Soaking Beans Too Long? – What Will Happen & How Much Is Enough?




These fiber-packed goodies are cheap in price and offer good nutritional value. They are a fantastic source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and other. This versatile legume can be used in a million ways.

But can you soak beans too long before cooking?

Let’s learn more about this process – is it really necessary, how long to soak beans, how long is too long and how to know that, how to store them and many other tips and tricks. Keep reading and become a beans master! 😀

Is Soaking Beans Worth Your Time?

Have you ever wondered why you’re doing that? Because your mom told you? Well, that’s a good reason, but, believe it or not, there is something beyond. There are three primary reasons for soaking beans:

  • Speed up the cooking time
  • Help them cook more evenly
  • Help reduce gas

Soaked been in glass bowl on chopping board; close up;
Beans contain specific types of sugars – oligosaccharides – these are gas-causing molecules that are hard for our bodies to digest. That’s the reason why you feel flatulent after eating beans.

By simply soaking dry beans, a large percentage of these unpleasant sugars can be removed. Also, it allows the dry beans to soften and starch to gelatinize, so we can digest them easily.

Soaking beans isn’t necessary if you have plenty of time (4-6 hours) to cook them from dried. However, this process will reduce cooking time and effects texture. Soaked beans usually cook in a third of the time.

So, in general, I think the answer is yes, it’s worth it.

How Long To Soak Beans?

Ideally, you should soak your beans for between 8-12 hours. However, there are two different scenarios – beans soaked at room temperature and in the fridge. 8 hours at room temp is quite enough, but if you want or have to soak them for a long, it’s best to place them in the fridge. That means anything up to 24 hours is just fine.

How to Tell if Beans Were Soaked For Too Long?

Of course, it is possible to soak beans for too long before cooking. So, how to know when beans are done soaking?

colorful beans

If you’re worried you’ve oversoaked your beans, rinse them and give them a sniff. Beans that are soaked for too long may start to ferment which can smell rotten. There are no super obvious signs of fermentation, then tasting and smelling the beans. If they are fermented, you’ll taste an acidic, vinegary flavor. Not very nice.

Observe their appearance, beans that have soaked long enough will begin to look plump. If you can peel the skin of a bean easily, they are done, but it shouldn’t fall off.

If the beans are soaked for too long, you run the risk of the beans losing both their flavor and texture.

Tips For Soaking Beans

Follow these few guidelines to make soaking beans much better.

  • Before you begin soaking, sift through the beans for tiny rocks or chunks of mud.
  • Rinse the beans thoroughly with room temperature water to remove dirt.
  • You need to cover the beans with one to two inches of water to remove the bad oligosaccharides.
  • Cut one bean open and check if there is a uniform color all the way through.

How To Soak Beans Quickly?

There are two methods you can choose between. One of them parboils the beans before soaking, and the other method uses brining.
Brining is simply adding salt to the water before soaking. Keep in mind this method still take about four hours.

The parboiling method implies placing your beans in a large pot and covering them with water. Quickly bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat, cover the pot and let stand for an hour. Finally, strain the pot of beans and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Which Beans Don’t Need to be Soaked?

For some small thin-skinned varieties such as black beans and black-eyed beans, you won’t get much benefit from soaking. Also, it’s unnecessary to soak split peas.

diferent beans types

Extra Tip: How to Cook Beans When You Don’t Have Time to Soak Them?

The best and fastest way to cook dry beans is with a pressure cooker. In most cases, you’ll be able to cook dry beans in under an hour.

How to Store Soaked Beans?

To store soaked beans, drain the soaking liquid and dry the beans with a paper towel. Line an airtight container with a second paper towel and put the beans in. The paper will soak up any excess water. The soaked beans will last 5 days in the refrigerator.

However, you can store them with soaking water, but they will last shorter.

What With Soak Water – Keep it or Toss it?

So, after the beans are soaked, should you use that same water for cooking the beans or should you discard that water and use the fresh one?
Viewpoints vary on this topic, some prefer to cook beans in soaked water because they believe it adds extra beany essence. On the other side are people who throw their soak water out because they believe that most of those pesky sugars have been leached into the soaking water.

Practice Makes Perfect – Try Black Bean Soup With Bacon

Now that you’ve mastered how to soak beans, you’re ready to put those beans to good use. This comforting bowl of black bean soup is filled with a pound of bacon. Serve it with some garlicky cheese quesadillas.

black bean soup

AuthorIvana

Yields2 Servings

 1 lb dry black bean (soaked overnight)
 1 lb bacon
 1 onion
 6 cloves garlic
 1 poblano
 2 cups diced fire-roasted tomatoes
 2 cups chicken stock
 1 tbsp cumin
 1 tsp chili powder
 1 tsp oregano
 1 tsp red bell peppers
 2 limes

1

In a large bowl, soak the dried black beans overnight. In a large pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat, for about 10 minutes.

2

Strain out the cooked bacon. Saute the onion, garlic, and poblano pepper for about 5 minutes.

3

Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock and spices. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour.

4

Stir in the diced red bell peppers and reserved cooked bean and cook for five more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!

Ingredients

 1 lb dry black bean (soaked overnight)
 1 lb bacon
 1 onion
 6 cloves garlic
 1 poblano
 2 cups diced fire-roasted tomatoes
 2 cups chicken stock
 1 tbsp cumin
 1 tsp chili powder
 1 tsp oregano
 1 tsp red bell peppers
 2 limes

Directions

1

In a large bowl, soak the dried black beans overnight. In a large pot, cook the diced bacon over medium heat, for about 10 minutes.

2

Strain out the cooked bacon. Saute the onion, garlic, and poblano pepper for about 5 minutes.

3

Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken stock and spices. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour.

4

Stir in the diced red bell peppers and reserved cooked bean and cook for five more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup With Bacon

To Wrap It Up

There are some contrasting viewpoints existing on the bean soaking debate and here we represent one side of that story. It’s up to you whether you soak the beans or not. If you decide to do that, we provide you with all information you need to know.



Ivana
Ivana is always desirable for adventures so she was working in restaurants on the Croatian coast, participated in Caffe barista tournaments, led a gardening business, and more. She is a healthy food enthusiast, prefers vegetarianism, and practices yoga. In her free time, she likes to study ancient Buddhist scriptures as well as psychology.