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.