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I tried cooking my own chickpeas after being a fan of canned ones from Trader Joe's for a while.

I soaked them for 24 hours and then washed and cooked them in lots of water for 2 hours. They came out kind of cardboardy (lacking in flavor and harder to chew).

I guess canned chickpeas get softer from being canned. Still, is there anything I can do to improve mine?

I salted them after cooking. Is that a mistake? (I figured it's less sodium for the same saltiness in taste, because all the salt will be on the surface)

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    Possible duplicate of How should I prepare dried chickpeas? – moscafj Aug 31 at 21:01
  • @moscafj Thanks, but it looks like I'm already doing what the accepted answer in there suggests... – MaxB Aug 31 at 22:08
  • @moscafj ... So "That solved my problem" doesn't apply, but neither does "my question is different" – MaxB Aug 31 at 22:10
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    By "harder to chew" do you mean actually chewy, or just al dente? – FuzzyChef Sep 1 at 4:28
  • Also, did you notice the note about overtreated raw chickpeas in the accepted answer? – FuzzyChef Sep 1 at 4:37
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I have made chickpeas 2x recently and I was happy with them. What I did:

1: Rinse and then short soak - maybe 1 hour.

2: Long cook, covered - more like 12 hours. Chickpeas are little beasts. They can take it.

3: Salted cooking water, enough to cover chickpeas and not extra. I think cooking in salty water gets the salt thru and thru the bean. I topped up with extra water once during long cook (I got up at night to check them). There was only a little water left when I was done and I kept it. It sort of became jellyish presumably with broken down chickpea. It was good. If you do that, salt your water to taste.

I would be nervous about scorching the bottom if cooking 12 hours on a stove top. Try a slow cooker or a dutch oven inside the oven set to bake, as low as it will go. Mine was actually in a foil tray covered with foil (1st time) and a dutch oven (second time) on my 2 burner gas grill with the peas over the cold burner and the other burner set to low. Didn't want to heat up the house.

If you try, post how it turns out in the comments.

  • 12h?! I'll prob stick with canned or other beans. But thanx. – MaxB Sep 1 at 18:27
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    @MaxB - if all you want is beans then yes, canned. But the thing about the slow cook: some tomato juice, an onion, some spices, maybe a piece of bacon and you have made something people will beg you to make again. – Willk Sep 1 at 18:30
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This is a standard task for pressure cooking. Normally, pressure cooking only saves you time. But with dried legumes and with potatoes, the result is typically creamier.

Also, try switching your chickpea source if you only had your experience with one batch. Maybe you just happened to use a batch that was old, or grown under imperfect conditions.

The longer cook already suggested in Willk's answer is also a very good idea. I can't give you optimal times, but 2 hours are on the low side for most legumes except lentils. 12 hours is probably overkill, but you could start with 4 or 6 hours if you are cooking in a normal (non-pressurized) pot.

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