Sort through the dried beans, removing any stones or defective beans. Rinse thoroughly.
To cook beans in the electric pressure cooker
Place the beans in the pressure cooker. Add the onion, garlic powder, and 8 cups of water.
Secure the lid and close the pressure valve. Set the machine to manual for 22 minutes. When the time is done, press cancel and let the pressure release naturally.
Drain the beans from the cooking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To cook beans in a slow cooker:
Soak the beans prior to cooking. Place in a pot and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Allow to soak overnight or up to 24 hours.
The next day, rinse and place the beans in a slow cooker. Add the chopped onion, garlic powder, and enough water to cover by about an inch.
Cook 8-10 hours on low or 6 on high. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.
To cook the beans on the stovetop:
If you don’t want to use the crockpot, or if you don’t have 8 hours until serving time, you can cook them on the stovetop. Soak the beans as you would for the slow cooker method. Place the beans, onion, garlic powder and water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cover slightly. Stir frequently, adding water if necessary. They should be cooked in two to three hours. Season as desired.
To freeze: the beans can be frozen for a later date. Simply cool and divide the beans into meal size portions in airtight containers. I add some cooking liquid as well. Chill completely before freezing.To serve: thaw completely in the refrigerator. Reheat and serve.