Quick-soaked beans take as little time to cook as overnight soaked? LIES. Tear-soaked lies! @Food52Hotline



arcane54 August 21, 2014
I agree with Laura and would add that my first hint is to look for the telltale wrinkled beans that seem to never absorb water no matter the soak. I use baking soda when I cook garbanzos for hummus (it allows their skins to magically separate from the bean resulting the most amazingly smooth hummus!) and I'll give it a try for the elderly beans I might encounter.
Laura S. August 21, 2014
Elderly beans sometimes never cook. If you've had the beans for a long time--that might be the problem.
SKK August 19, 2014
Agree with what everyone says! And when I have trouble with my beans it is because they were not fresh. I always buy dried beans bulk in a place that has high turnover.
boulangere August 18, 2014
Here's a pretty definitive link that appears to cover all bases: to pre-soak or not, to add baking soda or not (not), to salt early or not (not). http://ruhlman.com/2011/03/how-to-cook-dried-beans/
AntoniaJames August 18, 2014
Did you cook the bean just in water? Adding tomatoes or any other acid before the beans are soft will instantly stop them from softening further, no matter how long you cook them. ;o)
Greenstuff August 18, 2014
So sorry! Sometimes even long-soaked beans just won't soften up. Sometimes a pinch (just a pinch!) of baking soda does the trick.
Lindsay-Jean H. August 18, 2014
It sounds like your last batch of beans didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped. For the next batch you might want to check out some of our bean cooking strategies: https://food52.com/blog/4634-how-to-cook-dried-beans
Recommended by Food52