Up until a couple of years ago, I only ever bought canned beans. Even though I knew it would be cheaper for me to buy dry beans and cook them at home, I could never bring myself to do it. I knew cooking dry beans was relatively simple, but it takes so long that I just didn’t have the time to do it!
But once I got my hands on my first Instant Pot, cooking beans from scratch was definitely something I was looking forward to trying! Not only did my black beans taste delicious, but it only took around a half hour to make them, with no pre-soaking required! I had finally found a way to make beans from scratch in a reasonable amount of time, and today I’ll be showing you how you can do it too! :-)
I also want to mention that all of this information and much, much more is available in my eBook Everything Instant Pot! It’s a great resource for Instant Pot users of every skill level, and I’m sure you’ll find yourself referencing it as often as I do! You can buy it in my shop, or get it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!
Should I Pre-Soak My Beans?
Before we get to the actual cooking of the beans, I wanted to address the question of whether or not you should pre-soak your dry beans. Soaking beans before cooking them does help them cook a bit faster, but I find it unnecessary. Pressure cooking beans is already much faster than traditional cooking methods, so I don’t really feel the need to speed the process up any more than that.
Another reason why some people like to soak their beans before cooking is because they believe it helps eliminate their gas-inducing effects. So regardless of your reasons, if you personally prefer to soak your beans before pressure cooking them, you can find the adjusted cook times for pre-soaked beans near the end of this post. :-)
How To Cook Dry Beans In A Pressure Cooker
Start by putting your desired amount of beans (or legumes) into the inner pot. Then add enough cooking liquid to cover them by about an inch. (You can always cook them in plain water, but I like to use broth or stock. It’s an easy way to add more flavor to your finished beans!)
Add any spices or aromatic ingredients you want to use to the pot, like minced garlic, diced onions, or dry herbs. Then put the lid on the pot, and cook on High pressure for the recommended amount of time (see below for cook times!) Keep in mind that if you are cooking a lot of beans, it may take a while for the pot to come up to full pressure.
Once the timer goes off, allow for 10 minutes of Natural Release, then Quick Release any remaining pressure. You’ll have perfectly cooked beans or legumes that are ready to use however you see fit! :-)
Cook Times For Instant Pot Beans
Below you’ll find two tables with cook times for making beans in your Instant Pot. Use the first table if you’ll be cooking dry beans, and refer to the second table if you’ll be cooking pre-soaked beans.
|Cook Times For Dry Beans & Legumes|
|Black beans||25 minutes|
|Great Northern beans||25 minutes|
|Kidney beans (red)||25 minutes|
|Kidney beans (white)||35 minutes|
|Lentils (green or brown)||10 minutes|
|Lentils (red, split)||6 minutes|
|Lentils (yellow, split)||20 minutes|
|Navy beans||25 minutes|
|Pinto beans||25 minutes|
|Cook Times For Pre-Soaked Beans|
|Black beans||8 minutes|
|Great Northern beans||8 minutes|
|Kidney beans (red)||8 minutes|
|Kidney beans (white)||12 minutes|
|Navy beans||8 minutes|
|Pinto beans||8 minutes|
3 Bonus Tips For Instant Pot Beans!
#1 – Don’t Overfill Your Pot
When cooking beans, to avoid filling your pot more than halfway. There are a couple of reasons for this—first, beans expand quite a bit as they cook. And second, they tend to produce quite a bit of foam during cooking. The higher the foam gets, the more likely it is to shoot out of the release valve. So don’t overfill if you want to avoid cleaning up a foamy mess!
#2 – Don’t Quick Release Immediately
Due to the foaming issue I described above, it’s not a good idea to Quick Release right after cooking. That’s why I recommend allowing 10 minutes of Natural Release before using Quick Release, so the foam has time to subside a bit. It’s much less messy that way!
#3 – Freeze Can-Sized Portions
It’s easy to use your pressure cooker beans in recipes that call for canned beans! Just measure out 15-ounce portions of cooked beans into paper or plastic cups. Place the cups of beans in your freezer until they are frozen solid. Then peel away the cups, and you’ll have perfectly portioned beans that are ready to use in your favorite recipes!
What’s your favorite kind of bean, or favorite bean recipe?