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Mar 3, 2011 11:16 AM

Bean-soaking delay?

I soaked some beans last night but find now that I cannot finish the dish today. I wonder if anyone has experience to counter my first idea about how to proceed: I have drained the soaked beans and mean to refrigerate them until tomorrow, rather than leave them soaking too long.

The other possibility, I suppose, is to keep soaking them for close on two days in the fridge, where it's not likely they'll ferment. But I'm thinking that might be overkill, all the same. Or maybe it doesn't matter?

The stakes are a bit heightened, as these are special, expensive beans (Tarbais).

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  1. Interesting question. I have always adhered to Jacques Pepin's opinion that beans soaked overnight likely spoil and he advises against doing it at all, rather just cooking them for the recipe until done. Given that, I think I'd just go with your original plan to refrigerate them and cook them tomorrow.

    1. What's the next stage of the cooking? Most beans can be cooked till (almost) tender, and kept in the fridge for some time.

      1. I do the soak and hold all the time for dry beans. I use the "quick soak" method--bring beans to boil in cold water, boil for 2 minutes, then turn off stove and cover and let soak for 1 hour in the hot water. Then drain.

        If I put off using my norther beans for my white chicken chili that day, I chuck the beans in a tupperware container and toss in the fridge after the soaking period.

        Pull out anytime later up to a week and start the final cook. I've done it for overnite soaked beans too.

        If left to soak for days, the bacteria would scare me and the beans willl soften eventually to the point of making cooking them difficult or so short of a time imparting any flavor may not work.

        1. I soak beans for a day or two at a time without any problems. Tarbais aren't particularly thick skinned, IIRC, so you could probably drain them and put them in the fridge overnight without any harm done to them.
          Are they Rancho Gordo?

          1. Thanks for these replies, although now it's something of a false alarm and a speculative enterprise: I wrangled a way to be home tonight and will cook them today.

            In reply to paulj: the next step in cooking is to cook till almost done in seasoned water, then to drain the water and cook off in stock with meats. It's cassoulet.

            In reply to rabaja: these are French beans imported to the USA by D'Artagnan.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bada Bing

              I think they would keep better between the 'almost done' step and the baking with meats. In fact I've made a cassoulet like dish which tasted better as leftovers - i.e. after a second baking with the meat.

              1. re: Bada Bing

                sounds delicious. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!