Why It’s Important to Sort Lentils Before Cooking

Lisa 3 months ago 0 3

Before beginning to cook lentils from your pantry, it’s essential to sort them carefully as different sizes and colors of lentils require differing cooking times. By doing so, it will allow you to achieve optimal results with each batch you prepare.

Lentils are small lens-shaped seeds that come in an assortment of colors and textures, often featuring bits of plant matter such as dirt and leaves in their composition.

Table of Contents


Though lentils all belong to one species of plant, their sizes can differ greatly. Some large ones might be much bigger than others; it’s essential that you sort them according to size before cooking in order to prevent an overwatery dish with too many whole lentils present. Sorting is simple and quick!

Lentils are an integral part of the diet in many cultures, providing cheap, versatile protein sources at an economical cost. Lentils have also proven their health-giving potential by helping lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Many recipes call for them, providing plenty of opportunities to use this versatile food in creative dishes.

Every variety of lentil has its own distinct taste and texture, from crunchy to soft. Many recipes suggest sorting lentils according to size before cooking so your dish comes out perfect every time – no more watery soup with too many uncooked lentils in it!

Sorting lentils can be messy business, so be sure to wash and allow your lentils to dry completely before beginning the sorting process. Working on a clean surface like a cutting board will also be ideal. Once your lentils have been thoroughly washed and dried off completely, start sorting by scattering them across your worksurface into piles approximately one lentil deep for sorting.

As you start sorting the lentils, remove any odd-looking pieces by pushing them to one side of your plate or bowl and separating them out into piles. If working with a large amount, having a dinner-size plate available to keep the lentils contained can be especially helpful in this step.

Once you have selected and sorted your lentils, place them in a jar covered with cloth. Pour enough water to cover all of the lentils in your jar before leaving it overnight to soak – they should continue growing as they soak for around 12 hours, at which point taste them and adjust with additional liquid if necessary.


Lentils are very small, making them susceptible to collecting bits of dirt or debris during preparation. Rinsing and sorting can make a difference both in flavor and texture – and also decreases your chance of receiving an unexpected, unappetizing surprise in your bowl! Sorting can take only minutes per bag!

To quickly rinse and sort lentils, place them in a bowl filled with water, cover it and then remove any debris such as dirt or pebbles that rises to the top. Run your fingers through your drained lentils to feel for any that need to be removed – once done you can begin cooking!

There is an assortment of lentils available at your grocery store, and your selection should depend on your recipe. Brown lentils are popularly seen as all-purpose varieties as they can remain firm yet al dente or turn creamy when simmered longer – they cook quickly and make great additions to soups, stews, salads and veggie burgers!

Green lentils are very similar to brown ones in that they’re versatile yet have more delicate flavors, making them suitable for use in soups, salads, side dishes and casseroles. Yellow and purple lentils share similar firm textures but tend to have sweeter tastes; these varieties make an excellent addition to cold or hot grain dishes, salads or Buddha bowls.

Dark red and black lentils may not be as widely available, but they still prove invaluable. Perfect for Indian dals and curries or thickening soups.

Canned lentils make for an easy side dish or quick salad option in a pinch, though they should be rinsed to reduce their sodium content. Dried lentils are an essential pantry item used in various soups and stews ranging from Lebanese mujadara to classic Indian dal, making soaking easier for faster cooking times and digestion.


Sorting lentils is so essential, not just because there are numerous varieties, but because each family of them varies considerably in shape and texture. Doing it right will prevent an accident from turning out an unwelcome batch of stone soup!

Most commonly, supermarket basics lentils are the go-to choices when it comes to lentils; these wide and flat beans can remain firm or become creamy depending on how long they’re simmered for. Because these lentils tend to cook quickly, they make excellent additions to hot and cold grain dishes, salads, Buddha bowls or soups/stews alike – not forgetting they also work wonderfully as meat substitutes!

Brown lentils tend to be longer and oval-shaped, offering greater versatility but still losing some shape over time, so they work best as ingredients in soups and stews; though you could also try them in salads for added texture.

Puy lentils are small, dark-hued lentils. While similar to other lentils in terms of usage and color, their unique feature adds an eye-catching pop of contrast in salads or dishes needing some additional character. As these require slightly longer to cook than their counterparts, precooking them would be preferable if possible.

Red lentils share many characteristics with brown, yet are more colorful and more easily held together than their brown counterpart. Red lentils make an excellent vegan substitute in soups as well as an effective ground meat replacement in other applications like burgers.

Red and yellow lentils differ from their counterparts in that their hulls are removed during harvesting, making them easier to disintegrate during cooking, thus leading to more disintegration during blending or pureeing processes. Because red and yellow lentils tend to disintegrate more readily when heated up, they are best avoided for recipes where pureeing or blending will occur.


Lentils can attract dirt and other particles that adhere to them during farming practices, as well as being processed through machines that separate sizes and types. Because lentils are so tiny and hard to see, it is recommended that they are rinsed and sorted through thoroughly prior to being added into any recipe – no one wants a loose rock breaking their tooth in their meal!

Gluten-free consumers must hand sort dry lentils to remove foreign grains and rinse them under running water to eliminate grain dust before cooking them, to protect those living with celiac disease and related disorders from potentially toxic materials in the grain. Based on this review’s results, most lentils were properly sorted and cleaned before being packaged up for sale to consumers.

As a rule, most lentil recipes prefer split red lentils over whole ones due to being pre-hulled and pre-cut for faster cooking time.

Before beginning cooking lentils, most recipes recommend sorting them. This process simply entails picking through them to remove any stones or debris that might cling onto them; this should take only minutes and can make for an effortless start!

To cook lentils, place them in a large pot with three cups of liquid and bring to a boil over high heat before reducing it and simmering them until tender, which should take 6-13 minutes for split red lentils and 18 for black or French green ones.

After cooking time is up, drain any extra liquid from the lentils before transferring to a serving dish or pot. Taste your lentils, adding more salt if necessary before serving as an accompaniment with meat or vegetables for a nutritious and delectable meal. Adapt this recipe for meat eaters by including two rashers of bacon at the end.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *