I use a pressure cooker to cook beans, especially when my budget became so tight that I couldn’t afford canned beans for when I was in a pinch. So now the shortest notice I can have for cooking beans from dry is 40 min.

To cook beans in a pressure cooker you’re best to soak them first for 4 hours or overnight in water that is about 8 cm above the beans. This will cut the cooking time by more than half in many cases. You want to add 3 cups of water per 1 cup of soaked beans to the cooker. If you can’t soak them, no sweat. Add 4 cups of water per 1 cup of dried beans instead.

You never want the pressure cooker to be filled more than half way.

You lock the lid and turn the stove on high heat. When the cooker has reached high pressure and a steady stream of steam (ha) is coming out the top (adjust the heat lower if it’s out of control, you want the steam to be steady) than you set the timer for the cooking.

When the timer is up you turn off the heat of the stove or remove from an electric stove element and let the pressure release naturally. If you’re in a rush you can use the quick steam release but it’s better to let it do it on it’s own if you can.

Test the beans to check that they’re done. Beware if you are used to canned beans that they’ll probably taste different. Canned beans don’t taste as good. If they aren’t cooked enough you can simmer the cooker with the lid covered but not locked.

Drain and volia!

Cooking times in minutes for beans I commonly use:

  • Adzuki   soaked 5-9   unsoaked   14-20
  • Black   soaked 5-9   unsoaked   20-25
  • Chickpeas   soaked 13-18   unsoaked   30-40
  • Fava   soaked 12-18   unsoaked   22-28
  • Kidney   soaked 10-12   unsoaked   20-25
  • Navy   soaked 6-8   unsoaked   16-25
  • Pinto   soaked 4-6   unsoaked   22-25
  • Soy (white)   soaked 9-12   unsoaked   28-35
  • Soy (black)   soaked 20-22   unsoaked   35-40

Thanks to my parents who gave me the pressure cooker years ago with Lorna Sass’ (yes, that’s her name!) book which taught me all I know about pressure cooking.

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9 Responses to Cooking Beans With A Pressure Cooker

  1. paxye says:

    thanks for the little tute!!

    I would love to get a pressure cooker though I would have to convince Simon that it would not be “just another machine” in the kitchen…

    oh… a waffle iron would be nice too… lol ;)

  2. Annie says:

    Ha. The waffle iron. They aren’t all they’re cracked up to be! You must know that by now.

    The pressure cooker though- now that’s a genius tool! Just like the immersion blender.

  3. Sophia Sunshine says:

    Thanks Annie for sharing your cook times. After our last visit we got and old one given to us but it’s aluminum AND needs a new seal so we’ve never used it. Seeing your times we might just have to come up with a plan B. In the meantime we’ve been making sure to have a good stock of cooked ones in the freezer. Beans are the base for most of our travel food so we just cook the whole 2 lb bag at once and use what we need. In our case it’s probably not so much a cost saver as a gas and bisphenol A reduction strategy!

  4. Annie says:

    I’m not sure how excited I’d be able aluminium without the seal either!

  5. Katherine says:

    MINUTES?! ARE YOU TALKING MINUTES HERE? Where on the planet have I been? I cook beans measured in hours. I need a pressure cooker. Look how much energy that saves. Minutes…she walks away muttering in disbelief and amazement.

  6. Annie says:

    I know. Crazy, eh?

    It was disturbing the first time I made a squash soup in the pressure cooker and the recipe said it would be *cooked* in *five minutes*. Um, is that a typo I thought? I figured I’d just cook it more if it wasn’t done. How could it be done in five minutes after I only just threw the ingredients in. Let me tell you, it was not only done but beautiful and creamy with the flavours perfectly blended. As if it had been cooked for hours in a crock pot.

    You need a pressure cooker! :D

  7. Sophia Sunshine says:

    Which Lorna Sass book is your favourite? I think I’ll need to add it and the cooker to my Christmas list:) You rock!

  8. Sarah says:

    What a great tutorial! Thank you! Maybe I can convince Matt it’s worth it to get one now.

  9. Steph says:

    I love cooking beans in the pressure cooker. It’s so fast. And this week I discovered that I can also use it to cook rice!

    Put some water at the bottom of the cooker.
    Put rinsed rice + water (1 to 1.5 times the volume of rice) in a metal bowl. Put the bowl in the cooker, raised over a cookie cutter or something. Cook for 12 min, release pressure, let sit in closed cooker for 5 min.

    It’s the best rice I’ve had and my husband stopped complaining that brown rice takes so long to cook.
    These days I’ve been making rice just after cooking my beans so I just have to wash the pressure cooker once.

    More detailed instructions there:

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