Check the beans after an hour: Cook the beans for one hour, and then begin checking for doneness. Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from an hour to three hours to cook through. Be patient. Keep the beans at a gentle simmer and taste frequently as they start to become tender. Add more water as needed to keep the beans submerged, and stir occasionally. When they are done, you can add in your desired amount of salt or do the next steps instead. You can also put the water and beans in a Tupperware and store the day ahead before doing the next steps.