2. Cooking pot with lid
3. Smooth surface
4. Air-tight storage container
1. Fill the cooking pot 1/4 to 1/3 full with dry beans.2. Empty the beans onto a smooth surface leaving at least a foot of clear area between the pile and the edge.
3. Hold a cooking pot in your lap below the edge to catch sorted beans.
4. Use both hands to scatter some of the beans across the empty surface between the bean pile and the edge.
5. Inspect the scattered beans and remove any unwanted pieces or rocks.
6. Use both hands to sweep the inspected beans into the cooking pot.
7. Repeat until the pile of beans has been moved to the pot.
8. Fill the pot with water to cover the beans.
9. Stir to clean the beans.
10. Drain the beans using the lid slightly ajar or with a colander.
11. Fill the pot with soaking water. Water alkalinity and hardness affect firmness of beans. If you want firmer or softer beans, use different water.
12. Soak at room temperature for a day (it's likewise beneficial to soak at 140 degrees for 3 hours, but this requires more vigilance and precision) to increase mineral availability (reduce phytates). Note that beans cook firmer after soaking.
13. Wash, drain, and refill again. Water alkalinity and hardness affect firmness of beans. If you want firmer or softer beans, use different water.
14. Bring to a rapid boil and let cool. Keep water well above beans to avoid the darkening of oxidation.
15. Wash and drain again.
16. Add salt (1/2 to 1 tsp per quart) and spices such as garlic (retards refrigerator spoilage), onions, basil, oregano, chiles, cumin.
17. Bring to a rapid boil and cook until done (0 to 20 minutes). Keep water level well above beans to avoid the darkening of oxidation.
18. For longest safe storage of large quantities, while still boiling (or after serving and re-boiling), place the portion to be refrigerated into a sealed airtight container, let cool unopened for several hours, then refrigerate unopened until near freezing. Keep water well above beans to avoid the darkening of oxidation.