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Does it matter when I add salt when cooking beans from scratch? 

Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Mindi Shapiro

Beans take longer to cook in salted water. But oddly enough, according to Harold McGee,food scientist and author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Food and Recipes, salt in the pre-soaking liquid can actually hasten the later cooking process.

The bottom line: salt beans before, but not during cooking.