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Homemade Cooked Beans

  • Author: Tessa
  • Total Time: 6 hours 45 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked beans per 1 cup dry


There are so many reasons to ditch the can and cook dried beans yourself at home. Give it a try to see how easy, tasty, and economical homemade beans can be. To show the recipe as a list of numbered steps, click the “Print” button in the upper right!


  • Dried beans (2 to 4 cups works well)
  • Kosher or sea salt (1 teaspoon per cup of dried beans)


  1. Put beans in a large mixing bowl and fill almost to the top with room temperature or cold water. You should use at least three times the quantity of water as beans. Leave beans to soak at room temperature for six to 24 hours. If you have a very hot kitchen (above 80 F), you can place the bowl in the refrigerator. After 12 hours, drain the beans and fill the bowl with fresh, clean water.
  2. Drain beans and rinse in a colander.
  3. Transfer beans to a large pot. Cover the beans by about two inches with water. If you add more than that, it will take unnecessarily long for your water to boil. Do NOT salt.
  4. Bring the water to a vigorous boil over high heat. To accelerate boiling, cover the pot, but check on it frequently so it doesn’t boil over. Continue boiling vigorously for 5 to 10 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Optional: If a lot of “dirty” looking foam forms on the surface of the water, you can skim it off with a wooden spoon. The foam comes from proteins in the beans but it doesn’t negatively impact the flavor, so it’s up to you.
  6. Reduce heat so the beans simmer gently. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  7. Optional: Add 1 teaspoon salt for each cup of dried beans you started with. It’s important not to add salt until later because, if added to the pot early on, it draws moisture out of the beans, detracting from the texture.
  8. Continue simmering beans until tender but few to none of the skins have broken. This can vary widely: I set the timer to stir and taste the beans every 10 minutes or so. While many recipes for cooking beans call for lengthy cook times, I rarely have to cook conventional varieties of beans for more than 35 minutes when soaked overnight. Shorter soaking times will usually lead to longer cooking times, but this isn’t always the case.
  9. Remove beans from heat and drain into a colander. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Serve alone with seasoning to taste, use in desired recipe, refrigerate for a week, or pack and freeze in smaller quantities for months.


Prep (soak) and cook times will vary depending on the specific beans and their freshness.

  • Prep Time: 6 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 mins