A quart container filled with cooked chickpeas.

Canned beans are incredibly convenient, and I always have a few on hand. Nothing, however, beats the flavor and texture of cooked-from-scratch beans. Once you get into a rhythm of cooking beans/chickpeas from scratch, I think you’ll find it effortless and satisfying.

A few years ago I discovered the brining method — soaking beans in salt water as opposed to water — for cooking beans. I’ve never looked back. I wrote about it in this post for Marcella Hazan’s Stewy White Beans, and I’ve outlined the steps in more details below.

Recipe is below, but here’s a visual step-by-step guide:

How to Cook Beans and Legumes From Scratch (Brining Method)

1. Place dried chickpeas or beans in a large bowl and cover with water by at least 3 inches. Stir in 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Stir to dissolve. Let sit overnight or at least 8 to 10 hours.

2. Drain and rinse. Place chickpeas/beans in a pot. Cover with water. Add 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt, a few sprigs thyme, a small onion, halved, and a bay leaf. (All of these aromatics are optional.)

3. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or till done — this may take more or less time depending on the age of your beans. Add water as needed to ensure beans are always submerged in water. 

4. Store in cooking liquid in fridge for about a week or in the freezer for many months. As you may know, I love these deli quart storage containers.

Two quart containers filled with cooked chickpeas.

Same process for beans:

A quart container filled with cooked white beans.