Instructions for the quick-soak method:
- 1. In a large saucepan combine 1 pound dried beans with 6 to 8 cups hot water (or 3 cups water for each 1 cup beans). Heat the water to boiling and cook for 2 minutes.
- 2. Remove beans from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse.
- 3. Simmer the beans in fresh water for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until tender. Drain and use.
Instructions for the make-ahead freezer method:
1. Cook a big batch of dried beans according to package directions until just tender.
2. Drain, cool, and place in freezer bags or containers in 1-3/4-cup portions (1-3/4 cups cooked beans equal a 15-ounce can of beans). Label and freeze the beans for up to three months.
3. To use, place the beans (thawed or frozen) in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water for each 1-3/4 cups of beans. Simmer, covered, over low heat until heated through. Drain and use.