Rinse beans well in a colander or strainer.
Pick over beans to remove any that are discolored. Also, remove any small stones or pebbles.
Put beans into a large pot.
Add 10 cups of water to the pot.
Soak beans for 12-48 hours. If soaking for 48 hours, change the water after 24 hours.
After beans have soaked, rinse well, and return to pot with a fresh 10 cups of water.
Bring the beans to a boil, then quickly reduce the heat to a medium simmer. (See "NOTES" below.)
Simmer the beans until tender. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the type of bean.
Once the beans are tender, remove the pot from the heat. If desired with the beans still in their cooking water, add the salt to the cooking water with the beans and stir to dissolve the salt. Allow the beans to sit in the salted water for approximately 5 minutes.
Drain the beans.
Cooked beans may be added to any dish, or kept refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Beans may also be frozen for 2-3 months.