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When making dried beans, generally I wash the beans, then soak them, then drain&rinse, then cook. I realized today that I started my soak without the prior wash (by accident), and then realized it shouldn't matter; after all, I am going to drain&rinse them post-soaking anyway; that should take care of the wash step, shouldn't it?

tl;dr Do dry beans always need to be washed pre-soaking, or is post-soak ok too?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It's always a good idea to wash and "pick over" a bag of dried beans before soaking them. You never know what sort of grit or weirdness you might find. It's a lot more difficult to find the stuff-that-isn't-beans once it's all been soaking together for a long time.

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very good point; picking over and picking out tiny rocks etc. is important. thanks! – TJ Ellis Sep 5 '10 at 16:21

I don't think there is anything disastrous about doing it in that order. I suppose any impurities might penetrate the membrane of the bean, but the expected impurities (especially if the beans are organic) is just soil. I'd still rinse beans before soaking in general, but if I forgot once, I'd do what you said.

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