How to Cook Dried Beans in a Slow Cooker


For something that seems so easy, there has always been debate about how to bring dried beans back to life. After years of trial and testing, it turns out that soaking your beans overnight does very little to help you cook them. For such a long step, it only save about 20 minutes of cooking time, and some believe it even makes the beans less flavorful. More flavor and one less step? That's the method for me. Just bring the beans to a boil, then make sure to add a 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to the slow cooker and that soaking step is entirely unnecessary. It's a good thing since we have enough to do without spending time on things we just don't need to do.

How to Cook Dried Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

Video of the Day

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 pound dried beans of any variety (Great Northern, Pinto, or Black preferred)

  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (or water)

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon celery salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 bay leaves

How to Cook Dried Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

Step 1: Boil

This step eliminates the need for soaking. Soaking overnight versus just bringing the beans to a boil only decreases cooking time by about 20 minutes, not enough of a difference to warrant the extra step and time. Add the beans to a pot, cover with 4 inches of water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. (If using kidney beans, boil for ten full minutes.)

How to Cook Dried Black Beans in a Slow Cooker


IMPORTANT: All dried beans have a toxin called lectin (specifically phytohemagglutinin_)_. Some beans, like kidney beans, are extremely high in lectin and can be toxic if not cooked properly. If you're using a high lectin bean you MUST boil for ten minutes to remove the toxins. If you're using a low lectin bean like great northern and pinto, boiling isn't as necessary, the lectin levels are not toxic .

Step 2: Drain

Drain the beans and add to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours. Start to check the beans after about 5 hours. Bean cooking time will depend on the type of bean, the size, and how long ago the beans were dried.

How to Cook Dried Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

Step 3: Store or Serve

Remove the bay leaves, drain, and store in an air tight container, or serve warm. Beans freeze well, don't be afraid to make a large batch and freeze more for later.


Don't skip the baking soda! It helps soften and cook the beans, especially those that have been stored a long while and are especially tough.

How to Cook Dried Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

Share this article

Recent posts

Teachers’ Top Needs for 2019

Teachers’ Top Needs for 2019Great classrooms don’t happen by accident. Teachers across the country work hard to build vibrant, energizing learning environments for their students, which often means ev

Top Tips to Transition Back to Work After Baby

Top Tips to Transition Back to Work After BabyMany new parents spend hours preparing for the arrival of a new baby – reading books, seeking professional advice and consulting friends and family. Howev

Get Away Without Going Away

Get Away Without Going Away5 family staycation ideas that won’t break your budgetFamily vacations are a great way to bond and take a step back from the hectic schedules that accompany everyday life, b

5 Common Questions for Memorializing a Loved One

5 Common Questions for Memorializing a Loved OneOne of the most difficult conversations in a person’s life typically takes place near the end of that life. Planning for a funeral can put an emotional

Boat Safe

Boat SafeEnsure your boat is ready for the water with this checklist No matter how much experience you have on the water, prepping your boat – and your passengers – before leaving the dock can make fo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent comments