We're going to buy a large quantity of dried kidney beans. It will mostly be used for Chili. I've never used them before so excuse me if this sounds like a dumb question. Would I need to soak the beans overnight and then add them or would they turn tender on their own if I slow cook the chili for 6 to 8 hours in the crock pot?
I have done a lot of cooking with beans and I will usually soak them overnight and then slow cook them for an additional 5-7 hours. If I forget to soak them, I will usually have to put them on the stove and boil them on high heat for almost 2 hours stirring constantly.
As far as Chili goes, I have always preferred a mixture of Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, And "Great Northern Beans" (white beans)
Soak with 1 1/2 T kosher salt dissolved in 8 cups of water overnight. Rinse beans and cook with fresh water adding a teaspoon of salt in the beginning. This method of brining the beans gives you more flavorful beans and also gives you a more consistent outcome. You do not have to soak beans, but not soaking will increase the cooking time.