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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?

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    Be warned -- red kidney beans contain a substance in them that will make you sick if consumed in large amounts. You must boil them for a few minutes to inactivate the chemical. You'd be better off with pinto or black beans if you're planning to cook them solely in a slow cooker. See fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/… – Joe Oct 4 '15 at 22:34
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    That's in all beans – TFD Oct 5 '15 at 7:47
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    It is in many beans, but Red Kidney Beans have the highest concentration. You want to boil the beans first after soaking them. Then add them to the slow cooker. – Escoce Oct 5 '15 at 18:32
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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)

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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.

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