or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cooking Beans...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Our prep cook forgot to soak the beans last night so she could make soup today. The chef had her put a couple tsps of baking soda in the boil water to help them cook faster. Can anyone explain this to me? Is it just a matter of altering the ph that softens the bean?
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #2 of 6

Yep it's about the pH.

 

A pressure cooker will cook the beans faster still, even without the pre-soak or baking soda. The pre-soak is nice for reducing some of the indigestible sugars though

post #3 of 6

I usually just soak beans with a bit of baking soda, just about half a teaspoon. It's something my mother taught me, I didn't really ask why but I guess it has something to do with the PH too.

Tim from ZRCR

Reply

Tim from ZRCR

Reply
post #4 of 6

I also use a drop of soda it makes them softer faster. I t does however destroy the vitamin content a bit.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 The pre-soak is nice for reducing some of the indigestible sugars though

I have found that pouring off the soaking liquid and even the cooking liquid to be highly beneficial in this regard, especially when making a bean dish for a crowd.  For what it's worth.  I also know that eating legumes often and a high fiber diet benefit your gut bacteria and you become accustomed to it anyhow. 

 

Also make your soak slightly saline (about 2 to 3 Tbs/gallon), the beans cook more rapidly (but apparently hydrate more slowly according to McGee).  I actually have been playing with my specific pressure cooker and found times of about 2 to 3 minutes for the standard harder beans sufficient.   For instance when I soak Garbanzos, which I make several times in a month at home, I salt the water and do an overnight soak.  You really only need 4 hours or so but out of convenience I just do it overnight.  Once my cooker comes to pressure I go 3.5 minutes and force cool.  They come out perfect this way.  That's a far cry from the roughly quoted 10 to 15 minute time frame, good when you are in a hurry.  My evidence is from personal observation so take it for what it's worth. You have to be careful though because salt soak can influence the texture of the final bean (they get mealier), but this is highly dependent on the type of bean you are cooking.

 

As to the baking soda, I think but cannot confirm that the higher pH acts on the skin itself so this affect may vary from one type of legume to the next.  But with access to a commercial pressure cooker I would even question the need to soak beans at all, you just need to extend the cooking time by around %25.   It also goes the other direction and if you make the water too acidic then it will retard the beans from becoming hydrated, again I think it has to do with impeding the water flow in through the bean's protective outer layer.   I really don't like baking soda I can taste it a mile away even in small amounts.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkie View Post

Our prep cook forgot to soak the beans last night so she could make soup today. The chef had her put a couple tsps of baking soda in the boil water to help them cook faster. Can anyone explain this to me? Is it just a matter of altering the ph that softens the bean?

The alkaline just helps the skins to break down. She was right in adding it.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking