Soaking lentils and beans

I’ve never soaked lentils and beans – I just throw them in the pot and cook them. It sometimes takes a couple of hours, but they always seem fine to me. What am I missing by not soaking them?

Nothing. Soaking will save you a few minutes of cooking time, but when you’re cooking something for hours anyways, what’s 10 minutes? By not soaking, you’ve saved yourself many many hours of waiting. All of the other purported “benefits” have been debunked countless times by anyone willing to experiment with it.


Some claim that soaking the beans before cooking them leaches out some of the ingredients that promote flatulence. So if you want low fart beans, you may want to give it a try. Though firm evidence seems to be lacking on this claim.

Yeah, it’s still up in the air.

I don’t soak, per se, but I do cover the beans with water, bring it to a full boil then shut off the heat and let them cool down, then rinse well. I find that by using water alone to hydrate the beans it means less additional stock or whatever other liquid I’m cooking them in that will need to be added later. I mostly use red or kidney beans and this method also helps to get rid of some of the color, making for a more appetizing result since the beans retain their color but don’t spill it off on the other ingredients.

I’ve never soaked lentils. They cook up pretty fast as is. (I don’t think I’ve ever cooked lentils more than about an hour, depending on the type. And more like a half hour for the red lentils I prefer.) Beans I like to soak in salted water for flavor and creaminess.

Aw, it’s all just whistling past the graveyard.

Thank you; I’ll be here all week; tip your server…

Way to toot your own horn.

Lentils don’t need to be soaked, because they aren’t very “gassy” and cook quickly. Like it’s been said, soaking beans (and pouring off the soak water) can reduce gas, and it also pre-sprouts them, which alters the sugars and starches.

I cook a lot of dry beans, I never soak. I rinse and throw them in the pot. They are fine that way. Mr.Wrekker loves his beans. He doesn’t pass gas any more than any other ol’ fart I’ve heard of.:wink:

I have made split pea soup in the crockpot, and I normally just rinse off the beans first.

I recently made Carrabba’s sausage and lentil souprecipe and it didn’t call for soaking the beans first. The meal was ready in an hour and the lentils were well cooked.

Depending on the bean, soaking for a few hours or overnight can save up to three hours of simmering. Not negligible. Chickpeas for example.