Cook Your Canned Chickpeas For Even Creamier Homemade Hummus

The hallmark of a well-made hummus recipe is a light, creamy texture that spreads smoothly and scoops up on your pita or veggies like a dream. There are a lot of techniques called for to get the best texture, but one often overlooked step is to cook the chickpeas very well, including the ones that come from a can. Undercooked chickpeas will result in grainy hummus, no matter what the recipe.

Canned chickpeas might seem fully cooked, and of course, they are completely edible as they are, but you might be surprised to hear that the beans only get a short cooking time before they are sealed in their cans. The cans then go through a second cooking process to sterilize the contents for food safety, but even with the heat of canning, the beans stay firm. That's great for finding nice whole beans when the can is opened and for tossing on salads, but the beans benefit from another cooking to be soft enough for pureeing.

How to cook chickpeas for the smoothest hummus

Cooking canned chickpeas is still much quicker and more convenient than using dried chickpeas, of course. Start by draining and rinsing the canned chickpeas thoroughly to remove the canning liquid. In a saucepan, cover the chickpeas with water and an optional bay leaf or two for added flavor. Simmer the chickpeas for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become almost fall-apart tender. Skim off any chickpea skins that are loosened by the heat – the more you can remove, the more creamy the finished hummus will be. Test the chickpeas by pressing them between your fingers; they should easily mash. Once cooked, allow them to cool slightly before proceeding to make the hummus.

In a food processor, combine the cooked chickpeas with the other ingredients in your chosen recipe, typically tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Blend until very smooth and creamy, adjusting the consistency with a drizzle of water if needed. The heat from the cooked chickpeas enhances the blending process, resulting in a smoother hummus.