Why won't my dried chickpeas soften?

I put dried chickpeas in a metal bowl to soak while I was a work to make hummus when I got home. Twelve hours later, I come home and they're still hard. What's the deal? I followed the directions on the bag. Now I'm trying the quick method from the package: boiling for a couple minutes and then soaking for an hour

molls to the wall


Linda V. January 21, 2022
I forgot to soak and cook my chickpeas with baking soda, and the recipe I was following had me bake the chickpeas at 350. No salt. Onions. Lots of water. They have not softened! I’m now cooking them on top of the stove and a number of hours ago, I did add a little baking soda. Should I add more?? Or blend them up and chalk this up to a big mistake? Thanks!
Joy R. December 29, 2020
Apparently, it could be due to the metal content of your water or that you live in a high altitude. I cant remember the other possibilities. But the suggestion is to add a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water.
Jesse B. January 11, 2015
ChezHenry January 11, 2015
I make falafel a lot, uncooked, they freeze extremely well, and provide a great lunch option at any time.
The chickpeas are not cooked, but soaked overnight, and yes they are still firm, providing the necessary texture for falafel. I know you're talking hummus here, but I just wanted to add this.
Fernanda Z. February 12, 2015
What a fabulous idea! Falafels are delicious! Would you mind sharing our falafel recipe for freezing please? Thank you!
Jesse B. January 9, 2015
I brined my chickpeas in a jar in the fridge for a couple days before I cooked them because I have had poor results in the past. They have been simmering in the brine for about 2 and a half hours now on the stove in a cast iron skillet and they still aren't enjoyable. What could be wrong?
Susan W. January 10, 2015
I would not cook my beans in the soaking liquid, although I have read it's the way to go. If your beans were old, it will take longer for them to soften.
Author Comment
By the way, the old saw about not salting beans when soaking "because it makes them hard" is incorrect. _Cook's Illustrated_ has tested this. Salting the soaking water not only flavors the beans all the way through, it actually makes them soften FASTER - the sodium in the salt displaces calcium and magnesium in the seed coat, softening the pectin and allowing them to soften more quickly. Conversely, adding acid to beans before they are cooked will make them hard, so if you're making a bean dish with tomatoes, don't add them until the beans are al dente.

Voted the Best Reply!

Reiney September 4, 2012
Dried chickpeas won't feel soft after a good soak - you still need to cook them before making hummus or using them for another purpose. Soaking just allows for a more gentle and quicker cook. Put the soaked chickpeas in a lot of water with bay leaf (and a chunk of onion, if desired), bring just to the boil, skim the scum and simmer until tender. Should take about 30 minutes.
pierino September 4, 2012
I agree with Sarah Reinertsen on the techique here. I usually soak overnight and then cook for more like an hour at a simmer. I drain them through a clean towel and remove as much of the peels as possible. If the chickpeas are old this could be slowing the softening process.
trampledbygeese January 9, 2015
I agree as well, except most of the time my chickpeas take an hour or so to cook.
Recommended by Food52