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Oct 3, 2004 02:51 AM

Soaking dried beans for more than one day?

  • h

Hi y'all:

Lately I've started to cook dried beans rather than canned. I enjoy the firmer texture.

Here's my problem: I was planning on making a big batch of chili, so last night I soaked a bunch of kidney and black beans. As it turns out, I won't be home to make the chili until 72 hours after I started soaking the beans. Will this long period of soaking harm the beans? For instance, will the beans end up all mushy? Or can I just reduce the cooking time?

Thank you for any advice.

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  1. Drain them and refrigerate them.

    Btw, it turns out you don't need to soak beans at all, and that for some varieties it is better to parboil them rather than soak them for the best texture.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Karl S.

      That's true for the most part, but if the beans are very old you really do need to soak them. Of course, if you buy from a source with quick turnover you'll be ok ... and that's probably your best source for quality.


    2. The beans will ferment, how much depends on the temp (warmer means more fermentation) and how long you are soaking.

      I would toss the beans and start with "new beans". Then do the quick degas thing. Soaking beans is the best way to give consumers gas.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Alan408

        The fermentation is pretty minor at refrigerator temperature. That said, draining and refrigerating will slow it down, if not stop it. Another option is to cook the beans for 1 - 1.5 hours and then freeze them. Though that works well for many bean uses, it might not be the best bet with beans intended for chili.


      2. j
        Jeremy Newel

        You can always freeze the soaked and drained raw beans. Spread them out in one layer on a pan with low sides and bag them after they are frozen. No need to thaw when you are ready to use them.