Almost every week I make a pot of black beans for my family. I always use my slow cooker (also known as a Crockpot), because it’s so easy and they come out perfect without me having to fuss over them at all.
What I do (because I like to make things from scratch when I can):
I measure out about 1 1/2 cups of dry black beans and add them to a baking sheet. I like using a baking sheet because you can spread them out easily and see what you’re doing. I make sure to check the beans closely for rocks and clumps of dirt and I take out any that I find. I definitely don’t want any dirt in my beans or broken teeth from biting down on a rock! You can take the broken beans out as well if you want to, but it’s not really necessary.
I then cover the beans with water about 1 1/2″ above the top of the beans to allow for them swelling from soaking them. If they soak for a while and you notice that some of them are above the water, just add more water to cover. I usually let them soak for about 8 – 10 hours overnight if I’m gonna start cooking them in the morning or I soak them during the day for the same amount of time, if I’m going to cook them overnight.
When they’re done soaking, I pour off the water using a colander and put them in the “crock” of the slow cooker and then I add salt, and water to cover by about 1 1/2″ and put the lid on and cook on high all day (or all night) until they’re done. Check them after about 6 hours of cooking – I often leave mine for 8 hours or more.
Here are the finished beans. It’s interesting how they lose that black color after cooking, isn’t it?
They should be soft and delicious just plain but they can be added to any recipe that calls for black beans. If you don’t want to eat them right away, cool them down by removing the ceramic crock part of the slow cooker from the outside heating section and put it on a trivet to cool. Stir the beans regularly so they will cool quickly.
At this point, when they are cool, put them in a container in the fridge and they should last a week if kept cold. Black beans can also be frozen for use later.