A Helpful Guide to Cooking and Soaking Beans and Pulses

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If you're new to buying dried beans and pulses, it can be a little daunting to know how to properly cook them. Well, we've got you covered with this handy guide, written for us by Wastenot staff member Grace Stewart.

As a general rule you should soak beans overnight. You want to cover them with water and then add a little more as the beans will expand. In the morning, pour away the water and add fresh water to cover them. For most beans a 1:1.5 bean to water ratio works best.

If using a pressure cooker, bring to the boil and once it is boiling, turn it off. Let it sit there until the pressure is released of its own accord. Allow the pot to cool and depressurise and then being really careful, take the lid off and test a bean to check it is soft enough (if not, put the lid back on and bring to the boil again before turning off), then drain and rinse.

If using a normal saucepan, bring to the boil and then simmer. Cooking times vary for different beans/pulses and will depend on how long you have pre-soaked them for. You can soak beans from 1 hour up to 24 hours. It is a good idea to drain and replace with fresh water after around 12 hours. 

Type of bean / pulse

Soak overnight

Cook Time Pressure Cooker

Cook Time Saucepan

Red lentils

No

8-10 mins

25-30 mins

Puy lentils

No

8-10 mins

45-50 mins

Brown lentils

No

12-15 mins

45-50 mins

Mung beans

No

12-15 mins

15-20  mins

Black beans

Yes

10-12 mins

1.5-2 hours 

Kidney beans

Yes

10-12 mins

1.5-2 hours

Haricot beans

Yes

12-15 mins

1.5-2 hours

Cannellini beans

Yes

12-15 mins

1.5-2 hours

Chickpeas

Yes

12-15 mins

1-2 hours

Butter beans

Yes

15-20 mins

30 mins-1 hour

Yellow split peas

No

10-12 mins

1.5-2 hours

Aduki beans

Yes

10-12 mins

1-1.5 hours

Soy beans

Yes

15-20 mins

3-3.5 hours

 

Please note: cooking time in pressure cooker does not include time taken for pot to cool and depressurise.

 

This is a guest post by Grace Stewart.
Grace is a sustainability blogger, baker, mum and nature lover. You can follow her on Instagram @plasticfreegrace



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