How to Cook Dried Beans in a Crockpot Slow Cooker
Who doesn’t love nutritious beans, and they’re extra delicious and inexpensive when they’re cooked in the slow cooker. This post compares results for soaked and unsoaked beans, with everything you need to know about How to Cook Dried Beans in a Crockpot Slow Cooker.
Why is learning How to Cook Dried Beans in a Crockpot Slow Cooker such a big deal? Partly it’s because dried beans are one of those magical foods that have everything going for them. Beans are inexpensive, and they’re a good source for many vitamins and minerals, plus they’re also high in fiber, high in protein, and naturally low in fat, sugar, and sodium.
Not only are beans nutritious, they’re loaded with healthy slow-burning complex carbohydrates, and are low on the glycemic index, making them a good food choice for anyone who’s concerned about blood sugar, whether for weight-loss or health reasons.
Beans are also one of the most versatile ingredients you can find, and they show up frequently in recipes for bean soup, bean stew, bean salads, and side dishes. Beans can be combined with chicken, turkey, beef, and eggs and there are also lots of well-known foods around the world where beans are the star ingredient, such as refried beans, hummus, Farinata, Socca, and Falafel.
Learning how to cook dried beans in a crockpot slow-cooker is one of those wonderful ideas I discovered through food blogging. After I tried cooking beans this way, I did this experiment to see how soaking the beans would affect the cooking time. I cooked my beans on high, but if you’re not going to be home you can always cook them for a longer time on low. The cooking time of dried beans will vary greatly depending on how fresh the beans are, so I can’t give you the exact cooking time, but here’s a report on the results I got. (See after my recipe for ways other food bloggers use their slow cookers to cook dried beans.)
I started with 2 cups of dried pinto beans, using beans from the same package for both crockpots.
I soaked the beans in the green crockpot overnight (about 10 hours.)
Beans in the brown crockpot were not pre-soaked.
Beans in both crockpots were covered with enough water to cover by about 2 inches. I didn’t add salt to the beans. (For the pre-soaked beans, drain out the original soaking water and use fresh water to cook the beans.)
I turned both crockpots to the HIGH setting, put the lids on, and started a stop-watch to time each crockpot.
Pre-soaked beans in the green crockpot were tender and full cooked after 3-4 hours on high.
Unsoaked beans in the brown crockpot were tender and fully cooked after 5-6 hours. Honestly, I was quite surprised that pre-soaking didn’t make more of a difference in the cooking time. I couldn’t really tell much difference in the flavor or texture of the soaked vs. unsoaked beans. Both methods produced about 6 cups of cooked beans from 2 cups of dried beans. I froze my beans in 2 cup containers to use in recipes.
How to Cook Dried Beans in a Crockpot Slow Cooker
Use a slow cooker that’s at least 3 1/2 quart size to cook 2 cups of dried beans. You can increase the amount of beans for a larger size cooker.
Caution about red kidney beans:
Red kidney beans contain a natural toxin which may not be destroyed if your slow cooker doesn’t reach a high enough temperature. To be safe, red kidney beans should be pre-soaked, drained, and then boiled in fresh water for 10 minutes before cooking in the slow cooker. Read more here and here about potential toxins from red kidney beans. Thanks to Stephanie from A Year of Slow Cooking for this tip.)
Pick over the dry beans and discard any broken or shriveled looking ones. Put 2 cups dried beans into the slow cooker crock and soak overnight in cold water, enough to cover by several inches. The next day, drain the beans and discard the cooking water. Put soaked beans back into the slow cooker and add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Turn cooker to HIGH and cook beans until they’re tender and cooked through, about 3-4 hours for soaked beans. (You can also cook the soaked beans on low, which would take about twice as long.) Drain beans. (You can save the cooking water if desired, but I usually don’t because this liquid will have the undigestible carbs that make beans cause gas.) Whether pre-soaked or unsoaked, 2 cups of dried beans will make about 6 cups of cooked beans. Beans can be frozen in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid for several months until you’re ready to use them.
Pick over the dry beans and discard any broken or shriveled looking ones. Put beans into the slow cooker and add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches. Turn cooker to HIGH and cook beans until they’re tender and cooked through, about 5-6 hours for unsoaked beans. (You can also cook the unsoaked beans on low, which would take about twice as long.) Drain beans. (You can save the cooking water if desired, but I usually don’t because this liquid will have the undigestible carbs that make beans cause gas.) Whether pre-soaked or unsoaked, 2 cups of dried beans will make about 6 cups of cooked beans. Beans can be frozen in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid for several months until you’re ready to use them.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
All types of dried beans are a low-glycemic food that’s approved for the South Beach Diet, but portion sizes for phase one should be limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving size. Dried Beans are probably too high in carbs for other low-carb diet plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
Other Food Bloggers Cook Dried Beans in a Crockpot:
Slow Cooker Recipes with Beans and Legumes Photo Index Page ~ Slow Cooker from Scratch
Ten From Scratch Recipes for Dried Black Beans in the Slow Cooker (plus recipes using cooked black beans) from Slow Cooker from Scratch
Cooking Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker from A Year of Slow Cooking
How to Cook Beans in the Slow Cooker from The Kitchn
Dried Black Beans cooked for Gluten-Free Gazpacho from The Perfect Pantry
Slow Cooker Cuban Style Black Beans with Rice from Andrea Meyers
Have you used the a CrockPot or slow cooker to cook dried beans? If so, please share any tips or suggestions you have in the comments.