto Beans

Cowboy beans,

Mexican beans

Stovetop: 90-120 minutes

Oven: 90-120 minutes

Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 22-24 mins
Soaked: 4-6 mins
  • Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
Mexican dishes, refried beans, casseroles and soup.

Green Split Peas

 Field Peas

Stovetop: 60 minutes

Oven: 60 minutes

Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 4-6 minutes
*Soaking not needed
  • Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
 Soup, Salads, Add to rice or other grain side dishes, 

 Soy Beans

Edamame,

Tofu,

Tempeh

Stovetop: 3 1/2 hours

Oven: 3 hours

Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 35-40 mins
Soaked: 20-22 mins
  • Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
 Snacking, 

Navy Bean

Boston Bean,

White Coco Bean

Pea Beans

Stovetop: 90-120 minutes

Oven: 75-90 minutes

Pressure Cooking:

Unsoaked: 18-20 mins
Soaked:  6-8 mins
  • Regular bag in a cool dry place: 1 -2 years
  • Vacuum packed in a cool dry place: 3-5 years
  • Mylar bag or sealed in #10 can with Oxy absorbers and stored cool and dry place: 20+ years
 


Soaking Beans:

In general, soaking dried beans before cooking is necessary.  Typically, the larger the bean, the longer they need to soak.  The longer you soak beans, the faster they cook. 

Soaking beans allows the dried beans to absorb water, which begins to dissolve the starches that cause intestinal discomfort. While beans are soaking they are also double to triple their size. You can cook beans without soaking, but it takes longer, and some people think the beans taste better when soaked.

There are 2 methods to soaking beans:

1) Soak beans in three times their volume of water for 6-12 hours before cooking.  Overnight is an easy way to do this.  

2) Quick soak method: Put your beans in cold water; bring them gently to a boil and then with your pot off the heat, soak them for 1-2 hours.  

A few tips:

  • If you throw out the water they were soaked in, it helps to get rid of the gas causing properties of beans and will help you digest them better!

  • Do not add salt or acidic ingredients, like vinegar, tomatoes or tomato juice, as this will slow the cooking process. Instead, add these ingredients when the beans are just tender.


Cooking Beans:

This chart can help you determine how many beans to cook:

Dried Bean Guide 

1/3 cup dry beans =

1 cup cooked beans

1/2 cup dry beans =

1 1/2 cups cooked beans

2/3 cup dry beans =

2 cup cooked beans

1 cup dry beans =

3 cups cooked beans

2 cups (1 pound) dry beans =

6 cups cooked beans

Stovetop: 

After soaking, drain the beans and add water to a cooking pot.  Bring the beans to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for the appropriate amount of time depending on which variety of bean you are cooking.  Check your beans occasionally because sometimes beans will cook more quickly than you are expecting.  Always simmer beans instead of boiling.  Boiling can cause your beans to split and the cooking liquid to overflow. Beans are done when you can smash them between your fingers.  

Oven:

Heat the oven to 325°. Put 1 pound (2 cups) of beans in a large Dutch oven or pot with a tight-fitting lid. The pot and lid should be glazed at least on the inside and must be lead-free.  You can also use glass or ceramic casseroles. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Add enough water to cover the beans by about 1 inch. Put on the lid and bake for 75 minutes (can take up to 2 hours depending on the bean variety) Check the beans and stir them. If they are tender, take them out of the oven. If they aren't done, put them back in for 15 minute intervals until they are, adding a cup of hot water if they seem to be drying out. 

Pressure Cooker:

  • Presoak the Beans for faster cooking times and a better product.  Once the soaking is done, drain and rinse your beans. 

  • Add 8 cups of water to 1 pound (2 cups) of beans and salt if adding.  

  • Follow package directions for your pressure cooker. Secure the lid according to instruction manual and turn the flame up to high. Keep an eye on the pot and when it reaches high pressure, reduce the flame to medium/medium low and start timing the beans. 

  • When the time is up, turn off the heat. Allow the pot to cool down and release pressure naturally. Follow your instruction manual to determine how you will know when the pot is ready to be opened.

  • Unlock and remove the lid, tilting the lid away from you and allowing any condensation to drip back into the pot. 

  • Enjoy your beans! 


Storing Cooked Beans:

 

If you aren't using your beans right away, then you can refrigerate them for a few days. Cooked beans freeze beautifully and it is so fulfilling to stock your freezer with a few varieties of deliciously cooked beans. To do this:

  1. Let the beans cool.
  2. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of just the beans 1 1/2 cups is roughly equivalent to a 16-ounce can, which is how most recipes will call for beans. You can use mason jars, plastic containers or freezer bags.
  3. Add enough liquid to cover, leaving about 1 inch of head space for expansion, and seal.
  4. Label your container and freeze for up to one year.

 

Product Recommendation:

 

IP Programmable Pressure Cooker

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Comments

10/23/2013 10:59am
Great information, I would have figured they were cooked all the same.
Renee
10/24/2013 9:02pm
Hey don't forget crock pot cooking. I soak in the crock pot overnight them turn them on in the morning and cook all day. comes of great everytime.
10/26/2013 8:10pm
Definitely! Thanks for the reminder.
EB Wolfe
11/04/2013 8:12pm
How many beans per 8 cups of water in the pressure cooker?
11/06/2013 7:25am
2 cups (1 pound) of dried beans.
DENISE KOEHNKE
02/26/2014 7:05am
I have 2 questions, how do you freeze in a jar? maybe this is silly but wouldnt the jar break? and do you know of any great bean recipes? I am trying to eat more beans in place of meats but I am having trouble finding something other than soup to use beans for. I had an amazing black bean and rice "burger" at a restaurant and I want to make more like that! things my family will love.
02/26/2014 10:14pm
If you use a mason jar, it will not break. They are made out of tempered glass and can withstand extreme temperatures either direction. I freeze a lot of things in mason jars and have never had one break. We have a LOT of bean recipes on our site. If you search for 'beans' on our site you should find a lot of different recipes.

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