How to Boil Beans in Baking Soda


Some people swear that the addition of baking soda softens beans, and others claim that it reduces the gassy effect that beans have on the digestive system. Perhaps the most reliable connection between beans and baking soda is that baking soda helps to shorten the cooking time for the beans.

  • Rinse your beans to remove any dirt or plant debris.

  • Place the beans in a large pot.

  • Fill the pot with water so that the beans are covered by about 3 inches of water.

  • Add 1/8 tsp. of baking soda per cup of water.

  • Allow the beans to soak for 4 to 8 hours.

  • Boil the beans vigorously for about 5 minutes. Simmer slowly for the remainder of the cooking time, adding water as necessary. Cooking time varies depending on the type of beans you are cooking. Follow the directions on the beans' packaging. Plan on cooking them about 1/3 less than the indicated directions, as the baking soda will help them cook faster.

Tips & Warnings

  • Excessive baking soda will give the beans an unpleasant taste and a slippery texture.

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