Can Calcium Chloride be Used to Prevent Lentils from Bursting?

  • Can Calcium Chloride be Used to Prevent Lentils from Bursting? Stefano

    In Modernist Cuisine, they recommend using calcium chloride when cooking beans to help preventing them from bursting:

    Beans often burst after being cooked in ordinary tap water. To avoid this...[a]dd 1g of calcium chloride for every 100g of water to gently firm the outside of the beans, which prevents them from splitting without making them tough.

    My question is whether or not this would work for lentils too? I am specifically referring to varieties intended to stay intact such as green or brown lentils rather than the various hulled or split ones used in Indian cooking for dals.

  • That's a good question, and I have no direct experience in using calcium chloride, however looking at the ingredients for many canned lentil products shows calcium chloride being a very common ingredient, so I would suspect it may work. It's got a very salty flavor though, so don't go overboard.

    As a counterpoint adding salt to lentils during cooking is discouraged as it makes them tough, it's quite likely calcium chloride will have the same effect.

    If you do try it please post your experience, I'd really like to hear how it works out.

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