So many recipes want a can of beans here or there, but canned beans usually have a ton of extra sodium and possibly other ingredients, when dry beans are so much cheaper.
I have canned beans using a pressure canner, but right now I’m lower on pantry space versus freezer space, so I’ve been making larger batches of beans to freeze.
No matter which method I use to make beans, soaking is required, in my opinion, for good texture.
The options are:
long soak overnight (soak beans, covered by 2-3 inches of water, in pot),
quick soak (simmer for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 2 hours)
I usually do the long soak, just for convenience, because I like to cook the beans for most of the day, and it can be done overnight, without being in the way or anything.
Before soaking: (1lb cranberry beans)
After the beans are soaked, I slow simmer them for several hours. I do this in the crock pot or on the stove, usually depending on if I expect to have to leave the house. They require very little intervention except they require double checking that there is still ample water, throughout the day.
From here, they can be frozen, eaten, or added to another dish. I’ve made much larger batches in my stock pot. Beans expand a lot when they cook, so it can be surprising how much you wind up with.