I just got home from work, and tonight is my night to cook. Unfortunately, I just realized this recipe for Mexican beans says I should simmer the beans for 3 hours. I'm too hungry for that, but I really want to eat these.

Would be okay to skip the simmering? Or is there something else I can do to produce the desired effected?

  • 1
    Water boils at 100C. Making it boil harder won't make it hotter.
    – SF.
    Feb 20, 2013 at 15:09

3 Answers 3


You probably want to just use already-cooked beans, from a can. (Hope there's a store nearby.) Then you just have to cook as long as it takes to let the flavors mingle; half an hour is plenty.

If you happen to have a pressure cooker, you can cook dried beans much faster, something like 20-30 minutes. See for example this recipe - you can add back in whatever seasonings you like from your recipe.

But otherwise, there's no way to speed up cooking dried beans - boiling water doesn't get any hotter than 100C, and it just takes time for them to slowly soak up water and cook through.

  • Again, we post about the same thing at the same time :-)
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Feb 12, 2013 at 23:45

If you have a pressure cooker, you can shorten the time to cook the beans by using it. You will find many recipes and articles by googling "beans pressure cooker", such as this recipe posted on Serious Eats for refried beans, or this recipe for Boston Baked Beans, again courtesy of Serious Eats.

However, without a pressure cooker, you cannot increase the temperature of the cooking beans past the boiling point of water, so they will require a certain amount of time to cook.

  • in fact cooking at a boil rather than low low simmer takes longer imo for beans to get nicely tender -toughens them up then they burst on me
    – Pat Sommer
    Feb 15, 2013 at 4:35

Any chick peas I have cooked after soaking seem to get soft enough in about 20 minutes of simmering after bringing to the boil. Any longer and they are mush! Cooking for over and hour seems crazy!?

  • 1
    These are beans, and cooking for over an hour is not crazy.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 12, 2017 at 19:32
  • Especially as the recipe doesn't say to soak them first (that's the crazy part.)
    – Lorel C.
    Jan 13, 2017 at 2:10

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