Salting Beans in the beginning or end?

I’ve used Rancho Gordo’s beans for years. Steve says not to salt until the skins are soft or they will turn out tough. Is it different when using the oven? I use the oven often for beans but never add salt until the end. Just curious?!! I’m always wondering about this since so many recipes add salt in the beginning. Thanks!

Kelli McCarthy
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2 Comments

Lori T. June 17, 2020
I'm a member of the soak in salted water club as well. I've not noticed it makes the skins particularly tough, but it does make them taste better and more evenly seasoned. I also cook them with several different methods, depending on the time I have and how attentive I can or want to be- and no matter how they cook, the results of salting for soaking always does best for me.
 
creamtea June 17, 2020
Although I haven't tried this particular recipe (and I think I may!) many sources (Serious Eats, Harold McGee, Melissa Clark etc.) say you can salt the beans from the start, and I do. They are much more flavorful, and the beans don't blast out. I used to salt only at the end, now I do it from the soaking and then the cooking stage. The skins do firm up, it's true, but they don't toughen; it prevents beans from "blasting" and it seasons them through and through. I would salt in advance here.
 
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