How to Soak & Cook Dry Kidney Beans

Updated April 17, 2017

Dry kidney beans provide a good source of fibre and protein, and do not contain the preservatives found in canned kidney beans. Soaking dry kidney beans before cooking them helps to shorten the length of the cooking time. It also helps the beans to cause less gas after you eat them. Always cook the dry kidney beans completely because they have a toxin that can cause gastronomic distress. You can soak the beans using either the cold soak method or the short boil method.

Sort through the cup of dry kidney beans and remove any stones or old beans. Put the beans in a pot or large bowl.

Cover the dry kidney beans with three times as much water as kidney beans; for one cup of dry kidney beans, add three cups of water.

Let the dry kidney beans soak for six to eight hours. Cover the dish and place in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation from occurring in warm climates. Drain the water from the kidney beans and rinse them thoroughly.

Remove any old, withered dry kidney bean and rocks that may have found their way into the package.

Bring three cups of water to a boil and add the sorted dry kidney beans. Boil the kidney beans for two minutes, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Let the kidney beans soak in the hot water for two hours and do not remove the lid.

Drain the water the kidney beans soaked in and rinse the beans to remove any residue.

Place the soaked beans in a pot or pressure cooker and add two to three cups of water. Add the lid if using a pressure cooker.

Bring the water to a boil if using a regular pot on the stove.

If using a pressure cooker, turn the stove to a medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat level to a simmer and cook for one and a half to two hours if using the regular hob method.

If using a pressure cooker, cook the beans for 10 to 30 minutes and do not reduce the heat. Allow the steam to escape before opening the pressure cooker.


Do not add salt to the kidney beans while cooking because it will make the beans tough and lengthen the cooking time.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup dry kidney beans
  • 2 to 3 cups water
  • Pot or pressure cooker
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About the Author

Usha Dadighat has been writing since 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Science in computer science and a minor in psychology from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in December 2010. She currently works as a software development engineer and has extensive technical writing experience.