For other foods, the cooking temperature seems to make a difference to which macronutrients are extracted, and subsequently, to the taste of the final product. For instance, the temperature is strictly controlled in home beer brews to maximise the extraction of sugars, and low-temperature processes are used to extract protein from peas commercially.

If I vary the cooking temperature when boiling soaked beans, how might it affect the macronutrient profile of the beans? For example, will a long, milder cooking process with lower temperature water extract a different amount of starches or proteins from the beans compared to a rapid boil?

Or, alternatively, what would happen if, instead of simply soaking the beans for a couple of days beforehand I kept them in warm (say, 60c) water for a while before cooking (instead of soaking at room temperature)

  • 1
    Not an answer, just a few thoughts: a) soaking beans is typically done overnight, so just a few hours. b) I would never keep foot at 60C - that's the upper border of the danger zone. Just a few degrees lower and you have built yourself an incubator for various nasties.
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 13:05
  • @Stephie 60C would be quite hot for your foot :P Also, mashing beer is only about an hour, not several days.
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 18:23
  • @Catija OP wrote about "keeping them warm for the same amount of time", refering to "several days". But I admit, I like hot baths ;-)
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 20:30
  • @Stephie yeah, that part of my comment was actually addressed at the op, not you. I was adding support to your statement. 😬
    – Catija
    Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


This is going to be a bit of a Zen answer (as usual for me).

I would venture that it doesn't matter. Normally, when you're making a bean stew or a chili bean casserole, you won't be discarding the liquid anyway. When you're eating the final dish, it doesn't matter to you if the protein is in the bean or the liquid, as you're eating them both.

It has, however, been my experience with white beans and chickpeas, that if you cook them more slowly, the water gets gloopier (higher viscosity), which means that proteins have moved from bean to water.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer and the reflection behind it. Even though I do discard the water, multiple times, I'm happy to leverage your experience with slower cooking time - it concurs with what I had expected and what seems to be the case for other legumes or grains. I think I should get a pressure cooker...
    – lithic
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 7:32

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