How to Cook Perfect Beans

Taco night is always a big hit in our family and one of the most requested ingredients from our son is beans. Sure, canned beans are convenient and inexpensive, but there’s often a bit of sodium in them and when you reheat them, they can easily be overcooked.

Many are hesitant to cook dry beans due to lack of experience and convenience, but with a little planning and minimal effort, you can easily cook creamy, flavorful beans to accompany many food genres. And they are much cheaper than canned beans!

How to cook perfect beans | Alaska Knit Nat

Perfect Beans

Makes about 3 cups


One cup of dried beans such as pinto, great northern or black

1 Tbs. salt


How to cook perfect beans | Alaska Knit Nat


The morning you want to have beans for dinner, toss your dry beans into a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Add beans and salt to a medium saucepan. Fill with water so pan is about 2/3 full. Cover and let sit all day, about 7-9 hours.

Put pan on stove, still covered, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and gently simmer beans for 1.5-2 hours. Be sure it’s not at a full rolling boil as the beans can get torn up if overly disturbed. Drain and serve.

*Beany tidbit: If your beans appear shriveled after soaking them it means they are past their prime. They will still taste all right but you may want to buy new beans next time.

How to cook perfect beans | Alaska Knit Nat

4 thoughts on “How to Cook Perfect Beans”

  1. Great tidbit about “if the beans shrivel up”. I make beans about once a week… different kinds… it seems my family’s favorite by far are Black Beans. I usually cook them as you described, then when they’re “done”, I season them with a mixture of onions, garlic, green pepper, and other things depending on what kind of beans I made that day. It’s healthy, inexpensive, and usually I can freeze some for another day when I don’t really feel like cooking.

  2. Homemade “refried” beans are a favorite at my house. I cook pintos in the crockpot with chopped onion and garlic, then drain off most of the water and mash them with salt. My grandkids LOVE this as a side or on tortillas.

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