Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cooking Dried Beans in the Slow Cooker

Woo-hoo, we're really living it up over here. But seriously, as boring as this post is, I thought I would share it because everyone who I mention crock pot beans to is always pleased and wants to try it themselves.

I really, really don't like buying processed or canned foods. It grosses me out big time. We tend to use a lot of beans for patties, tacos, soups and salads so I like to make big batches of black beans and pinto beans in my slow cooker and freeze them. This is so easy, and the beans taste much better than canned. You can eat them with pleasure knowing they are healthy and without the fear of harmful chemicals leaching into your dinner.

I used the instructions from A Year of Slow Cooking. She spells it all out for you. Easy, economical and tasty. (Note Stephanie's warning about red and kidney beans - they need to be boiled rapidly on the stove for 10 minutes to kill a possible toxin.)

I like to make really big batches - as much as can fit in my slow cooker - and freeze them in mason jars. Lately, we've been eating lots of bean tacos as an easy weeknight dinner. I like to serve them with avocado, white cheddar, green onion, cilantro and homemade salsa. Yum!

I've only ever cooked black and pinto beans in my slow cooker, but I'm branching out this weekend and am going to try cranberry beans. I've never tried them before, but my friend Flora recommended them for tacos.


  1. I've recently started using our slow cooker for beans - but didn't realise I should have boiled the kidney beans first... thanks for the heads up for next time!

    I also didn't realise that it's possible to freeze them in mason jars, have you had any problems with glass explosions? Or is that just caused from liquids? (One time I forgot about a bottle of wine we left chilling in the freezer, it didn't end well). And what sort of lids do you use?

    So many questions :)

    1. I freeze all sorts of things in mason jars - broth, beans, pesto, soup, green chile - and have never had any trouble. When you freeze liquids, make sure you don't fill the jar all the way so it has room to expand. When it comes to the beans, I do fill them pretty full and have never had trouble. I think because there isn't much liquid so there is room to expand.

      I use the normal (at least I think they're standard) mason jar lids with the flat disk you place on top and the collar you screw on top to hold the disk tight.

    2. Excellent, I'll be trying this out. I've been thinking about how I can cut down on using plastic for food storage, this sounds like the way to go!

  2. I don't have a crock pot, mainly b/c I've been wondering about the utility for vegetarian meals. But I love to make big batches of beans and this would be perfect. Thanks for the tip!


Hey, thank you!

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