I looked online and most recipes called for 3hr of cooking dried and soaked soy beans. My question is if it's instead safe to boil for 10-15min then simmer for 45-60min? As I understand there are bean toxins that need to be cooked out. Also, is cooking after the boiling going to have any efffect on food safety or is it just a matter of texture? My reason for asking is below. On a related note, most recipes call to remove the foam that forms from cooking the soybeans. Is this foam safe to eat?

I've been cooking dried beans more regularly recently. Mostly kidney, pinto, and lima beans with lentils. I boil for 10-15min then simmer for at least 45-60min until it reduces to the consistency I like. I know some beans come out more mushy than others since they normally cook for different times but I like the convenience. I tried soy beans today but they were crunchier than the rest. So I'm just a little paranoid that this means I might not have cooked the soy beans long enough for their bean toxins to be eliminated.

  • It is immaterial at this point, as you have eaten them you are going to find out. I would suspect they were safe, if undercooked. Anyway, you have learned you need to cook them longer so they are soft, which is why they say 3 hours.
    – GdD
    Jun 23, 2020 at 7:35
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    I suppose that's kind of fair but I'm not sure if it's entirely accurate to conclude that it's safe just because I didn't get sick that one time. Someone can eat undercooked chicken and not get sick, doesn't mean undercooked chicken is safe. Anyways I actually liked the crunchiness of the beans as they were so my only concern was safety.
    – clm
    Jun 23, 2020 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


You can't cook "past the boiling point" , unless you are using a pressure cooker...and a simmer is, technically, just below the boiling point.

You can learn about bean foam here.

Soybeans need to be cooked for human consumption in order to destroy the tripsin inhibitors. According to the information in the linked page, boiling soybeans for 14 minutes inactivates about 80% of the inhibitor...for 30 minutes deactivates 90%. You can reduce this time with the higher temperatures of a pressure cooker. However, while the inhibitor will be taken care of, as far as I can tell, your beans will not be "cooked", or pleasant to eat yet. The recipes I find suggest 3 to 4 hours of cooking on the stove-top. Again, this can be shortened dramatically using a pressure cooker.

  • Thanks for the reply. I didn't mean cooking at a temperature beyond the boiling point of water, I meant cooking them on a lower temperature after having boiled them.
    – clm
    Jun 23, 2020 at 18:48

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