Save Time Using a Pressure Cooker

Pressure CookerWant to save some time and energy when cooking dry beans? Use a pressure cooker!

A pressure cooker is a great tool for preparing dry beans quickly. Pressure cookers combine high pressure and high heat, which dramatically reduces cooking time. Beans cooked in a pressure cooker will cook in about one-third of the time it takes to cook beans on the stove.

Pressure Cooking Fears

Some people have a fear of using a pressure cooker, often based on childhood memories of a rattling old pressure cooker on a family stove. However, today’s pressure cookers are nothing like Grandma’s. Like any modern piece of kitchen equipment, when you follow the directions carefully, it’s as safe and convenient as every other kitchen appliance.

STEP 1: Clean the Beans

  • Plate the beans in a shallow layer in a pie plate, baking sheet, or bar pan.
  • Pick out and discard any foreign objects like leaves, small stones or twigs, as well as any broken beans.
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STEP 2: Rinse the Beans

  • Place the beans in a colander or strainer and rinse them under cold running water.

 

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STEP 3: Soak the Beans

  • There are three soaking methods you can use, the Hot Soak Method, the Traditional Soak Method, and the Quick Soak Method. The Hot Soak Method is the recommended method because it reduces cooking time and gas-producing compounds the most and it produces consistently tender beans.

 

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STEP 4: Cook the Beans

  • Place beans in a large stock pot and cover with fresh, cold water.
  • Place over medium heat; keep cooking water at a gentle simmer to prevent split skins.
  • Since beans expand as they cook, add warm water periodically during the cooking process to keep the beans covered.
  • Stir beans occasionally throughout the cooking process to prevent sticking.
  • Beans take 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook, depending on the variety. Beans should be tender but not mushy.
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Note: Pressure cookers often come with product instructions. Refer to the manufacturer’s guide for specific cooking recommendations based on the model of pressure cooker you own.

 For best results, follow these tips!

While cooking dry beans in a pressure cooker is a fairly simple process, they do have a tendency to froth and foam during cooking. Therefore, it is necessary to use the following guidelines when pressure cooking dry beans:

  1. Never fill the pressure cooker more than the half full line. This includes beans, ingredients, and water.
  2. Pressure cookers must contain a minimum of ½ cup of liquid in order to operate correctly.
  3. Add 1-4 tablespoons vegetable oil and up to 1 tablespoon of salt to one pound of beans during the soaking or cooking. Tests have shown that when oil and salt are added, dry beans keep their shape and exterior skin intact, and froth and foam less during pressure cooking.
  4. Allow pressure to drop on its own accord. This will add another 18 to 20 minutes to the cooking time but requires no tending.