Admittedly, it does take a bit more effort than just opening a can and eating straight from it, but understanding how to properly cook red beans (and then using, storing, and freezing them as you like) is definitely the way to go. You’ll find that a bag of uncooked beans is less expensive and tastes better than canned beans, especially because you can introduce your preferred flavors into your recipe.
In this article, we have provided the appropriate cooking instructions for red bean recipes, as well as a number of helpful tips to guide you to excellent results. Make sure to take particular note of our timing guidelines if you’re confused about how long to cook red beans for the best results.
Red Beans Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Red Beans
We have outlined a number of helpful tips and guidelines below to help you get the best results when cooking red beans:
Avoid slow cookers – Make sure never to use a slow cooker to cook your red beans. This is due to the presence of large quantities of phytohemagglutinin, which is essentially a poison to human bodies. Slow cookers frequently do not reach the requisite temperature to clear the beans of this toxin, and in some cases, they may further exacerbate them, so make sure not to consider this cooking method for red bean recipes.
Soak your beans – Soaking beans before cooking them is advised because the dried beans get a chance to draw in moisture, causing the starches in them that typically cause discomfort to break down. While the beans are soaking, they will double or triple in size and amount.
Before soaking, remove any deformed, withered, or discolored beans, as well as any foreign debris, then rinse the beans thoroughly.
You can soak red beans using one of the following methods:
- Hot soak: Pour 10 cups of water into a big pot for every pound or 2 cups of dried red beans. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Take the beans off the heat, cover, and set them aside to soak for about 4 hours. This will help to decrease the cooking time, and also dissolve the gas-inducing chemicals contained in the red beans. Soaking the beans this way will also reliably deliver softer beans, as such, it’s the most favored method.
- Rapid soak: This soaking method is the quickest option. Pour 6 cups of water into a big pot for every pound or 2 cups of dried red beans you’re planning to cook. Bring the beans to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and soak for 1 hour.
- Traditional Soak Overnight: This is perhaps the most straightforward soaking technique. Pour in 10 cups of cold water for each pound (or 2 cups) of dry beans in a big container. Refrigerate the soaked beans for 8 hours (or overnight).
Regardless of the soaking method you choose, afterward, the soaked beans should be drained and rinsed with new, cool water.
Make sure not to reuse the soaking water to cook the beans because it beats the point of soaking them in the first place, which is to get rid of the toxic chemicals in the dried beans.
Ideal timing – Generally, soaking cuts down the cooking time for red beans, so you should spend about 30 minutes until the red beans reach the desired creamy quality.
Cooking Time for Red Beans
Pay attention to the timing guidelines in the table below when cooking red beans:
|Cooking red beans on the stovetop
|25 to 30 minutes (if soaked)
- Red Kidney Beans
- Rinse the beans and place them in a big container with enough water to cover them. You’ll need 4 to 5 cups of clean, cold water per cup of beans. Keep in mind that 1 cup of dried red beans will typically produce 2½ cups of cooked beans.
- Allow at least 6 hours (overnight at most) for the beans to soak at room temperature (you could also use the boil soak method described in the accompanying notes). Because the beans will swell 2 to 2½ times their original size during the soak, make sure the container you’re using is large enough.
- Pour out the soaking water, then rinse the beans properly once more after soaking. Afterward, get ready to cook the soaked beans.
- Pour the soaked beans into a big pot, then cover it with water to simmer (about 4 to 5 cups)
- Allow the beans to reach a boil, then reduce to low heat and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. Cooking times may differ significantly, so check the beans after about 25 minutes.
- Stir the beans occasionally to ensure that they cook evenly. A froth may form on the surface of the water throughout the cooking process. This can be simply removed. If the beans absorb all of the water before the cooking time elapses, cover them with more boiled water from the kettle.
- They’re done when the texture is creamy and soft. Drain the liquid after the beans have cooked completely.
- After cooking the beans, allow them to cool fully before freezing. You could also hurry the process by rinsing the beans with cold water.
- Divide the cooked beans into manageable amounts and put each portion into freezer-safe containers (you could also use freezer bags). Stored this way, the cooked red beans can be frozen for up to 6 months.
- The red beans can also be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days if you would prefer shorter-term preservation. Ideally, you should put the beans in the refrigerator or freezer two hours after cooking them. Failure to do this may result in bacteria beginning to multiply. Remove the frozen beans from the freezer and defrost before using. You can cook them with your meals or just warm them on their own.
Cooking red beans is quite easy as you can see from the instructions above, just make sure to follow them properly to achieve desirable results. Also, follow the appropriate timing guidelines to get the best out of your cooking.
If you’re interested in more recipe ideas for red bean recipes, then make sure to check out this video recipe for some inspiration.