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Jun 17, 2013 01:24 PM

Soaking dried beans over night

When a recipe tells you to soak dried beans over night does that mean 8 hours and can I take them out of the water after that and just refrigerate until I get home from work and then make baked beans? Thanks

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  1. I'll be interested to hear what others say. In my experience, soaking can go on too long after 12-16 hours or so. At least with some beans, it starts to split the skins, and, depending on the temperature, a kind of fermentation can begin. So I think 8 hours is good for most--but garbanzo/chick pea and also soy (I think) will take 12--and then I'd drain them until cooking time.

    1. 4 quarts water, 3 tbsp salt, soak overnight or 8 hours.

      9 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        Thanks, these are navy and great northern beans. But can I put them in the fridge after the soak in a covered container and make the baked beans when I get home at 3pm?

        1. re: javaandjazz

          Not a problem. How long do you anticipate cooking the beans?

        2. re: monavano

          What is the up-side of adding the salt?

          1. re: grampart

            It cuts down on the, um, farts. Also, makes the insides creamy while helping to keep the skin intact.

            1. re: monavano

              From what I've read, salting beans when soaking or cooking is "iffy". Some think a salted soak produces a softer skin, others disagree. Cook's Illustrated advises against it. I've never read anything about salt affecting the creaminess or fart production. I soak red and black beans for 10 hours unsalted. They always come out great (except the one time that I used the quick-soak/pre-boil method).Salt may be added near end of cook depending on the type and amount of pork used.

              1. re: grampart

                CI endorses the salt soak, actually.
                My results have been perfection.

                1. re: monavano

                  My understanding is that salt doesn't make much difference, but acid (like tomatoes) *does* make them tougher.

                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                    In recent testing, we’ve found that soaking dried beans in mineral-rich; hard tap water can toughen their skins. Some recipes recommend using distilled water to avoid this issue, but we’ve discovered a simpler solution: adding salt to the tap water, which prevents the magnesium and calcium in the water from binding to the cell walls, and it will also displace some of the minerals that occur naturally in the skins. We found that three tablespoons of salt per gallon of soaking water is enough to guarantee soft skins.


        3. Yes, you can refrigerate them after soaking (out of the water, as you've said) I have also frozen soaked beans, then thawed in the fridge to use. (lost my ambition after soaking overnight)

          1. If you're worried about fermentation, soak the beans before you head off to work. Also, you can start the soaking overnight and just put the beans in the refrigerator.

            3 Replies
            1. re: dave_c

              Duh, why didn't I think of this? Thanks!!!!

              1. re: dave_c

                What about doing the soaking in the fridge (rather than at room temp). Do you think that works?

                1. re: drongo

                  i do this all the time with no problems

              2. The other option is just put them in to soak in the morning before you leave for work.