Turn the crock pot to high, and cook covered. Lower heat if leaving the house or cooking overnight. Check on beans occasionally to make sure there is enough water. Beans need a lot of water to thoroughly cook. Add water as needed.
Now is the time to add salt to taste and any other additional seasonings; whole cloves of garlic and fresh sprigs of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano are delicious additions. Let beans simmer for an additional 30-60 minutes, in order to make a flavorful broth.
Sarah's Notes: There is not an exact recipe for making beans. Variables such as altitude, humidity, and bean types affect cooking times and water amount used. I have outlined the basic formula for cooking beans in a crock pot. I highly recommend using a crock pot to cook beans as it protects the beans from overcooking or burning and allows the cook the ability to leave the kitchen. High altitude climates require longer cooking times, usually around 4-6 hours. At sea level, beans take about 1-3 hours to cook. Pinto beans are a great beginner bean to try out. They have a shorter cooking time and almost foolproof results.
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