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Can you oversoak beans?

I put some beans on to soak, then wasn't able to cook them when I planned to. Now they've been soaking for 48 hours. Will there be anything wrong with them? They are cannellini beans.

asked by fozziebayer about 6 years ago
13 answers 118831 views
8a5161fb 3215 4036 ad80 9f60a53189da  buddhacat
added about 6 years ago

In my experience the beans begin to spoil if soaked that long, particularly if it is in a warm spot. Time for the smell test - first thorougly drain and rinse the beans and see how they smell. If it seems ok cook them. Most likely they will be mushy.

Eea3c97f 5483 4907 9fed 4f8e324df319  sandwich1
added about 6 years ago

I agree about giving them the smell test to see if they're going off. You might want to check your cooking time as well, test them for doneness before you usually would.

C0d1f1de 4134 43ba 9510 1d7a8caa31f3  scan0004
added about 6 years ago

In summer, unless you have a cool-ish kitchen, you can refrigerate beans while they soak, or use the quick soak procedure -- bring to a boil with plenty of water, then wait 2 hours. One sign that the soaking beans may be fermenting is the appearance of bubbles in the water.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 6 years ago

judging from the funky odor that emanated from my kitchen counter thanks to an 'oversoaked' batch of garbanzo's I'd say yes, if you see the soaking water begin to bubble, (more than a day) its oversoaked.

27e464b9 6273 420b 9546 d6ed6ae12929  anita date

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

added about 6 years ago

Sometimes, if you leave them too long they will begin to sprout, at which point it is time to abort mission and possibly do something else with them, depending on what kind of beans they are! I have always wanted to try home-sprouting beans on purpose, but so far it only happens by accident ;)

What I do when I don't have time to cook beans (post soak) is drain the water, transfer the beans to a container, and stash in the freezer. Do this as close as possible to the recommended soaking time.

Then, when you're ready to cook them, just take them out of the freezer and dump directly into boiling water. You'll pick up right where you left off!

I recently started using dried beans from the local farmer's market. They are the closest thing to fresh you can get, so the soaking time is much shorter. This is good if you don't have that much time to wait. Also, lentils are great to have around b/c they require no soaking.

4798a9c2 4c90 45e5 a5be 81bcb1f69c5c  junechamp

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 6 years ago

Partially, I think it depends upon the freshness of the beans. Some beans can take more soaking than others. At this time of year, I generally refrigerate the beans while they soak, so just in case I don't get to cook them when I originally planned, they'll be okay the next day.

One time in recent memory they sat for 3 days in the fridge, and started bubbling. I just tossed them.

67544da8 1862 4539 8ec8 2d9dfc2601bb  dsc 0122.nef 1
added about 6 years ago

if you want the seeds to sprout instead of just tossing them away, just drain off the water, Transfer the beans into a cheesecloth & keep them covered & moist for another day. & then use the sprouts (although I've never tried cannelini bean sprouts).. The nutritious value of the beans goes up another notch when sprouted.

7b500f1f 3219 4d49 8161 e2fc340b2798  flower bee
added about 6 years ago

I have oversoaked beans once or twice in the past, but refrigerated them in their water. They were ok after 48 hours, but I noticed their taste was slightly washed off. If they have been soaking at room temperature, it might be best to discard them. If you cook beans often and are able to afford, a pressure cooker helps when planning doesn't go as planned.

F6444f0e 2cf8 47c8 864c 078efc7ad3b7  yaz and tea
added about 6 years ago

I accidentally soaked beans for three days a few weeks ago. They were in a pot at room temperature. When I checked on them, they smelled...bad and there were bubbles all over the surface of the water. The beans had pretty much fermented. I soak my beans in the fridge now, especially since it's summer. So, smell them first, if they stink, toss them =)

81339ce6 4cd9 4092 94f0 6397715c5ce5  favicon2a
added about 6 years ago

From a food-safety standpoint, beans should not be soaked for more than 4 hours at room temperature. If soaking beans overnight (the optimal amount of soaking time if you're taking that step) it should be done in the refrigerator. In the future, you may just want skip the soak (one less thing to plan ahead!) -- you can expect the cooking time to be longer, but that's it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

Growing up in New Orleans and having seen a lot of beans cooked I would say it's OK to soak them up to 24 hours. I also soak mine in chicken broth and spices. I like to infuse as much flavor as possible. Pound of dried beans, black Pepper, thyme, salt, pepper, onion powder, fresh garlic, garlic powder, 3 bay leaves 2 stalks celery, 1 medium onion, 1 carrot, 2 ham hocks (or to taste), 2 quarts boxed chicken stocked and 1 pound of cubed ham. The more hocks the stronger the smoky flavor. Empty your dried beans into the pot and take out all of the discolored ones and stones, soak overnight. Dice your celery, carrot and onion and add to your pot along with the hocks. Cook for 2 to 3 hours.

Some people where I come from put a roux in everything and yes even beans but it makes them way to thick and they have to add a lot of water which makes the taste well watery.

We serve ours with Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread.

and by the way don't eat those beans. Even if you can't smell any peculiar odors or see bubbles they can still harbor harmful bacteria but if you cook them anyway it will kill the bacteria. Beans contain toxins naturally and never eat raw or soaked beans as only a few can make you very ill.

159fa81e df11 417f b133 59c3df6008c7  food53
added 7 months ago

Quick-soak method revolutionized my kitchen last year. Bring dried beans to a boil. Cover. Turn off heat and leave for an hour. Done! Depending on the bean they're fully cooked or partially cooked, and you go from there. Love it.

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 2 months ago

Being from South Louisiana, I make red beans and rice pretty often. I used red kidney beans and I have soaked them in plain water in the fridge for two or three days many times. It doesn't affect the outcome at all.

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