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Dried Beans – to soak or not to soak, that is the question

rworange | Jan 15, 200707:08 PM     120

I’ve decided 2007 is the year of the bean where I get to know different types. I’m starting with yellow canary beans ... some Mexican, some Peruvian.

Anyway, should dried beans be soaked? This site doesn’t seem to think so saying ...

“Some say soak your beans, don't do it, cook them hard and fast, you get better taste”

Do you just use enough water to cover the beans if you cook without soaking?

If you do soak beans, is there such a thing as over-soaking? I found this chart for the minimum times of soaking various beans, but no maximum times.

Found an old Chowhound thread with a little about over-soaking ... leads to fermentation. It also suggests beans don’t need to be soaked at all.

I was thinking of either cooking up the beans right now or (as of noon) soaking the beans to cook about 1 day from now.

There are suggestions for quick soaking ... bring beans in water to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from stove (I assume). Leave in water for 2-3 hours then cook until tender. So if I do this does that mean when I cook later on that I bring the beans back to a boil and simmer until tender?

Also, does the soaking pot matter? Does it matter if I just put them in a mason jar or do I need a larger bowl for more exposure to water?

The Mexican beans I have came in bulk ... so no instructions. The Puruvian beans just have a recipe for Frijoles Criollos which says basically after cooking some onions & garlic in 2 oz of oil, add beans oregano, salt, pepper & tomato paste and cook for 45 minutes. Doesn’t have measurements other than the oil. Doesn’t say anything anywhere on the package for cooking the beans.

That being said, with all my beans this year I just want to cook them plain first to get the basic flavor/texture.

So ... to soak or not? Maybe this should also be the year of the cooking class for me too.

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