Rehydrating Dry Beans


  • Dry (uncooked) beans such as navy beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, etc.
  • Lentils and split peas do NOT require soaking.
  • Soy beans require longer soaking (and cooking) than most other beans.


    Presoak beans using one of these methods: 1) Overnight Method: Wash beans, sort, place in a large pan and cover with 4 cups of water to 1 cup of dry beans. Cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Use the water for cooking the beans. 2) Quick Method: Follow directions for overnight method but instead of soaking for 8 hours, bring water and beans to a boil and cook 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 1 hour. Beans are then ready to cook.
  1. One cup dried beans yields about 2 1/2 cups cooked beans.
  2. Cooking time varies according to size of bean and length of time in storage. Peas and small beans usually need less than an hour; larger beans up to 3 hours. Test for tenderness by tasting.
  3. Add 1 T. fat to cooking beans to control foaming.
  4. Consider using a pressure cooker to cook up legumes. In the pressure cooker it only takes about 10 minutes to cook up cannellini or kidney beans and about 15 minutes for soy beans. (I’ve heard that there can be a danger of sputtering beans clogging the release valve…but I haven’t had any problems with that.)
  5. Salt. Many people feel that adding salt slows the cooking process. I, however, like to have some of the salt flavor cook into the beans so usually add some to the beans as they cook. Youâ??ll have to decide what you prefer. You will probably add salt later to your chili, refried beans, etc. so it is not crucial to add it while rehydrating unless you want the salt flavor cooked into the beans.

For more Helps and Hints about cooking legumes and whole grains, read my more recent post here.

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