The crock pot, or slow cooker, is ideal for cooking beans because beans take a long time to cook. You can let beans cook in the crock pot all day without having to check on them.
Before cooking beans, rinse them in a colander and pick out any wilted beans, stones or debris. Always soak beans before cooking them. Never add acidic ingredients before the beans soften because this will slow the cooking process. Soak beans in a three-to-one ratio of water to beans [source: What's Cooking America].
There are two basic ways to cook beans in your crock pot, one with a quick soak and one with a long soak. For the quick-soak method:
- Boil 6 cups of water and one teaspoon salt.
- Add one pound of beans.
- Simmer for 10 minutes
- Pour into the crock pot
- Cook on low overnight or for eight to 12 hours [source: ISU].
Soaking your beans for longer reduces the beans' indigestible sugars by 75 to 90 percent. These sugars are what cause gassiness [source: Mayo Clinic]. Here's how to cook beans with a long soak:
- Boil 10 cups of water and one teaspoon salt.
- Add 1 pound (453.6 grams) of beans.
- Boil for two to three minutes.
- Cover the pot and remove from the heat.
- Let the beans soak for four to 16 hours.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Put the beans, fresh water and one teaspoon of salt in the crock pot.
- Cook on low overnight or eight to 12 hours [Source: ISU].
You can soak the beans right in the crock pot. Simply place the beans, water and salt in the crock pot, and let them cook on low overnight. In the morning, drain the beans in a colander and return them to the pot with fresh water. Cook the beans, as above [source: Wilson].
Once the beans are cooked, you can use them immediately, refrigerate them for later use or freeze them for up to six months. Two cups of beans are equivalent to one 15.5-ounce (458 milliliter) can of beans [source: ISU].