Why Are My Peas Hard? Quick Cooking Guide To Save Your Time

Peas have always been used widely in the culinary world because of its savory and healthfulness. There are plentiful kinds of peas, with different fragrances and tastes available for cooking like chickpea, snow peas, sugar snap peas, etc.

Despite the distinction in flavor, peas share the same downside: turning plant resistant when not properly treated. What kind of problem is it, anyway?

In this post, let’s dive deep into peas’ features to answer your question “Why are my peas hard” and later learn some tips for softening these resistant varieties to help you make the best split pea soup. No need to talk more; let’s start!

Why Are My Peas Hard?

Why Are My Peas Hard
English Peas

There are many subjective and objective reasons which thicken peanuts. Based on our experience, there are about three main causes of this struggle.

The age of peas may be the most common factor of these resistant varieties of thicken. It’s impossible to find out how old a pea is just from its appearance, so, for non-expert cooks, sometimes people can accidentally buy too-old vegetables.

In those cases, it’s literally nothing that you can do except throw away the snow peas. When peas turn old, that is a chemical bonding process that you can never prevent or counteract. You can’t go against mother nature, right?

Another reason for making the plant resistant is the acid substances in the pea soaking environment. And that acid keeps the yellow split peas from softening.

To be specific, the cells in vegetables are bonded together with hemicelluloses, which dissolve the heat and steam to weaken the cell “walls.”

Consequently, these resistant varieties will turn softer. But, here is the thing: this celluloid isn’t soluble with acid. If the soaking environment is too acidic, then these substances cannot work, and the green split peas won’t soften.

Last but not least, temperature may affect the peas from softening. There is a specific heat range that the green pea needs to reach to start changing the thickness.

Hence, it may be that you didn’t cook snow peas in the pressure cooker or store the pea plants at the right “softening temperature,” making the plant resistant.

That being said, it’s a must to seek the softening heat range of the type of peas you are cooking to know exactly which temperature you need to boil up to soften resistant varieties.

How Do You Soften Hard Peas?


There are many different equipment that can be used to soften dry peas like a steamer, slow cooker, pressure cooker, saucepan, etc. In this post, we will discuss using the typical common saucepot or a slow cooker (the process is the same).

The first stage is to wash the green pea carefully under tap water for 3-5 minutes. Rub the fingers to ensure that all plant debris was washed away. Then, soak the dry peas in water for 5 to 6 hours, or overnight.

The second stage is to prepare boiling equipment. After letting the yellow split peas sit out for a night, now take out the pea bowl. Pour water in a separate saucepan and add peas.

The next step is to cook peas with 3 – 4 times more water until it starts steaming. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat, cover the pan with a lid and continue simmering the cooked peas for 1 to 3 hours until you could see the pea crops turning soft.

Consequently, add salt, or miso, or tamari into the cooked peas. Place a lid over the pot and stew until the shelling peas are soft. Then, open the pan and let it evaporate until all the cooking liquid was out.


  • Soak the sugar snap peas in warm water
  • Add a coffee spoon of salt to the soaking water to boost the soften rate and protect the cover.
  • When washing the sugar snap peas, circle the mixture while letting the tap water flow so that all dirt can drop. 
  • The ideal water – shelling peas ratio: 2: 1
  • The standard cooking time is 1 to 4 hours.
  • Use cold water for cooking the resistant varieties.


Frozen peas and fresh peas – Which is better?

Both types of English peas have their different strengths and weaknesses, and we should consider these two components to answer this question.

In terms of fresh vegetables, they contain higher amounts of nutrients compared to frozen or canned ones. Besides, the newly-harvested peas from the planting bed provide the authentic, once-in-a-lifetime taste.

And that fresh eating experience is unique because each fruit is different. When making hot, boiling dishes like pea soup or pea stew, fresh garden peas must be the best choice.

However, the fresh split peas are always hard to store in the normal storing condition. When delivering across the globe, the fruit can be bruised, ripped, or spoiled without notice.

Meanwhile, the frozen split peas are made to store for a long period. Given that fact, frozen peas are available for people who want to store food in advance but not use it immediately.

With the significant peanuts shelf life, frozen garden peas are so convenient for young, busy people.

Contrary to fresh peas, frozen fruits don’t provide the authentic and “fresh, juicy” taste as people demand. It still has the nutrition but lacks a bit compared to the fresh eating version.

In short, frozen peas and fresh peas are all excellent choices for cooking. However, if you cook peas immediately and love the “fresh” vibe, then fresh peas are great for you.

In case you aren’t sure if you will use the plant peas or not, then choosing the frozen peas is a smarter choice.

How long to steam frozen peas?

Frozen plant peas are quite easy to defrost, and the most common method people use is steaming. This method is quick and simple but still helps retain the nutritional elements as much as possible. Here is how you should do that:

First, pour about 5 to 8 centimeters of water into a saucepan. Start boiling the water.

When it comes to the boil, put the steaming pea basket over the pan. Please remember not to touch the plant peas in the water. Otherwise, it is not considered as “steaming” but “boiling.”

Third, cover the pan with a lid and wait for 3 5 minutes to defrost. The average time for steaming is from 3 5 minutes maximum.

Wrapping it up

We have figured out the answer to your question through this post: “Why are my peas hard?” and later learned some softening split peas techniques.

However, there are many different methods to cook resistant varieties, and what we chose to introduce you is just what we have the best experience with. Feel free to reach out for insights into cooking split peas.

Is our guidance helpful in answering your problem? I hope that my work is informative and insightful enough for you!

Thank you for reading, and good luck on your cooking journey!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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