So I had always heard that buying dried beans was much more economical than buying canned, but I had never taken the time to research how you cook dried beans. Opening a can is so much easier, after all. But the other day, I came across this post from the Crockpot Lady, detailing how you make the beans and how to store them in a step-by-step method that seemed easy enough to follow. Looking ahead at our menu and realizing that we would be using at least two cans of black beans the next week, I figured this would be the perfect time to give it a shot!
One bag of beans equals the equivalent of 3 cans.
Directions (in the words of the Crockpot Lady — I couldn’t have said it any better myself):
“Pour the entire bag of dried beans into a colander and rinse under cold water. If you see any beans that have broken in half, or skin that floats to the surface, get rid of it. Also pick out any beans that look shriveled and gross.
Dump all the beans into your crockpot. Add enough water to cover all the beans and an additional 2 inches.
Cover. Do not turn on. Let the beans soak for at least 6 hours, or overnight. If you live in a very warm area, and the crockpot won’t be in a room that is climate-controlled, put the stoneware in the fridge. You don’t want bacteria to have the opportunity to grow.
In the morning, dump the water, and rinse your beans. The water will be bean-colored.
Put the beans back into your crockpot and cover with enough fresh water to completely cover the beans with an extra 2-3 inches.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
The beans are done when they are bite-tender. Don’t worry if the water hasn’t all absorbed. You’re going to dump it, anyway.
Drain the beans.
When cool, put 1 2/3 cups of beans into storage containers or freezer bags (you’re adding this amount because you aren’t adding filler-liquid like the cans have). The beans will store nicely in the refrigerator for 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months.
Use as you would canned beans in your favorite recipe.”