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Basic Black-Eyed Peas

Servings: six.


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 to 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1-1/2 cups dried black-eyed peas, sorted through and rinsed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


  • Wrap the bay leaves, garlic, and thyme in cheesecloth and tie with twine. Put the black-eyed peas in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches (about 2 quarts). Add the herb bundle and the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer, cover, and cook until the beans are tender (try biting into one) but not splitting and falling apart, 1 to 1-1/2 hours depending on the freshness the of beans. (check occasionally to be sure the beans aren’t boiling and are covered with liquid; add water if needed). Discard the herb bundle and serve.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • JudyShafferkoetter | 02/18/2021

    Yea to the person who buys beans at Rancho Gordo. It is perfectly fine to salt soaking water and even use the soaking water to cook the beans if you rinsed them 2-3x before soaking. I usually add homemade chicken broth and cook beans in a fast simmer to break the cell wall. If you want your beans to taste good, they will need to be in salted water so the flavor is good inside the bean. The only way to puncture the cell wall is to cook the beans in a hard simmer. I also soak my beans 2-3 days changing water to sprout them before cooking.

  • katiekat | 12/30/2019

    Not sure I entirely agree with the last review. I cook a lot of beans (all kinds a family favorite). I cook many in a pressure cooker. I used to soak them over night or boil them for 2 minutes and let them soak for an hour and that always worked. However, still do it the old fashioned way sometimes. I read once that in grocery store beans you never know how old they are. If they are too old they will be very difficult to prepare a batch with unified tenderness. Some tough, some tender. I get Rancho Gordo beans and have never had a problem, either cooking method. And I do put salt in the pressure cooker beans. Not in the old fashioned soak-in-water method. To summarize, I have cooked the same type of beans both ways and sometimes run into a tough batch either method. Doesn't matter what kind (black, pinto, white, etc.). So it is my guess that the problem is old beans. I actually am a pretty decent chef, for what that's worth.

  • Caerphilly3003 | 03/10/2011

    All dishes made with dried beans should NOT have salt added while cooking the dried beans....it is the PRIMARY Cause of the HARD BEANS....Add the Salt to taste AFTER the dried beans are cooked and soft. Honestly EVERY decent Chef is taught this basic step. This is NOT an exciting Bean Recipe, it needs a bit more help such as a Tbsp of prepared Mustard,(added AFTER the beans are cooked) preferrably something like a Spicey Jalapeno Mustard.Caerphilly3003

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