Recipes often use old wives’ tales for cooking methods which sometimes turn out to be an extra step that is not necessary for everyone. There are two reasons that people soak their beans before they cook them. One is to start the process of cooking because beans take a while to cook, and the other is to keep the body from passing any unwanted gas.
I will tell you that I do not normally soak my beans before I cook them. I have, and I may in the future just because it seems like “the” thing to do, but mostly I have not soaked them. In my times of cooking them, I have never found a “rock” in my beans nor I have not noticed any expedited cooking or extra gas being a problem – for us anyway (beans do not make a difference in passing gas here in our household! It happens no matter what).
Over the years I have cooked beans on the stovetop, in the pressure cooker, and in the crockpot and they have all turned out the same during all these cooking methods. I normally cook beans in the crockpot because this seems to give me the best results with a delicious recipe. Here are the 3 methods to soak beans you can use depending on your comfort level:
Overnight soak: Most people forget to do this until it is too late anyway. Those who do remember should first rinse the beans. Then soak them in water for 4 up to 12 hours using 3 cups of the water to every cup of beans. This should make the water about 2 inches higher than beans. Once they are soaked, dispose of the water.
Quick soak: Do not give up if you have not soaked your beans. Just put 3 cups of water into a pan for every cup of beans and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let them soak for an hour and then dispose of the water.
No soak: Just rinse the beans off and get ready to cook them!
Beans are really difficult to mess up although it happens sometimes. Just put your love into them and then wait for the outcome of some deliciousness!