Rancho Gordo bean impresario Steve Sando’s quick, easy method for a perfect pot of beans.

Click here to watch Steve demonstrate how to make beans in his You’re Doing It All Wrong video.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 2 hrs, plus 2 to 6 hrs soaking time

Ingredients (5)

  • Dried beans
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped garlic
  • Olive oil or freshly rendered lard
  • Salt


  1. Soak your dried beans for 2 to 6 hours.
  2. Using the pot you’re going to cook the beans in, sauté some onion and garlic (celery and carrot too, if you like) in olive oil or lard until soft.
  3. Add the beans and their soaking water, making sure the beans are covered by 2 inches of water. Stir and bring to a hard boil.
  4. Boil the beans for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
  5. When you start to smell the beans along with the aromatics, you’ll know that the beans are about three-quarters of the way done. Add salt to the pot (about 1 rounded tablespoon per pound of beans) and cook for about 30 minutes more.
  6. To test if the beans are done, skim a few out with a slotted spoon and blow on them: If the skins wrinkle, they’re done.