Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dry Black Beans in a Slow Cooker

This is another super useful (and easy!) method that I learned from Budget Bytes

There is something super satisfying about buying a bag of plain old dry beans, and turning them into a useful ingredient to keep stocked in your freezer or fridge. You can save a lot of money (she calculated that cooked beans from dry are about half the cost of canned), but I think the real savings comes in the fact that you can freeze in containers for whatever size you will need for a future meal. So, if you have a small family that won't use an entire can, you won't find yourself wasting (or overeating to finish it up) just because the cans are always one standard size.

The ingredients:

(I made a double-batch of the original recipe, because the beans I bought came in a 2-pound bag. These ingredients and pictures represent the two pounds of beans.)
  • A bag of dry black beans. (I used a 2 pound bag)
  • 6 cups of water per pound of beans
The steps:
  1. Spread the beans out on a big tray or cookie sheet to weed out any stones or debris.
  2. Rinse the beans in a colander. 
  3. Put beans in slow cooker and add 6 cups of water per pound of beans. 
  4. Set slow cooker to high and let cook for about 6 hours.
  5. When beans are soft, put in a colander and rinse a bit.
  6. Divide into meal-size containers and freeze. Use them just like canned beans in any recipe.
The photos:

I forgot to take a picture of the full bag of beans. So here's the emptied bag, with the couple bad ones that I pulled out.

Rinsing the dry beans in a colander.

The rinsed beans in the slow cooker.

Measure 6 cups of water for each pound of beans. Since made two pounds of beans, I filled this giant measuring cup (a Pampered Chef mixing bowl, actually) to the 6-cup line twice.

Add the water to the slow cooker. 

After about 6 hours, the beans are nice and soft. 

Put them back in the colander and give one more quick rinse.

Now, just fill containers with the beans for future meals!

I picked up this handy little bag rack from Amazon. Much easier to fill a bag without spilling!

My two pounds filled 4 quart-size bags, and a pretty big rubbermaid container. 

The beans in the container were used for black bean quesadillas the same day, so I didn't freeze them. The four bags went right into the freezer, most likely for future black bean burgers! (I have some planned for later this week.)


  1. I have tried a few crock pot black beans, but all add extra flavors to them. This looks like a good one for regular black beans to use in lots or recipes! Also, I love the bag rack... I may have to get one of those.

    1. Yep, this is a great method to use in, really, any recipe! And the bag rack is pretty handy.

  2. Did you pre-soak the beans before adding them to the crockpot?

    I found this post off of a google search and would like to make some beans soon! Thank you! :)

    1. I'm so glad you found my blog! I don't soak the beans at all beforehand. This is the easiest recipe ever! I hope you like it as much as I do. :)