How to cook common bean in mess tin in campfire during hikers camp? Each night would be in the other location. The challenge is to first soak the beans and then to cook them. Beans should be cooked on little fire, which is quite hard to achieve with campfire.

I thought about soaking beans in mess tin for the night, then on the next campfire boil the water and keep beans in boiling water keeping the right distance from the center of the fire. The water would probably one moment boil intensively and the other will be a few degrees under boiling point.

Is this possible to cook beans in such way? Is there the other way to prepare it?

  • 1
    You don't have to soak beans. They cook longer unsoaked, but if you have logistic troubles to get a soaking phase, you may be better off with just cooking them unsoaked.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 21:08

3 Answers 3


You can just soak beans until they are ready to cook. Depending on the bean, it would have variable soak times; but many beans left in water will come to a nice toothsome texture of their own accord (bear in mind they will need to be either sprouted or cooked at the end).

Assuming you have a watertight container for a serving of beans to store them while they soak (I like small pyrex containers for portage), you could also toss them into the skillet or other cooking utensil to boil them. This way you could carry multiple days supply dry, which would make them light and not prone to spoilage but for the quantity soaking.

Frequently, co-ops and health food stores have bulk bins with varieties of dried beans and charts detailing soak times; you could mix your own medley by bagging a few different ones that all have approximately the same soak time.


Assuming you have access to a food dehydrator or an oven that can be trusted at a low setting, you would be better off pre-cooking and then drying the cooked beans. When you get to camp, just add boiling water and wait 15 minutes, and they'll be done.

This would save you the fuel cost of the long cook-time that most beans require, and allow you to season them in ways that would be difficult or impossible on the trail.

  • I like this idea? Does the flavor change at all? Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 20:52
  • It shouldn't much, I've only ever used a warm-air dehydrator for it, though. You might get some Maillard reactions from the oven. I have mostly seen a texture difference: they wind up a little mushy after all of that abuse.
    – baka
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 22:06

Boiling things is the easiest thing to cook on a fire. Easier even than marshmallows.

The water buffers out the variations in temperature. If the temp drops too low for too long then the beans will take longer to cook but it won't hurt them. If the temperature is too high for too long you may have to add more water.

I think your strategy will work. Keep in mind that it will take hours of boiling. You might consider using lentils- not as traditional but they cook faster and don't need soaking.

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