Food - Drink
Do You Really Need To Soak Dried Beans Before Cooking?
By LAUREN ROTHMAN
Beans are a staple ingredient: inexpensive, widely available, and incredibly versatile, but some people avoid dried beans due to the perceived hassle of having to soak them before cooking. If you count yourself among that crowd, you might be relieved to learn that you might not have to soak dried beans at all.
While common wisdom has it that beans need to soak in order to cut down on their cooking time, in a recent test soaked beans were ready only 10 minutes earlier than the non-soaked beans, making the soaking process hardly worth it. So in most cases really don't have to soak dried beans if you don't want to.
However, if you've got a really old bag of beans, or if you purchased them from a store with low turnover, the chances are high that those beans will have dried out even more during their storage. In that case, it's a good idea to soak them before cooking just to replace some of the extra moisture that's been lost.