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How Long to Cook Beans - Different Bean Varieties

Updated on July 6, 2011

Long Time to Cook Beans!

Most dried beans require a rather lengthy time to make. However, many kinds can vary cooking times somewhat.

Here is some basic information regarding many different kinds of dried beans and just how much time they require to make. Keep in mind that if the beans are old, they may take longer to cook properly, or may not turn out right regardless of how long you cook them.

A Few Bean Cooking Tips

Be sure to rinse the beans very well before soaking, as they often contain bits of dirt or gravel in them. Also, remove loose skins and any beans that look bad- like they are badly wrinkled or have brown spots or holes in them. Also, strain the beans after soaking and add clean water to the beans when you begin cooking them.

If you live in an area with hard water, it is suggested to add about a tablespoon of baking soda to the soaking water. Hard water will increase the cooking time of beans quite a bit. Adding baking soda counteracts this problem pretty well. Even so, adjusting cooking times a bit longer may be needed if you have hard water.

Also, if you live at an altitude above 2000 feet or so, the bean cooking times will be significantly greater, sometimes even doubled. If that is the case, you might want to consider cooking beans in a pressure cooker.

How to Soak Beans Before Cooking

Soaking will lessen the actual cook times considerably for all dried bean types. The two main simple procedures for soaking beans are:

Prolonged Soaking Process:

Just add enough water to completely cover the dried beans. Soak them through the night (at least 8 hours). Don't soak the beans for much more time. They may soak up excessive liquid. This can cause the beans to be mushy and bland tasting. If you soak dried beans and then need to put off making them, drain the beans. Keep inside refrigerator until you are ready to finish making them.

Quick Soaking Process:

The next procedure is a bit faster and won't need too much preparing. Place the beans into a big soup pot, add water and bring to a rolling boil. Allow the water boil for approximately two minutes, and then remove from burner. Let beans soak, covered, for around one hour.

How Much Water Do I Need to Cook Beans?

All of the beans have the identical water and beans proportions. They are:

One pound of unsoaked beans should cook in about five quarts water. A single pound of soaked beans should cook in at least four quarts of water. A pound of dried beans will make about 8 cups of prepared beans.

How Long to Cook Beans

Making the Dried beans

Whenever you make dried beans, bring the water and beans to a rolling boil using a large pot. Then add a lid. Lower heat to a slow simmer throughout the rest of the cooking time.

Here are the cooking times for different dried beans:

Black Beans Soaked - 2 hours Unsoaked- 2 1/2 hours

Blackeyed Peas Soaked- 1 hour Unsoaked- 1 1/2 hours

Chickpeas Soaked- 2 hours Unsoaked- 2 1/2 hours
(Garbanzo beans)

Great Northern Beans Soaked- 1 hour Unsoaked- 1 1/2 hours

Kidney Beans Soaked- 1 hour Unsoaked- 1 1/2 hours

Lentils Unsoaked- 30 min (Lentils don't need presoaking)

Lima beans Soaked- 1 hour Unsoaked- 1 1/2 hours

Navy Beans Soaked- 1 hour Unsoaked- 1 1/2 hours

Pinto Beans Soaked- 1 hour Unsoaked- 1 1/2 hours

Dried Beans Quick Soak Method Video

How Long to Cook Beans Comments

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    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I'm always confused with beans - when to soak, when not to soak. Thanks for clearing this up and congrats on the win.

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 7 years ago from Florida

      Congratulations on winning. This is a very helpful hub.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Congratulations on your win. This is a really good hub as we love beans around here.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Nice job! A well-deserved win for someone who consistently produces excellent hubs. Cheers, Steph

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 7 years ago from Around the USA

      Thanks, everyone, for the well wishes. I was really excited to win. Good luck to you all!

    • dashingclaire profile image

      dashingclaire 7 years ago from United States

      Congratulations on your win!

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Congratulations Angela for the daily win for this topic. You deserve it. Excellent straight to the point information. Best of luck for more wins.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 7 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Congrats Angela ! An excellent hub for all !

    • Loren's Gem profile image

      Loren's Gem 7 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

      Great hub! Congrats on your win! :-)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Very explanatory - this is a great resource for people wanting to know how long to cook beans and whether to soak them beforehand

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

      Nicely done, I had forgotten about the bean pot. My sister loves cooking in hers. Congrats on your win! :)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Washington

      Nicely done - and congrats!

    • liswilliams profile image

      liswilliams 7 years ago from South Africa

      Well Done, this is well explained

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Great Hub and well put together.