Do You Cook Beans Covered Or Uncovered? [Answered]

You can cook beans either uncovered or covered. There are advantages to cooking them both ways. The way you cook them will depend on your personal preferences and the type of recipe you are making.

Cooking beans in a cooker without lid on

Covered Beans– Covered beans take about 2 hours to cook in a slow cooker on a low setting, whereas uncovered beans can take as long as 3 hours in a pot on the stovetop at 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Covered beans have a softer texture than uncovered beans. Cooking them covered means that you don’t have to stir them to make sure they are not burning on the bottom of the pot.

Uncovered Beans– If you like your beans more firm, then cooking them with the lid off is the way to go. You will need to watch them as they cook so that they don’t burn. Uncovered beans are chewier and firmer than their covered counterparts. They also require more cooking time (2 hours versus 1 hour for covered).

Recipe Type– You can choose to cook your beans either way according to the type of recipe you are making. For example, if you’re making baked beans, then cooking covered is ideal because it helps keep in the water that helps thicken the sauce and adds moisture to them. If you are looking for firmer beans, then covering them will allow them to have more texture.

Type of beans – the two types of beans that would work best covered are black beans and pinto beans. For these types of beans, you can leave the pot lid on when you are cooking them in a skillet.

On the other hand, if you are cooking white beans or kidney beans, then you should cook them uncovered because their texture becomes too soft when you cook them with a lid on. Again, it all depends on the recipe and personal choice.


In general, both ways can be used effectively depending upon your needs and wants. There is no right or wrong way to cook them; it simply comes down to what you prefer. However, if you want to cook beans faster then you should cover them with a lid.

On the other hand, if you plan on making black bean burgers then they have to be cooked uncovered as the water will prevent them from drying out.

Now let’s look at some of the frequently asked questions.

Why do black beans are commonly cooked with lid?

The answer is simply because of the taste and texture. Below are some tips to make the best black bean soup with the lid on.

  • The vegan (no meat) chili recipes which are made using black beans usually call for cooking them covered because they have a tendency to get chewy when cooked uncovered. This contrasts with kidney beans , white beans, and pintos which become softer when cooked covered, allowing you to make refried beans from them or even bake them in a casserole.
  • Biscuit recipes call for cooking the black beans uncovered because baking them in a baking dish with the lid on makes them too soft.
  • When you are making Brunswick stew, then it is recommended that you cook the black beans uncovered because they can become too soft when cooked covered. This may result in your sauce becoming greasy if you add too much oil to it. On the other hand, if you want a thicker stew then cover your beans with a lid.

Can you cook beans in a pressure cooker?

If you’re cooking it from scratch, then the best way is to use a Dutch oven or a pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. If you are using canned beans, then prepare them with all ingredients according to the directions on the can. The instructions will vary so be sure to read yours carefully.

Can you change the taste of your dried beans by changing how much water you use?

Yes, changing the ratio of water to beans will change their taste greatly. We used a ratio of 1.25 quarts of water per 1 cup of beans to achieve the taste we wanted. Also, if you cook them without the lid on, you won’t lose any liquid.

How should you thaw frozen beans before cooking?

You can thaw them in a colander in the sink which should take several hours. If you are short on time, then run cold water over them until they thaw.

Why do you have to soak your beans overnight?

Soaking your beans overnight will allow them time to soften. There are plenty of acids in the outside layer of the bean which slows down the softening process. So, when you soak them, you remove that layer and allow the beans to soften faster when you cook them. If you do not have time to soak them overnight, then at least an hour or two will help speed up this process as well.

Should you cook soaked beans with lid on or off?

Soaked beans are already soft so cooking them with a lid on isn’t necessary. You can cook these beans without a lid and the water in them will evaporate; this will help them get cooked faster.

Why does adding salt make beans softer?

It is not salt that makes the beans softer; it is the sodium ions that it contains which allow water to penetrate cells of the bean faster than without salt. This results in softer beans.