How Long Can You Soak Beans?

Cannellini beans

Beans can be an important ingredient in various recipes and you can prepare them in different ways as well.

How long you have to soak the beans before you actually start cooking them, is one of the most common questions. The truth is that there is no straight answer.

There are different types of beans and you can find them in many forms too. We put together a step-by-step guide to help you learn how to soak beans properly.

The maximum time you can soak beans for is 12 hours. Anything more than that will affect their flavor and texture.

As for the minimum time, you can soak them for at least 8 hours. If you don’t soak them enough, you will have to spend more time cooking them. 

Can You Soak Beans for 2 Days?

The short answer to this question is no. You can’t and shouldn’t soak your beans for more than 12 hours so two days is definitely too long.

During such a long time frame, your beans will absorb too much of the water you put them in and they will become mushy and lack the taste you like so much. 

Even so, there are still exceptions to this rule. Some beans will just not give in to the maximum 12 hour time frame so they might require more soaking.

The types of beans you use are also important as some will need more time to soak while others will be perfect with a minimum of eight hours. 

How Do You Soak Beans?

Mung beans

When it comes to soaking beans there are two methods of soaking them properly. One method involves cold water, another one involves boiled water. We will discuss both of these methods as follows.

Coldwater method

The method that involves soaking beans in cold water is one of the most popular worldwide. All you have to do is put the beans in a container of water at room temperature. You should soak them for a minimum of eight hours but not more than 12 hours. 

If you want to prepare the beans for dinner make sure you soak them in the morning. Likewise, if you want to prep them for lunch you can soak them overnight. Then, drain the beans and cook them as the recipe tells you to do it. 

Boiled water method

If you want to rehydrate your dried beans fast, you can soak them for at least one hour. To use this method, you need to use boiled water. Put the beans in water and bring them to a boil for about two minutes. 

Take the container with beans and water off the heat. Cover it with a lid and let them to soak for 1 hour in the boiled water before you start cooking them.

Do Soaked Beans Go Bad?

Anasazi beans

Once you soaked your beans, you should know that they will not stay good forever. This is why is important to cook them on the same day, if not immediately.

Ideally, you should prep them as soon as you drain them. If not possible, try cooking them in the next 6-8 hours. Otherwise, your soaked beans to ferment and not be good to eat. 

If you want to store soaked beans, that’s okay. Just put them in a container with a sealed lid and in your refrigerator. You can also freeze them using the same strategy.

If you decide to refrigerate your soaked beans know that they will stay good for 2-3 days. As for frozen beans, these could be good for several months if you store them correctly. 

Do You Have to Cook Soaked Beans Right Away?

You don’t have to cook soaked beans right away. However, that is the best way to keep their nutritional content in your food. Ideally, with the right planning, you can soak your beans right until you need them for your lunch or dinner recipe. 

If you can’t cook your beans immediately, you can apply one of the storing methods above and save them for your next meal. It also depends on the cooking method you used. If you decide to quick-soak them, cook them immediately to keep their crunchy and sweet taste.

If you soaked them in room temperature water for at least eight hours, you can wait a few more hours until you cook them. 

Do Beans Soak Overnight Need to be Refrigerated?

Kidney Beans

If you soak your beans overnight you most likely want to cook them for lunch. If that is the case, you will not have to place them in the refrigerator.

However, if you are not going to cook them for lunch and you plan to save them for dinner, you might want to give them a few hours in the fridge. 

Likewise, if you intend to prepare your beans the next day, you should definitely put them in the refrigerator until you want to cook them. Otherwise, you risk ending up with bad beans that are not as tasty as you anticipate. 

Soak Those Beans

Soaked beans are easy and tasty. You can use them in stir fry dishes as well as stews, soups, or baked dishes.

They are common in Mexican recipes and they can taste great in spicy dishes. But soaking them correctly is extremely important.

If your beans are not soaked the right way, you will spend a lot more time cooking them.  Also, if they are not stored properly, you will not enjoy their nutritional benefits.

Follow the tips in this guide to end up with perfectly soaked beans that you can cook just the way you want. 

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