How to Cook Beans and Peas: Preparing in Advance
Instead of stocking your pantry with canned beans, you’ll save money and get a more flavorful result by using dried beans. One 15-ounce can of beans equals about 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans, while a 1-pound package of Camellia Brand dried beans yields about 5-6 cups of cooked beans. That’s a lot more to work with, for about the same price.
To cook beans on the stovetop, you might consider soaking them first – but it’s not necessary. Note that lentils, split peas, and blackeye peas need no soaking because they’re small and cook quickly. In terms of all the other bean types, soaking is a matter of personal preference.
After rinsing (and, if you choose, soaking) beans, put them in a stockpot and cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add more water as necessary, in order to keep the beans submerged. Depending on the type of bean, cooking may take 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Refer to the Bean Cooking Chart below.
You can also cook beans conveniently in a slow cooker or quickly in a pressure cooker. Check out this Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice recipe and this Pressure Cooker Red Beans with Tasso and Cajun Spice recipe.
New Orleans is below sea level – and made for cooking beans! If you live at a higher altitude, plan to add more water and cook them longer. Add 10% to your cooking time for each 1,000 feet above sea level.
When the beans are tender, drain and use in recipes, or store for future use in 1/2 to 1-cup packages. Cooked beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days and in the freezer for up to six months.
Bean Cooking Chart
|Bean Type||Cooking Time|
|Baby Lima Beans/Green Baby Limas||1 hour|
|Black Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Red (Kidney) Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Garbanzo Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Large Lima Beans||45 minutes to 1 hour|
|Pink Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Navy Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Great Northern Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Field Peas||2 hours|
|Pinto Beans||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Blackeye Peas (not soaked)||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Lentils (not soaked)||30 to 45 minutes|
|Green/Yellow Split Peas (not soaked)||30 to 45 minutes|
|Lady Cream Peas||30 minutes|
|Crowder Peas||40 minutes|
|Small Red Beans||1 ½ hours|
Beans, particularly red kidney beans, must be fully cooked before consuming.