Kitchen Tips – What the heck does "picked over" mean?

If you’re working with lentils or other beans, you may sometimes notice that the instructions say, “rinse and pick over.”

The first time I encountered this I was baffled. I thought, “What am I picking over? Is there something bad in here?” Everything looked fine to me!


Sometimes in beans or lentils you might sometimes find a few little rocks that managed to sneak their way in. I know, it sounds crazy. I’ve actually never encountered one yet; I’ll have to ask the Chef Edwin, the lentil guru himself, how frequently this occurs.

While rinsing or after rinsing, try spreading out the lentils or beans, feel them and look at them. If you see something that looks off, just throw it away. The rest of the batch should be fine. You don’t need to be nervous about it, but do take a look – just thinking about biting down on a rock makes me cringe!


One Response to “Kitchen Tips – What the heck does "picked over" mean?”

  1. My husband (former colleague of Chef Edwin) and I have definitely had that biting down on a rock experience with beans, and it was not fun. It seems more likely to occur if you’re buying imported beans/lentils – it happened to us with Goya brand, and if say you’re buying cheap beans at an international market (such as Grand mart or what have you) I would definitely “pick over” them!