Cooking Beans Without Soaking? Myth-busting Guide




Some conventional wisdom says: you must soak the beans overnight before cooking.

But is this really the case? Can you skip that step and still have a delicious meal? If you take that risk, will some curse come upon you? Brrr. Just joking.

Let’s break this myth and learn more about this topic. After reading this post, you’ll become a bean master and learn everything you need to know about various bean types and how to prepare them quickly without losing their taste and your valuable time.

Why Do People Soak Beans Before Cooking?

There are a few reasons – it reduces the cooking time since dry beans are very hard. Also, soaking reduces unwanted gas-producing side effects and soaking helps the beans cook more evenly. To make dried beans edible, it’s necessary to restore their moisture and that’s where soaking helps.

various beanss

So, soaking has many benefits. Why then cook beans unsoaked?

While it isn’t hard to do, pre-soaking beans take some planning – 8-12 hours of planning ahead. Many of us don’t plan that far ahead and count on the canned bean industry. 😀

The Difference in Cooking Time

As I mentioned before, soaking the beans helps to soften them before cooking, which can drastically cut down on cooking time. For example, instructions that came with Instant Pot say to cook dry beans for 25 minutes and only 8 minutes for soaked beans.

If you want to cook beans on the stovetop, it will take 1 hour and 15 minutes for soaked beans, while the unsoaked beans took 2 hours and 5 minutes.

If You Don’t Soak Overnight, You Should At Least Quick-soak!

No! You don’t have to do that. People are really attached to this soaking idea, so if it’s not an overnight soak, it’s a so-called quick soak. If you try this method, you’ll notice the cooking time didn’t vary much – the quick-soaked beans cooked 15 minutes faster than the no-soak beans. But, if you have time, do it for flavor.

Different Beans – Different Cooking Time

Not all beans are alike, so you can experiment and adjust cooking times accordingly. The bean cooking time will completely depend on the type of bean and how old the beans are. If you want to avoid experiments, here are our tips on how to cook different bean types.

diferent beans types

White/Red Kidney/Pinto Beans & Chickpeas
Cooking red kidney beans, white kidney beans, pinto and other larger beans will be easier with the pre-boil method.
In a large pot, add 3 cups of water to every cup of beans. Bring to boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover it and let the beans quick soak for 45-60 minutes before cooking.

White Beans/Black Bean
If you want to cook white beans, black beans and other small bean varieties, the following method will work for them.

Keep the beans in cold water for 45-60 minutes. This period will give them just enough rehydration before cooking and slightly shorten their cooking time.

Check out the table below, here you can see the cooking time for different bean types.

bean variety cooking time chart

Three Non-soaking Methods

Though there is good news! You can still enjoy the delicate creaminess of dried beans! We offer you three different ways to cook your beans and non of them include soaking!

Method No. 1 – Cook Beans On the Cookpot

Rinse beans well and place them in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by at least an inch of water above the bean line. Then add aromatics – quartered onion, peeled garlic, bay leaf and some salt.

beans on cookpot

Bring to a boil then immediately reduce heat to a simmer and cover the beans for about 2 hours. Stir at least every 20 minutes. Remove beans when the desired texture is reached.

Method No. 2 – Cook Dry Beans in The Oven

This method doesn’t require babysitting like the previous one. Let’s start – rinse your beans and put them in a dutch oven or cast iron pot. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by 2-3 inches and bake at 375 degrees for 2 hours. Stir and check if they are done. If not, just cover and put it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes. This method takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

beans in oven

Method No. 3 – Pressure Cook Beans Without Soaking

This method will show you how to cook beans without soaking in a quick, reliable and almost no effort way. Just toss in rinsed, dry beans and cover with water. Make sure the water level is 1-2 inches above the bean line. Add some salt, a smashed clove of garlic and a bay leave and pressure cook for about 25 minutes. You can use pinto beans and black beans, they’re also delicious.

pressure cooker

And here we are! There are three great ways to cook beans without soaking.

How Do You Know When Beans Are Cooked?

You’ll know when beans are cooked by their texture. They should be softened to the point that they are pleasant to bite into. The kind may fall off certain beans. In general, beans are cooked when they are softened to your personal preference.

cooked beans

Do You Add Salt To Beans When Cooking?

One more myth when cooking beans is: Don’t put salt in the bean water or they will never soften, even if you cook them for hours. Is this really true? No, it isn’t. When cook beans, you can add salt to taste to the bean water. You can add as much salt to the cooking water as you want and as early as you want after.

Keep this in mind – Salting the cooking water will make your beans tastier and help them hold on to their shape.

How Long Will Cooked Beans Last in The Fridge?

Cooked beans will last 3-5 days when stored in the fridge. Before storing, let the beans cool down completely after cooking, transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge within an hour. Don’t leave cooked beans out for more than 4 hours and never leave them out overnight.

Bonus: Quick Picnic Three-Bean Salad

This simple salad is really flavorful and easy to make. It’s perfect for picnics and barbeques.

three-bean salad

AuthorIvanaDifficultyBeginner

Yields2 Servings
Prep Time5 minsTotal Time5 mins

 ½ cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
 ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
 ½ cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
 ¼ cup chopped celery
 2 tbsp chopped red onions
 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
 2 tbsp apple cier vinegar
 2 tbsp olive oil
 salt and pepper

1

In a bowl, toss together all the ingredients and you're ready to go on a picnic!

Ingredients

 ½ cup cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
 ½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
 ½ cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
 ¼ cup chopped celery
 2 tbsp chopped red onions
 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
 2 tbsp chopped rosemary
 2 tbsp apple cier vinegar
 2 tbsp olive oil
 salt and pepper

Directions

1

In a bowl, toss together all the ingredients and you're ready to go on a picnic!

Picnic Three-bean Salad

To Wrap It Up

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to soak beans overnight before cooking them.

Try one of these three great ways of cooking dried beans without soaking – no more planning, no more stressing because you forgot to soak the beans and no more spending a little fortune on canned beans.



Ivana
Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.