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?

  • 1
    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, 2015 at 22:34
  • 1
    That's in all beans
    – TFD
    Oct 5, 2015 at 7:47
  • 4
    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, 2015 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.