Okay, guys.  I don’t ask for much.  Maybe the occasional steady commitment to a t.v. series.  Sporadic support for an online campaign.  Help choosing episode titles. But, today, I need you to do me a solid.  I realize it may be a lot to ask and many of you may feel uncomfortable, so, please, don’t feel like you have to respond.

No, forget it.  I’m imposing.  Forget I mentioned it.  I’ll just find a way to muddle through it.

Of course, it would be A LOT easier if one of you were able to help.

But it’s too much to ask.  I’m being a bother.

Then again, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to throw it out there.  Still…

Okay, okay.  I’m going to ask anyway and, if any of you feel I’ve crossed a line, tell me.  Or, better yet, ignore this request.  Delete this blog entry from your consciousness like not so much as any residual memories of Movie 43.  Deal?

Fine.  I’m asking…

Anyone have a good bean recipe?

The last time Akemi made beans, they remained rock solid after some six hours of cooking.  We’re looking at preparing butter beans with smoked pork chops, garlic, and bay leaf.  Mom’s navy bean recipe calls for bringing the beans to a boil, then allowing them to simmer overnight.  Does that sound right to you?  Anyone have experience cooking dried white beans?  Any insider secrets you’d care to impart?

Was that too much?  Did I overstep the bounds of our online friendship?  If so, apologies.  If not, do you think adding salt during the cooking process will harden the beans?

Maybe I should start a patreon for butter bean recipes.

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baterista9 AKA gildermcc
baterista9 AKA gildermcc

Oh, how I wish my mom were still alive to answer this question. She might, however, refer you to THE JOY OF COOKING by Rombauer & Becker or the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING COOK BOOK.


I’ve never heard of Movie 43. I guess that’s a good thing.

My mom *always* would let the beans soak overnight before even beginning any of the preparation process. My understanding was that if that wasn’t done, they would come out hard as a rock. Her baked beans were always awesome, too.


Soak overnight then bring beans to a boil and let them boil for about 30 minutes then reduce to a simmer for the next 3 hours…after the first 10 minutes is the simmer stage I add salt and any spices. Hope this helps!

Will Snyder

“Ditto” to Katie’s suggestion. It’s best to soak dried beans overnight before cooking them. However, I have had some success in crock-potting dried beans for, like, 12 hours and having them come out tender. Still, soaking them overnight is best.

Jonny Wonderland

Pretty much anything involving working with died beans will start with soaking the beans overnight. Once you do that you can basically follow any recipe as if you were using canned.

For cooking them up quicker a pressure cooker works wonders. But for simplicity sake soak them overnight and then go to town with whatever recipe.


Bean Cookers Assemble!! alright, so, my girl uses a crock pot. Beans in and enough water that they are well covered. This soaks overnight, no heat. Next day, drain and add water again, and cook like allll day. If she wants to add things ( meat, veggies ) throw them in when there is an hour or so to go, or they cook down to tasty sludge. Which can also be good. I guess this is more process than recipe, but bon apetit!


The secret is the salt. Only add the salt at the end of the cooking process. For some reason, if you add the salt when you first put the beans on to cook, they never really get soft.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Yes, like gforce said, soak them overnight. They are dirty, so soaking gives you a chance to wash them too. They’ll still cook without soaking but it will take longer. I start them in a crock pot with a ham-hock with water over them in the morning. Easy peasy.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

P.S. If you don’t want baked beans, this recipe is fantastic! I substitute my favorite BBQ sauce for the ketchup. I took this to a school function and all the guys loved it. One of them even hugged me. It has a lot of meat, so that’s probably why it was so well received with the males. wink https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/best-ever-beans-and-sausage

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Oh my. I’m not making a lot of sense right now. Sorry. I meant if you do want baked beans. I’ve been up since 4;30 am.. That’s my excuse…


I love to go to Taste of Home for recipes and reading the comments! recipe sounds yummy.
Good luck Joe and Akemi..

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Agreed Airelle! Taste of Home rocks!

Tom Gardiner (@Thogar)

We cook dried beans all the time, these days solely in a crock pot. I soak larger beans (red beans, great northerns) overnight and will occasionally soak smaller ones, too. While they don’t really need it, it helps with getting the liquid right since you can’t scorch beans soaking at room temperature as opposed to actively cooking beans that are still being tiny sponges.

All we do is put the beans in the crock, add water (or my preference is homemade unseasoned chicken broth), chop up an onion, dice up some garlic, toss in a bay leaf or two, dice some fresh cayennes when we have them, and add a smoked, seasoned meat. Cook that on high for 5-6 hours or until the beans are no longer dry on the inside and your juice is the consistency you like, then eat!

My meat of choice is a locally-made and very spicy smoked pork sausage, though the meat can change depending on the bean. Sausage is my go-to for red beans and blackeyes, while I’ll lean toward smoked ham or tasso (spicy Cajun ham) for navy and lima beans. But really, any smoked meat in any bean dish is wonderful.

I’ve never heard of salt hardening beans, but we generally don’t add salt to anything while cooking. It’s the one seasoning that tastes as good, or sometimes better, added just before eating. Also, it won’t all get sucked up by the starchy beans meaning you’ll have to salt again to get that salty taste while all that extra sodium is still in there.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Yum! Those sound like some good beans. I’ll have to try the broth, onions and garlic next time.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

Tom: Your recipe reminds me of a Black eyed pea dish from a church cookbook.
1 (16 oz) bag of black eyed peas
1 medium onion, peeled
8 to 10 whole cloves
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 lb country ham, chopped
4 cups (give or take) chicken broth
water, if needed

Rinse peas and clear out debris. Place the peas, onion w/cloves studded into it, garlic, bell pepper, pepper flakes and ham in a slow cooker. Cover with broth/water and stir every hour until peas are done and liquid is creamy. Add water if needed. Remove onion studded with cloves before serving.

See what you’ve started Mr. M.! smile


Tom has the process down pat. I was going to give you almost the exact same advice. About the only difference would be that I make a homemade beef broth combined with a flavorful store bought veg broth to cool them in plus we add about a cup of white wine. Everything else he said is spot on!

Danielle Genack
Danielle Genack

You win the internet. And the bean cooking instructions.

Frank Ortiz
Frank Ortiz

I’m not a big fan of beans.
My suggestion would be to put the beans in a large pot, cover with water, put in a cup of small rocks, put a lid on it, and simmer overnight.
In the morning separate the beans from the rocks, throw away the beans and eat the rocks. Salt and pepper to taste.
But that’s just me. 😜

Dana Goddard

If you have a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, this recipe worked well, other than the cooking time, which I found to be way too short. Granted, I only soaked the beans for 8 hrs rather than “overnight,” but I defy you to find an official definition of “overnight” that cooks all agree on. Anyway, I had to leave the beans cooking closer to three hours in the main step, but they were very tasty. https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/pressure-cooker-baked-beans/

James Bowers
James Bowers

Dried beans need to soak overnight(8 hours) in slightly salted water, then cook them as you did. A cayenne pepper is always a nice touch alon with a few cloves of garlic.

Danine Dolphin
Danine Dolphin

Put beans into stockpot. Add triple the amount of water to beans. Add a pinch of baking soda to assist with toughness. Beans should not be more than 4 months old. Bring beans to a light simmer, turn off heat. 24 hours later you can rinse off the beans.
You can use a Crock-Pot but it doesn’t save time. Crock-Pot on high for 1 hour, turn off Crock-Pot, soak 24 hours.
You can use an instant pot which is what I use these days because it only takes 90 minutes TOTAL. Manual high pressure for 30 minutes with sealed valve. Let pressure naturally release for 30 minutes, then release remaining pressure and open lid. You can do your aromatics in the pressure pot at the same time.
I hope this helps & our friendship survives this request for assistance


Joe, for all the wonderful stories and awesome tv shows, how to cook beans is not too much to ask. First off, take the beans and sort them. By this I mean, dump them on the cutting board, the counter, whatever flat surface you have and sort through them. Keep in mind, they are an agricultural product, subject to all kinds of rocks, pebbles, etc. Throw the beans, not the rocks in a colander and rinse. Clean em up. The beans now can go into a pot. Cover them with water. They should be submerged completely, at least a couple of inches of water. This is to allow for expansion. The beans should soak over night, or at least until they are twice their original, hard little selves.

So now the next day. Discard the soaking water. Good for plants, not so good for people or cute little dogs. Fill up the pot with clean water for cooking. Place on stove, slow cooker or whatever and set on high. Can come to a boil then turn down for a nice slow simmer. Cover the pot. Check them a few time to make sure they are still completely covered with water. Total time for cooking will vary depending on altitude, method of cooking, or time distortion, you get my point. You will have to be the best judge of that.

When the beans are tender, that is when you would want to add oil, salt, pepper. Remember, adding salt or oil before the beans are tender will result in tough beans, and as we know, tough beans is just “tough beans”. There you have it.

My most favorite bean recipe is one I made up:

Cranberry beans, about two cups
generous amounts of cut up carrots, fresh or frozen
lots of celery, cut up
two Bay leaves, just throw them in the pot
one whole onion, the sweet ones are best also cut up
generous handful of Italian seasoning

All this goes into the pot together with lots of water, and slowly cooks covered until the beans are tender. Then pour in some olive oil, lots of garlic salt, celery salt, and pepper. Adjust seasoning and enjoy!


Soaking them over night helps. I have done that with Dried Kidney and Garbanzo beans. I typically use pressure cooker . Timing varies as per beans. In pressure cooker they are done in 4 whistles at medium flame.


I’ve always been a fan of Bush’s Grillin’ Beans or their Ranch beans, when paired with smoked meats.


To echo many who have responded.
The key first step is to soak the beans overnight – at least 6-8 hours.
All dried beans need this as a first step. Fill BIG pot with water, put in beans so that it is under at least 3-4 inches of water.

My mommy used to rinse the beans first – surprising how much junk may be in the bag with the beans.

Then follow Mama Mallozzi’s recipe.
Please do let us know how it goes.


Hi! My grandma’s method:
• soak the beans over night with salt, rinse off before you start cooking
• add 1-2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, it doesn’t change the taste but it’s a good tenderizer

Hope it helps!

Jeff D.

Have you tried a Crock-Pot? They were literally invented originally nto cook beans.

Quantum Mechanic®👽🌊 (@JamesEFinch)

Here ya go!
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6

Butter Beans sauteed and simmered with caramelized sweet onions, celery, lean bacon, crushed red pepper and fresh butter beans.

Here’s what you’ll need:

16-ounce fresh butter beans (rinsed of course)
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil (hopefully virgin or at least an oil that hasn’t been around the block a few times).
1 large Vidalia onion – chopped
1 stalk of celery – sliced thinly
⅛ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 slices of lean bacon (not that your bacon leans due to laziness…this means trim off excess fat…not on you….the bacon).
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
salt and black pepper, to taste

What you gotta do:

In a medium pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and butter. Add in the chopped onions, and cook the onions until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the celery and bacon to the onions and reduce heat to simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally. Continue to cook for about 8 to 10 minutes more, until the onions and celery caramelize, or turn golden brown.
Add in the Butter Beans and crushed red pepper. Stir the butter beans and saute the beans for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Pour in the vegetable broth and Cover with a lid.
Simmer Butter Beans for 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Turn off heat. Taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm….the beans, not you. Well, it’s okay to have a warm smile as you serve.

Margaret Clayton

I see all the bean advice has been given. Excellent. Anyone have good lentil recipes (without potatoes or tomatoes)?

I’m making cheddar cauliflower soup this afternoon. We didn’t get around to roasting the head we got to make Korean BBQ Cauliflower, so soup it is. Probably followed by a batch of carrot soup for freezing in “pucks”. Makes a wonderful base for stew or tomato-less chili.


Joe, the many ways that you asked then backed off then asked again, just shows me what an excellent writer you are. I imagine you don’t spend a huge amount of time on this blog, but the kind of writing you do, would take me a VERY long time to come up with the clever witticisms that seem to come to you so easily. I’m a great admirer of this blog…I only get a little weepy when you mention Dark Matter…it still really stings me. Thanks.

Line Noise
Line Noise

I think you’ve totally overstepped the bounds of our relationship, Joe. I’m leaving!


lol lol

Line Noise
Line Noise

Oh, alright. I can’t stay mad at you.

I have to admit, I don’t cook with dried beans. I use canned. Although I can’t find canned haricot (navy) beans here in Australia so I might have to start using dried for my Chicken, Pancetta and Bean Casserole. I’ve been using cannellini beans but it’s not the same.

I’ve heard that tomatoes can make beans tough so if you’re using tomatoes in your recipe add them towards the end of cooking (or, if you’re using canned beans like me, I add the beans at the end since they really just need warming).


Recently, I cooked some great northern beans. It took unusually forever and they still did not get very soft. That had never happened to me before. I noticed the expiration date on the beans had expired. Yep, I guess uncooked beans can expire too. Maybe that is what happened to Akemi’s beans. Maybe she had some really old beans.

Buy some fresher beans and just try again. Lots of great recommendations above.


I’m sure lots of people responded and gave you their best bean recipes. I tend to “not” follow a recipe. So… my advice is to follow your mom’s recipes. That’s it. It’s as simple as that. The only thing I’d recommend is to make sure you have LOT OF WATER if you simmer overnight. My method: 1) I clean and then soak the beans overnight, 2) the next day I rinse and add fresh water, 3) boil till soft. Sometimes, I take a cup of beans, purée, and season. You can use that as your base instead of opening a can of broth. Keep a recipe journal so you can repeat anything that turns out the best. I wish you the best 🏆