Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to cook old dry beans...

I sat in a preparedness class once...and a man told of how he had tried to get old beans to get soft again. His frustration at hard beans made him visibly agitated! He was so mad at those beans!!! He said "I boiled them for HOURS...and they NEVER SOFTENED!!!" In almost a daring tone he asked the instructor "How would you make them soft?!!!" The instructor didn't have an answer that would console the man.

I was pleased to see this on the providentliving site. It will give consolation to those with similar poor feelings towards old beans.

How do I cook old dry beans?

The longer dry beans are stored, the longer they may take to cook. First, sort and rinse the beans. For each cup of beans, bring 3 cups of water to boil, add the beans to the boiling water, and boil for two minutes. Next, add 3/8 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for each cup of beans, cover, and soak for 1 hour or more. More baking soda may be required for older beans. Next, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly, cover with water, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours or until tender. Do not add salt or other ingredients until the beans have softened adequately. See All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage Basic Recipes for additional information.

That "basic recipes" link by the way is to a church pamphlet that I don't think most people have ever seen. I discovered it one day by going through the site map of the providentliving site. It is a great mini compilation of really basic recipes. Seriously...REALLY is truly a list of "survival" frills food storage recipes.


  1. Great find Brother Nix! I ordered the book you recommended which I found used on Amazon for $10.00. I look forward to learning much from it and making it a part of our lives. Keep up the good work! -Aaron

  2. You must be kidding. I've been using a pressure cooker for years to make wonderful chille from my storage beans. Thirty (30) minutes (even at my high altitude) is all that it ever takes. I learned this from my Mother.