Bean Basics

Cook, Ingredient Spotlight, Learn, Primers

This season, we’re proud to feature heirloom beans grown with care on family farms like Mohr Fry Ranches. Each kind of bean has it’s own unique flavor that can be highlighted in a variety of seasonal dishes.


Though they might seem time-consuming to prepare, dried heirloom beans only require a little planning ahead to cook, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with tender textures and hearty flavor. Read on for our guide on how to cook, store and serve these delicious bean varieties, so you’ll cook a perfect pot every time.



Store dried beans in  airtight containers in a cool, dry place. Store cooked, drained beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in a heavy-duty zippered plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.



Soak dried beans before cooking them for the best texture and flavor. Pick over beans, discarding any misshapen beans or grit. Rinse the beans, put in a bowl, and add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Let soak for at least 4 hours or for up to overnight. For a quick soak, combine the beans and water in a saucepan , bring to a boil over high heat, and then simmer the beans for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and let cool in the liquid for at least 1 hour.



To cook soaked dried beans, drain and put them in a wide pot with fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add other ingredients as called for in the recipe (avoiding acidic ingredients like tomatoes, which will toughen the beans). Bring the liquid to boil and then reduce heat to low. Partially cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender (soft but not mushy), 1-3 hours.



Beans are a hearty ingredient in many soups, salads, and chilis, or they can shine on their own as a substantial side or vegetarian main. (Note: Canned beans are fine in pinch when you don’t have time to cook dried beans.)


3 comments about “Bean Basics

  1. karen

    I ordered these beans , soaked them over night, it took 5-6 hrs to cook them to the point they were soft( not mushy) 6 hrs,really?

  2. Olivia Ware

    Hi Karen, I’m sorry to hear you had trouble cooking the beans. I asked our Test Kitchen cooks what the problem might have been, and they had never had that experience before — all of their cook times for the beans have been in the 1- to 2-hour range. They suggested 2 possible reasons for your extended cook time: 1) if you were barely simmering or using a slow cooker on Low, it could take longer, or 2) if there was an acid, such as canned tomatoes, in the pot while you were simmering.

    I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have additional questions.

  3. Ingredient Spotlight: Heirloom Beans

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