Before cooking on a stovetop, you will need to soak the dried beans.
There are two soaking methods. If you have a late start and need the beans tomorrow, use the long soak method and soak the beans overnight. When you get up in the morning, you’ll have plump beans ready to cook. If you need the beans cooked asap, the quick soak is best.
For the long soak method, add the beans to a large bowl and cover them with several inches of water. As the beans rehydrate, they triple in size — adding plenty of water is key. Soak the beans for 8 hours or overnight.
For the quick soak method, add the beans to a large pot, cover them with several inches of water and bring them to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes then take the pot off of the heat and let the beans sit in the water for 1 hour.
After soaking the beans, you can cook them!
To cook the soaked beans,add them to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness, 1 ½ to 2 hours.
When simmering, you can keep the pot lid off or on, but slightly ajar (allowing some steam to escape while cooking). Beans simmered without a lid will be cooked, but firm (perfect for salads or chili).
Beans cooked with the lid on, but ajar, will be creamier, softer, and break apart more easily. These are perfect for hummus or dishes where you want the beans to break apart.