3–5 Tbsp whey or lemon juice (if making black beans)
Place beans in a colander and rinse well. Remove any whole or partial beans that are significantly discolored. You also want to check for pebbles and clumps of dirt.
Measure beans into a large stockpot. Add 4 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans. One pound of dry beans yields 3-5 cups, depending on the beans, so you’ll need approximately 3-5 quarts of water.
If you’re making black beans, add 1 Tbsp whey or lemon juice for each cup of dry beans.
Allow the beans to sit undisturbed for at least 8 hours, or up to 24.
After soaking, strain beans into the colander and rinse very, very well with cold water.
Return the beans to the stockpot and add the same amount of water you originally used, plus an extra cup for each cup of beans.
Place the beans on the stovetop and bring the water just to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover the beans. Allow the beans to sit undisturbed, for 2-8 hours.
Strain beans into the colander and again, rinse very, very well with cold water.
Return the beans to the stockpot and cover with water so that the water line is at least 2″ above the beans. Bring the beans to a very low simmer and allow them to cook until desired tenderness. For partially-cooked beans, this will take anywhere from 45-90 minutes. For fully-cooked beans, this will take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Periodically check the beans for doneness and add more water as needed to ensure the beans do not dry out while cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste when the beans are almost done.