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Oct 23, 2011 08:42 AM

Canned or dried garbaganzo beans for hummus? I like canned better??!

So I make hummus all the time and recently ran out of canned beans! I used dried beans this time, which is truly a pain to soak. I soaked for like 24 hours and then boiled them for a short period of time too. I just made the hummus and for some reason it feels less buttery and more grainy. How do other people feel about this? Maybe I am doing somewhat wrong because I would automatically assume that dried would be better than canned. Thoughts?

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  1. This is a well discussed topic here. I much prefer dried, for taste, price and sodium content (none) but don't always have the time to soak and cook. If your hummus was grainy, I wonder if your chick peas were thoroughly cooked. Did you taste one for texture before using? I cook mine until very tender, and that can take a few hours, regardless of soaking, which I do overnight as well. I assume you did try one for doneness, but it just sounds like they could have used a bit more cooking time. A technique that will create a more silky chick pea texture is to push the puree through a sieve. Some posters even remove the skins. See the link below.

    Also, don't boil your beans or peas, a gentle simmer is a more effective technique for tender results. Dried will be better than canned if they are cooked properly and thoroughly first. Not as convenient as canned, but somehow better flavor.

    Here's a fun thread on the virtues of removing the skins:

    I can't speak for all posters, but it seems to me that the larger majority, from the threads I've read here, prefer using dried over canned. Good luck.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Just to piggy back onto bushwickgirl's excellent points. Don't throw the soaking and/or simmering water out. I often find the cooked beans benefit from some added stock pot water when pureeing the entire hummus ingredients. I always soak my own; change the water twice per 3 lbs. over the course of 2 days and then simmer slowly in either veggie stock or plain water until they taste buttery and smooth.

    2. I always use tinned chickpeas. Houmous made and being eaten in few minutes. I have no inclination for the faff of using dried.

      That said, I usually just buy ready made from the supermarket - even easier.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        okay so I soaked actually for like 2 days. I boiled for maybe 20 minutes? I thought that soaking would give the right texture and then if I boiled it a bit and let it sit in the heat it would be enough. It probably was not. So next time, simmer for a few hours? In addition to soaking for 24 hours?

        1. re: cups123

          20 minutes is not long enough. Cooked conventionally, chickpeas can take anything from 1-4 hours, in my experience.

          A better method is to pressure cook them. This takes about 20 minutes and I have found that it gives perfect chickpeas everytime.

          ETA: Don't need to soak that long either. I do it overnight for convenience, or if I'm doing it in the day I just wait until they look swollen. A quick soaking trick: Put them in a pan full of water, bring to the boil, boil for 2 minutes then cover and turn off the heat. Leave for 1 or 2 hours and they will be swollen as if they had been soaked overnight. Continue cooking as normal.

          1. re: Muchlove

            And a vote for the slow cooker, which produces amazing flavor. But you really need to cook any chickpeas a long time. As to the skins: My focus in hummus is flavor, not texture, so it's no biggie to me.

            1. re: lemons

              Got it. So next time I will just soak overnight, which seems easiest and then I will simmer for several hours? I dont have a pressure cooker. I do have a slow cooker however. So like 4 hours on a low simmer?

              1. re: cups123

                Give them a few hours of simmering, then start testing them. The only way you'll really know when they're done is when they're tender on your palate, don't just leave it up to timing. Really no need to soak more than overnight, or use the quick soak method Muchlove wrote about, very effective.

                A slow cooker is a great way to cook them as well, as lemons mentioned.

              2. re: lemons

                As mentioned above, you don't have to cook them a long time. The pressure cooker is a magical thing :)

                1. re: Muchlove

                  Well, I've cooked them about 6 hours on low in the slow cooker, and that seemed just right, but ymmv, of course. Do save the broth; it's delicious, can be used to thin the hummus if needed, and I think it's great for soups.

                  Don't think about clocks unless you just have to. Put it in the slow cooker when you get home from work and check it at bedtime. (Unless, as I used to, you get in from work at midnight or later... then I'd put it on when I got up, take it off before I left for work, and refrigerate them.) The first time you do it, you might want to pick a day when you'll be home for most of the day, so you can check it every so often. Make a note of how long it takes for the next time.

                  And Be Patient.

                  1. re: lemons

                    Fair enough, everyone prefers something different.

                    I don't own a slow cooker so that option is out. I have cooked chickpeas in an ordinary pan many many times and it works fine. However, when saving fuel is important and you need to cook chickpeas very often, then a pressure cooker works like a charm. Hence this is why I use it all the time now. Plus they always seem to come out absolutely perfect - tender but not falling apart, not hard, etc. The broth is still lovely by the way :)

        2. I've done both, and I know it's against the culinary grain, but I prefer canned and my hummus is pretty well loved and fast disappearing.

          1. I always use canned (as does my favorite Greek restaurant) and I use every bit of the water from the can as well.