Kidney beans are flavoursome beans used widely in cooking in many countries. They are generally found as dried beans, and the term "kidney beans" usually refers to red kidney beans.
Dried kidney beans will cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea unless they have been boiled briskly (a slow cooker will not do - it can even make things worse) for at least twenty minutes to destroy the very indigestible phytohaemagglutinin that they contain. Tinned kidney beans are quite safe as their preparation involves sufficient heat to destroy the toxin.
- Dried red kidney beans require soaking for at least 12 hours before use. Changing the soak water once or twice during soaking helps to prevent flatulence (farting).
- Cook in a pot with 50% more water than is needed to cover the beans. Bring to a brisk boil for at least 20 minutes, then reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid not tightly fitted, for 1½ to 3 hours until the beans are tender. Alternatively, cook in a pressure cooker at 15psi for 25 minutes and allow to cool / lose pressure slowly (about an extra 15 minutes).