This Is the Fastest Way to Soak Your Beans

updated Mar 31, 2020
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

I am a recent convert to dried beans. For years, I never understood what the fuss was all about. Canned beans are so cheap and easy that it seemed silly to waste my time simmering dried beans on the stovetop for hours. Then I bought a few bags of dried beans from Rancho Gordo, which people wiser than me had preached about for years. They were 100% correct in that they’re some of the best tasting beans on the planet.

I’ve also come to realize that even if you don’t splurge on the fancy beans, the cheap bags of grocery-store beans end up having better flavor and texture than the canned stuff — that is, so long as you soak them. No, it’s not strictly necessary to soak your dried beans, but it’s definitely worth it.

Why (and How) You Should Soak Your Dried Beans

There are a few reasons dried bean recipes call for an overnight soak: Soaking reduces cook time, helps beans cook more evenly, and yields beans with better texture and fewer split skins. Some say that soaking also makes the beans easier to digest, though this subject is debated.

There’s good news, though: You don’t have to soak your beans for 10 hours overnight if you decide, say, at 5pm that you really have a yen for beans. There’s an easier, faster way. Quick-soak your beans.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

How to Quick-Soak Dried Beans

To quick-soak your dried beans, cover the beans with water in a large pot and bring the to a boil. Let boil for a minute, then remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let the beans soak for an hour. Drain and rinse the beans, then cook according to the recipe. This method is perfect when you don’t have the foresight to get the beans soaking the night before and it gives you equally great results.

Read more: How to Quick Soak Dried Beans

Your turn: Do you prefer canned or dried beans? Share with us in the comments.