Should lentils simmer covered or uncovered?

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crankin

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I normally simmer lentils with the lid on the pot, but I've noticed most recipes don't specify to do this, so I was wondering if they are supposed to be simmered uncovered?
 

Steve Kroll

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The way I cook lentils is to cover them until they are close to done. Otherwise, unless there is a lot of liquid, you risk having the pot boil dry. Once they are close to being done, I remove the lid and cook off any excess liquid.

But my advice would be to follow whatever your recipe says.
 

Andy M.

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It doesn't matter to the lentils. If you want to cook off some of the liquid to thicken the sauce, simmer uncovered. If not, cover.
 

no mayonnaise

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Uncovered. Concentrates flavor a bit. I can always add water if needed to thin it out.
 
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LPBeier

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I agree with both Andy and No Mayo. It really doesn't matter, but I usually do leave the lid off. I actually just cooked some today for a lentil loaf.
 

Steve Kroll

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Many of my favorite lentil recipes come from a book called "Indian Cooking" by Madhur Jaffrey. And every single recipe in the book says to cover the pot, so that's why I do it the way I do. I figure she knows as much or more about lentils than most anyone around.

I agree they will still cook uncovered, provided you add enough liquid to begin with. But if your pot starts to run short of liquid, then you have to add more and wait for it to come up to a simmer again. It just seems easier to put a lid on it.
 

no mayonnaise

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If you boil with a lid on you can maintain the boil on a lower heat - more economical - saves you money

That sounds reasonable but have you actually tested this to see if the real dollar value saved is significant?
Either way you simmer lentils, not boil.

Besides, lentils turn out a lot better in a pressure cooker anyway.
 
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Mad Cook

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That sounds reasonable but have you actually tested this to see if the real dollar value saved is significant?
Either way you simmer lentils, not boil.

Besides, lentils turn out a lot better in a pressure cooker anyway.
Any saving is significant in my household:)

Lids on saucepans boiling or simmering food in liquid = economic cooking is a widely recommended procedure unless you are reducing sauces or unless directly forbidden in particular cooking procedures (eg pasta seems better if cooked in an open saucepan)

And yes, I do know the difference between "boil" and "simmer.

But we weren't asked about cookng lentils in a pressure cooker and not everyone has one.
 
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Andy M.

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That sounds reasonable but have you actually tested this to see if the real dollar value saved is significant?
Either way you simmer lentils, not boil.

Besides, lentils turn out a lot better in a pressure cooker anyway.

Males you wonder how all the lentil cookers of the world survived before the advent of the pressure cooker.
 

CharlieD

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I think lentils are similar to rice when it comes to cooking. You cook it covered to avoid drying out. Of course you can more water as you cook, but I do not like adding water. The food the loose the flavor.
 

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