There are a lot of good cooks here, some of you might have heard about this but it was new to me (I didn't actually believe it until I tried it). Dried beans have always been a staple for me, they are cheap, tasty, nutritious, versatile, what could be better?
But I've always had to cook them for HOURS, and remember to soak them the night before, and it seems they often ended up being mush, which was disappointing when you are making one of those nice 8-bean soups and you want to see the different beans when you are eating it.
Here's all you do: Don't soak the beans, just rinse them and take out any rocks/dirt. Add cool water at least an inch over the beans, add salt, and simmer on the stovetop for 15 minutes. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook on 325F for 75 minutes. Depending how much water you added, you might want to check it halfway through.
That's it! Each bean will be tender and holding its shape. I think the process is similar to using a pressure cooker. When I tried this, I threw in some caramelized onions, chopped carrots and celery, and a ham hock at the beginning, it was delicious.