Despite the many bean recipes that call for dried beans to be soaked for a few hours or overnight before cooking, Chowhounds say there’s no need. Following a method from Rick Bayless, dexters covers the beans with water, brings them to a boil, reduces the heat to a simmer, and cooks for around two hours or until the beans are tender, adding more water if necessary. Don’t throw out the water, says dexters—it has a lot of flavor.

Pressure cookers are a good way to cook beans in a hurry. sarah galvin uses a pressure cooker, and says unsoaked beans take only about 15 minutes. lgss uses a pressure cooker too, and says that presoaked beans only take 3–6 minutes.

scubadoo97, another nonsoaker, adds that it’s fine to salt bean cooking water—it does not prevent beans from cooking, as some cooks say. “ACID will in fact keep beans from cooking,” scubadoo97 counsels Sallie, who was annoyed that a French bean soup recipe with wine took six hours to cook. “Add acid at or near the end,” says scubadoo97.

Board Links: How long should you soak black beans?
Red Beans and Rice—Presoak or no?

See more articles