Basic Cooking Method for Dried Beans

Preparation info
    • Difficulty


Appears in
Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

  • About

Use this method for any variety of dried beans or legumes, except lentils and split peas, which need no soaking. Also, specialty beans (sometimes called “new crop” beans) may not require soaking; check the package instructions. (See Dried Bean Basics.)


  • Dried beans
  • Onion, peeled (optional)
  • Bay leaf (optional)
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Place the beans in a colander and rinse with cold water; sort and pick out any discolored beans.
  2. Place the beans in a large bowl; add cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Soak overnight (refrigerated if your kitchen is very warm). The next day, drain the beans, discarding the liquid.
  3. Place the beans in a large pot with fresh cold water to