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A photo of a bowl of black beans for how to cook black beans on the stove
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5 from 2 votes

How To Cook Dried Black Beans

This is a basic and tasty recipe for how to cook dried black beans with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook dried black beans, black beans
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 274kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker


  • Stock Pot
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • colander
  • large spoon
  • cutting board
  • knife


  • 16 oz dried black beans
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6-8 Cups water
  • 1 Tbs Chicken broth concentrate see notes
  • 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar see notes


For Quick Soak Method: The fastest way to cook these dried beans

  • Rinse the beans in a colander in your sink.  Remove any that look shriveled or have spots or are discolored.  Throw those away.
  • Place the remaining rinsed beans in a large 6-8 quart soup pot.
  • Cover the beans with 2 inches of water (6-8 cups).
  • Place on the stove top on medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, put the lid on and leave them alone for an hour.  The continue with the cooking instructions noted below.

For the Overnight Soak:  The low and slow way to prepare beans.

  • Rinse the beans in a colander in your kitchen sink. Remove any that look shriveled or have spots or are discolored.  Throw those away.
  • Place the remaining rinsed beans in a large 6-8 quart soup pot.
  • Cover the beans with 2 inches of water (6-8 cups).
  • Allow the beans to sit in the water overnight or for at least 8 hours.


  • Drain the beans in a colander in the sink (whether you used the overnight or the quick soak method).
  • While the beans are sitting in the colander, rinse out the soup pot very well and return to the stove top.
  • Set burner on medium and melt the butter in the pot. When the butter is melted, add the pieces of bacon and allow them to cook. (see notes below if you are using a ham bone, ham hock, turkey wing or tail or any other cut of meat for flavoring)
  • Once the bacon is cooked, add the onion.  As the onion begins to soften, add the garlic and let it cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the cayenne, salt and pepper and immediately add the water and chicken stock concentrate and then immediately add your soaked beans.  The amount of the liquid should cover the beans by an inch or two. If it doesn’t add more water until it does.
  • Stir well and bring the pot up to a simmer (not a full on rolling boil, just a gentle little simmer). If you have a piece of meat to add to your beans (see notes) this is the time to add that.
  • Cook this way (by simmering) for 1-2 hours. Test your beans to see that they are the softness that you desire.  Some people like theirs more firm and others soft. It’s entirely up to you. If you like yours more soft, then cook longer.  The longer you cook, the softer they will get.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar before tasting for salt (see note)
  • Taste your beans for the level of salt.  If they don’t taste quite right, chances are that you haven’t added enough salt.  Add salt by the half teaspoonful, stir, wait for a minute or two, stir again and then taste. Keep doing this until they are salted the way you like. Do the same with the pepper.



  • I use bacon in this recipe because it is readily available.  If you have a ham hock, smoked turkey leg, turkey tail or other large beef or pork bone you can add, then skip the part about the bacon, add the other ingredients, spices, herbs, salt and pepper and once you have added the water, place your meat flavoring agent (bone,hock, etc) into the pot to cook with the beans.  You won’t be sorry!
  • Feel free to vary the garlic.  I LOVE garlic, but if you don’t then feel free to leave it out.  
  • It is fine to substitute garlic and onion powder if you don’t have the actual ingredient.  Go with 1 ½ tsp of onion powder and 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • If you are using table salt instead of kosher, you only need half of what is called for in this recipe.  Table salt is a smaller grain and therefore, you use less.
  • The amount of cayenne added to this recipe will NOT make your beans so hot that you can’t eat them.  It is just a little something interesting for your mouth to experience. If you are totally opposed to heat, then leave it out.  However, I recommend you try this tiny little bit of cayenne because a tiny tad of heat is something you will probably want in delicious home cooked authentic dishes like this.
  • I recommend using the broth concentrate.  The brand I use is the Better than Bouillon brand.  If you don’t have that, instead use either chicken broth instead of the water OR you can add a couple of bouillon cubes.  If you decide to go with bouillon cubes, then do not add the salt until the end where you are able to taste it first.
  • If you don't have apple cider vinegar, then add white vinegar (or really any vinegar that you have).  If you don't have vinegar then add an equal amount of lemon juice.  The dish simply needs a little acidity to top off the taste.  This is VERY important and will give your entire dish an oomph!
  • Taste the beans before you serve them.  You will likely need to add more salt and pepper.  


Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 409mg | Potassium: 889mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg