GalleryHow to Cook Dried Beans
For such a humble ingredient, beans can be kind of polarizing. There are Soakers and there are Non-Soakers. [Full disclosure: I am a Soaker, always will be.] There are people who swear by the speed of their pressure cookers (and tell tales of near explosions) and others who stick with the safe, gentle bubbling of slow cookers. Some prefer the stove, others keep them in the oven, and then there are those who believe canned beans are just fine.
Beyond saying that the mushiness and dullness of canned beans don't come close to the texture and flavor you get from cooking dried beans, I'm not here to convert anyone.
The point is, the best beans are flavorful, evenly cooked and tender, but not mushy or falling apart. This slideshow will demonstrate how—in the most secular way possible—to achieve this.