Soak beans before cooking


Every recipe says I should soak beans in water overnight before cooking. Why?

I did some experiments. I have tried soaked and unsoaked beans from the same batch. There was no difference in cooking time, taste, structure or color. Even farts were the same!

Also, one time I read an interview with a cook that makes famous bean soup and he confirmed my findings. He said that he also experimented and he doesn't find a difference.

So what is the reason for soaking beans before cooking? What does it change?

Best Answer

One reason is to remove some of the indigestible complex sugars that cause gas.

Another reason is that beans are dirty, so you're just cleaning them with the soaking. If the recipe wants the beans to be cooked in the water used for soaking, the washing needs to be done before the soaking.

On top of that the soaking can reduce cooking time considerably, which might be the biggest advantage.