When cooking in a microwave oven, place a pound of cut snap beans in a microwavable dish with 1/4 cup of water or broth; cover and cook 5 - 8 minutes or until tender, stirring beans midway through cooking.
Use a steamer basket over boiling water or cook the beans in a small amount of boiling water in a tightly covered pot for about 5 - 8 minutes.
Drop a few beans at a time (whole or cut-up) into a large pot of boiling water so that the water continues to boil. Drain and serve them while they are still al dente, or cook them until they are more tender, about 5 - 8 minutes. Drain the beans and cool under cold water if you are going to serve them cold.
Wash and cut ends of beans. Beans can be frozen directly, or blanched for 3 minutes then submerged in ice water before freezing.