- Sort and Rinse—Sort to remove stones, seeds or damaged beans. Rinse well to remove dust.
- Soak—Soak to speed up the cooking time. Choose a long or quick soak depending on how much time you have.
- Long Soak —Cover beans with plenty of water (8 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans); soak for 6 hours or overnight.
- Quick Soak — In a large saucepan, cover beans with plenty of water (8 cups of water for every 2 cups of beans) and bring to a boil. Boil the beans and water for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them soak for 1 hour.
- Cook—Drain and rinse the beans. In a large saucepan, add fresh water to cover the beans by at least 1 inch. Bring the beans and water to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the beans are tender. Add water if needed to keep the beans covered with liquid during cooking. Cooking time varies for different beans, but is usually from 1 to 2 hours. Beans are done when you can easily mash them with a fork.
★ Tip: Wait until the beans are tender before adding salt or acidic ingredients such as tomato products, lemon or vinegar. If added too soon, these ingredients will delay softening of the beans.