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Why are my black beans splitting when I soak them?

I normally buy my black beans from the coop so I am assuming they are fresh. Can't understand why they are splitting when I soak them. I guess I have had them in the pantry for 6 months. Could that be too old and the reason they are splitting?

Answer »

Monita is a recipe tester for Food52 and a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

Could be the age of the beans. Next time you buy them at the Coop, try to use them right away and see if you have the same problem, This assumes you are soaking them in cold water. If not, they should be.

Amanda KP added about 1 year ago

Thank you!

paseo added about 1 year ago

I don't soak black beans, just simmer with some flavorings and salt. Start testing about 30m and turn off heat when nearly done, then let them cool in the pot. Perfect every time. I find black beans don't take as long to cook others.

Amanda KP added about 1 year ago

Thank you!

creamtea added about 1 year ago

I add a good dose of salt to the soaking water. I believe it was Sunset Mag. that recommends this to help keep their shape. I change the water to cook. There are differences of opinion on salting during cooking. Most recommend to salt at the end. I agree with paseo, though; long soaking is overrated.

petitbleu added about 1 year ago

Harold McGee also advises to add salt to the soaking water. Apparently, this helps the seasoning to permeate the bean and helps prevent splitting. However, I am inclined to agree with paseo--I usually don't both soaking black beans as they tend to cook quicker. Also, you didn't say whether you are using the quick soak method or the traditional overnight method.

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